Learning with Times: Civil servants weren’t always recruited via exams

Learning with Times: Civil servants weren’t always recruited via exams
The Centre has proposed changes in the service and cadre allocation rules of UPSCthat govern recruitment into the central civil services. But former bureaucrats and civil service aspirants have expressed apprehensions over the plan. A look at the history of recruitment of India’s top bureaucrats…
When was UPSC formed?
The concept of a body to regulate public service was mentioned in the Govt of India Act, 1919. But the public service commission was established only in 1926. The Govt of India Act, 1935, envisaged two types of public service commission — one for the federation and
another for provinces. Subsequently, the constituent assembly envisaged an autonomous public service commission to ensure unbiased recruitment to civil services, leading to the establishment of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

What are the major functions of UPSC?
Under Art. 320 of the Constitution, UPSC is to be consulted on all matters relating to civil service recruitments. UPSC conducts exams to recruit officers for administrative, police, foreign,forest services, etc. It also holds exams for recruitment of army and paramilitary officers, economists, geologists, doctors, engineers, among others. It also recruits specialists through direct interviews and is responsible for looking into promotions, deputations and absorption of officers. Recruitment rules for these posts can only be framed and amended by UPSC.

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Are civil services seats declining over the years?
While this year’s vacancy is lowest since 2008, it is not the lowest in the last 15 years. There was a steady increase in seats from
2005 to 2014, from where seats have declined.

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What is the applicant-to-recommended ratio in UPSC exams?

According to the latest data, the Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) exam to select undergraduates for a programme in mechanical
engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering is the toughest one to crack. For every 5,884


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