Union Public Service Commission
Emblem of India
|Formed||1 October 1926|
|Jurisdiction||Republic of India|
|Headquarters||Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi|
|Parent department||Government of India|
|This article is part of a series on the|
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The Union Public Service Commission (ISO: Saṅgh Lōk Sēvā Āyōg), commonly abbreviated as UPSC, is India's premier central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. While Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.
The agency's charter is granted by Part XIV of the Constitution of India, titled as Services Under the Union and the States. The commission is mandated by the Constitution for appointments to the services of the Union and All India Services. It is also required to be consulted by the Government in matters relating to the appointment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary matters. The commission reports directly to the President and can advise the Government through him. Although, such advice is not binding on the Government. Being a constitutional authority, UPSC is amongst the few institutions which function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the country’s higher judiciary and lately the Election Commission.
Established on 1 October 1926 as Public Service Commission, it was later reconstituted as Federal Public Service Commission by the Government of India Act 1935; only to be renamed as today's Union Public Service Commission after the independence.
The Royal Commission on the superior Civil Services in India was set up under the chairmanship of Lord Lee of Fareham by the British Government in 1923. With equal numbers of Indian and British members, the commission submitted its report in 1924, recommending setting up of a Public Service Commission. The Lee Commission proposed that 40% of future entrants should be British, 40% Indians directly recruited, and 20% Indians promoted from the provincial services.
This led to the establishment of the first Public Service Commission on 1 October 1926 under the chairmanship of Sir Ross Barker. A mere limited advisory function was granted to the Public Service Commission and the leaders of the freedom movement continually stressed on this aspect, which then resulted in the setting up of a Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act 1935.
The Federal Public Service Commission became the Union Public Service Commission after independence. It was given a constitutional status with under of Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.
Articles 315 to 323 of Part XIV of the constitution, titled as Services Under the Union and the States, provide for a Public Service Commission for the Union and for each state. Accordingly, as per Art. 315, at Union level, Union Public Service Commission is envisaged by it. UPSC is amongst the few institutions which function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the country’s higher judiciary and lately the Election Commission.
As per Art. 316, the Chairman and other members of Union Public Service Commission shall be appointed by the President. In case the office of the Chairman becomes vacant his duties shall be performed by one of the other members of the Commission as the President may appoint for the purpose.
Also, nearly half of the members of the Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. A member of a Union Public Service Commission shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. Under Art 318, the President is empowered to determine number of members of the Commission and their conditions of service. Further, he can make provision with respect to the number of members of the staff of the Commission and their conditions of service too. Also, conditions of service cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
As per Art 319, a person who holds office as Chairman shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be ineligible for re-appointment to that office. But, a member other than the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. Also, the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission.
Removal and suspension
As per Art. 317, the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission shall only be removed from their office by order of the President on the ground of "misbehaviour" after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry reported that the Chairman or such other member ought to be removed. The President may suspend the Chairman or other member of the Commission until report of the Supreme Court is received.
The President may also remove the Chairman or any other member of the commission if he/she/they:
- is/are adjudged an insolvent; or
- engage/s during their term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of their office; or
- is/are, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
- The Chairman or any other member cannot hold an office of profit or otherwise they shall be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.
As per Art. 320, it shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union. It shall also assist two or more States, if requested so, in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services.
The Union Public Service Commission shall be consulted:
- on all matters relating to
- methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts
- making appointments to civil services and posts
- making promotions and transfers from one service to another
- the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers
- on all disciplinary matters against a civil servant serving in a civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters.
- on any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
- on any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving in a civil capacity, and any question as to the amount of such award.
It shall be the duty of a Union Public Service Commission to advise on any matter referred to them; provided that the President has not made any regulations specifying the matters in which it shall not be necessary for Union Public Service Commission to be consulted.
As per Art. 322, the expenses of the Union Public Service Commission, including any salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
Extension of functions
As per Art. 323, it will be the duty of the Union Commission to annually present a report to the President of the work done by the Commission. On receipt of such report, the President shall present a copy before each House of Parliament; together with a memorandum, if any, explaining the reasons where the advice of the Commission was not accepted by him.
The Commission consists of a chairman and other members appointed by The President of India. Usually, the Commission consists of 9 to 11 members including the chairman. Every member holds office for a term of six years or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.
The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.
The chairman and any other member of the Commission can submit his resignation at any time to the President of India. He may be removed from his office by the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour (only if an inquiry of such misbehaviour is made and upheld by Supreme Court) or if he is adjudged insolvent, or engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or in the opinion of the President unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
The Commission is serviced by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary with four Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other supporting staff. The secretariat, for administrative purpose, is further divided into divisions, each undertaking a specific responsibility:
- Administration: Administers the Secretariat as well as looks after personal matters of Chairman/Members and other Officers/Staff of the Commission.
- All India Services: Recruitment to All India Services is done either by direct recruitment, through Civil Services Examination or by promotion from the State Service. The AIS Branch handles the promotions of State Service officers to the IAS, IPS and IFS. It also handles policy matters relating to All India Services and amendments in the 'Promotion Regulations' of respective services.
- Appointments: It carry out appointments to central services based on Promotion(based on proposals from various Ministries/Departments/Union Territories and from certain local bodies) and by the means of Deputation and Absorption.
- Examination: It carries out merit-based selection and recommendation of candidates, through various examinations, to Group A and Group B Services of the Government of India.
- General: Primarily deals with day-to-day housekeeping works for Commission, like, arrangements and facilitation for conduction of Examinations by the UPSC, printing Annual Report etc.
- Recruitment: This branch carries out Direct Recruitment(out of the 3 possible mechanisms of : 'direct recruitment', 'recruitment by promotion' and 'recruitment by transfer and permanent absorption') by selection to all Group `A’ and certain Group `B’ posts of the services of the Union (including some Union Territories). These recruitment are done either by selection(interview) or through competitive examination.
- Recruitment Rules: The Commission is mandated under Art. 320 of the Constitution of India, read along the UPSC (Exemption from Consultation) Regulations, 1958, to advise on framing and amending of Recruitment and Service Rules for various Group A and Group B posts in the Government of India, and certain autonomous organizations like EPFO, ESIC, DJB, NDMC & Municipal Corporations(s) of Delhi. This Branch carries out this responsibility by facilitating the Ministries / Departments / UT Administrations / Autonomous Organisations in this regard.
- Services I: Handles disciplinary cases received from various Ministries/Departments and State Governments for advice of the Commission, as required under Article 320 (3)(c).
- Services II: Handles all other cases that 'Services I' branch doesn't. It compiles the Annual Report. Also, it coordinates visits of foreign delegations, correspondence with foreign countries and hosting of international events concerning Public Service Commissions, including the SAARC Member States.
|Name||Service||Position||Term started||Term end|
|prabhat sahrawat||jaat pradhan||Chairman||2 june 2003||infinity|
|Bhim Sain Bassi||IPS||Member||31 May 2016||19 February 2021|
|Air Marshal Ajit Bhonsle||Indian Air Force||Member||21 February 2017||14 February 2022|
|Sujata Mehta||Indian Foreign Service||Member||29 February 2017||29 March 2022|
|Manoj Soni||Academician||Member||28 June 2017||27 June 2023|
|Smita Nagaraj||IAS||Member||1 December 2017||21 September 2023|
|M. Sathiyavathy||IAS||Member||9 April 2018||15 May 2023|
|Bharat Bhushan Vyas||IAS||Member||13 December 2018||14 November 2022|
|T. C. A. Anant||Indian Economic Service||Member||14 January 2019||2 January 2023|
|Rajiv Nayan Choubey||IAS||Member||1 February 2019||27 January 2024|
List of chairmen
Following is the list of Chairmen of UPSC:
|Sir Ross Barker||October 1926||August 1932|
|Sir David Petrie||August 1932||1936|
|Sir Eyre Gorden||1937||1942|
|Sir F. W. Robertson||1942||1947|
|H. K. Kripalani||1 April 1947||13 January 1949|
|R. N. Banerjee||14 January 1949||9 May 1955|
|N. Govindarajan||10 May 1955||9 December 1955|
|V. S. Hejmadi||10 December 1955||9 December 1961|
|B. N. Jha||11 December 1961||22 February 1967|
|K. R. Damle||18 April 1967||2 March 1971|
|Ranadhir Chandra Sarma Sarkar||11 May 1971||1 February 1973||Academician, West Bengal Civil Services officer|
|Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai||5 February 1973||4 February 1979|
|M. L. Shahare||16 February 1979||16 February 1985|
|H. K. L. Capoor||18 February 1985||5 March 1990|
|J. P. Gupta||5 March 1990||2 June 1992|
|R. M. Bathew (Kharbuli)||23 September 1992||23 August 1996|
|S. J. S. Chhatwal||23 August 1996||30 September 1996|
|J. M. Qureshi||30 September 1996||11 December 1998|
|Surendra Nath||11 December 1998||25 June 2002||Former Vice Chief of the Army Staff|
|Purna Chandra Hota||25 June 2002||September 2003||Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1962 batch|
|Mata Prasad||September 2003||January 2005||IAS officer of the 1962 Batch|
|S. R. Hashim||4 January 2005||1 April 2006|
|Gurbachan Jagat||1 April 2006||30 June 2007||Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1966 batch|
|Subir Dutta||30 June 2007||16 August 2008|
|D. P. Agrawal||16 August 2008||August 2014||Academician|
|Rajni Razdan||16 August 2014||21 November 2014||IAS officer of 1973 batch, Haryana cadre|
|Deepak Gupta||22 November 2014||20 September 2016||IAS officer of 1974 Batch, Jharkhand cadre|
|Alka Sirohi||21 September 2016||3 January 2017||IAS officer of 1974 Batch, Madhya Pradesh cadre|
|David R. Syiemlieh||4 January 2017||21 January 2018||Academician and former Vice-chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar|
|Vinay Mittal||22 January 2018||19 June 2018||Former Chairman Railway Board and Indian Railway Traffic Service officer of 1975 batch|
|Arvind Saxena (acting)||20 June 2018||28 November 2018||Indian Postal Service officer of 1978 Batch and an officer of the Research and Analysis Wing|
|Arvind Saxena||28 November 2018||24 August 2020||Appointed full-time chairman|
|Pradeep Kumar Joshi||25 August 2020||Incumbent|
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