Top 10 interesting facts about Civil Services in India

By Deepak

1. The Macaulay Committee which gave India its first modern civil service in 1854 recommended that the patronage based system of the East India Company should be replaced by a permanent civil service based on a merit based system through competitive entry examinations.

2. The Report insisted that the civil servants of the Company should have taken the first degree in arts at either Oxford University or Cambridge University.

3. Since 1855, recruitment to the Indian Civil Services (ICS) came to be based totally on merit.


4. Initially, the ICS sought its recruits from Oxford and Cambridge only. Thus, ICS was considered an elite service.

5. Later, ICS opened its doors to Indians. Consequently, from 1922 onwards the Indian Civil Service Examination began to be held in India.

6. While designing a successor civil service, the Indian political leaders retained the following elements of the British structure of a unified administrative system,

  • an open-entry system based on academic achievements
  • elaborate training arrangements
  • permanency of tenure
  • important posts at Union, State and district levels reserved for the civil service
  • a regular graduated scale of pay with pension and other benefits
  • a system of promotions and transfers based predominantly on seniority

7. Article 312 of the Constitution empowers Parliament to create the All India Services (AIS) on the fulfilment of certain conditions. The Indian Administrative and Police Services are deemed to be services created by Parliament under Article 312.

8. Section 3 of the AIS Act, 1951 and the rules and regulations made by the government prescribe the selection process for the IAS. Similar provisions exist for the IPS and the IFoS.

9. The key objectives of government in creating the AIS are listed below,

  • preserving national unity and integrity and uniform standards of administration
  • neutrality and objectivity - non-political, secular and nonsectarian outlook
  • competence, efficiency and professionalism - at entry by attracting the best and brightest and throughout the career
  • integrity
  • idealism

10. Satyendranath Tagore was the first Indian Civil Services officer. He wrote the exams in 1863 and joined the services in 1864.

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