02 August 2016
Civil Service 1.4.2008
The Chinese civil service became known to Europe in the mid-18thcentury and influenced the development of European and American systems. Ironically, and in part due to Chinese influence, the first European civil service was set up not in Europe, but in India by the East India Company under which administrators were engaged as “Honourable East India Company Civil Servants” as distinguished from its military servants. In order to prevent corruption and favouritism, promotions within the company were based on examinations.
· The system continued with the constitution of the Imperial Civil Service ofIndia based on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, 1886-87 and the Provincial Civil Service and Subordinate Civil Service on the recommendation of the Aitchoson Commission. By 1934, the system of administration in India came gradually to consist of seven All India Services and five Central Departments, all under the control of the secretary of state, and three Central Departments under joint Provincial and Imperial control.
· Today, the Civil Service constitutes the permanent executive of the modern state. The All India and Central Services along with the State Civil Services form the basic framework of administration and governance in India. They are entrusted with exercise of sovereign functions of the State. In addition they are expected to perform duties in diverse fields ranging from rural development to railways, from commerce to communications, from foreign policy to fiscal reform.
21st April has been earmarked as Civil Service Day, an occasion for the civil servants (sic) to rededicate themselves to the cause of the nation and renew their commitment to public service and excellence in work. It provides a unique opportunity for introspection as also chalking out future strategy to deal with the challenges being posed by the changing times.
This last paragraph is being debated very animatedly all over the country these days. Not the date, but the rest of the para - are the civil services in India Civil and do they provide any meaningful service is the question.