All-India and Central Services: India

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The number of persons receiving pensions and family pensions from the Government of India (presumably in 2014-15), according to age and the departments, ministries that they had served; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India
Number of IAS and other Group A service officers at the level of Secretary and Additional Secretary to the Government of India, 1972 to 2015; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 16, 2015

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Civil services: Not Bihar, it’s UP all the way

The Times of India

Not Bihar, it’s UP all the way in civil services

On Average, Over 16% Of Selected Students Are From Uttar Pradesh

Rema Nagarajan | TIG

Clipping, too

New Delhi: Popular perception is that Biharis dominate the civil services. However, it is Bihar’s neighbour, Uttar Pradesh that dominates the civil services year after year. On an average, over 16% of the selected candidates for the civil services each year are from UP. In the latest 2006 civil services examination results, UP maintains its 16% share.

In comparison, Bihar’s contribution is an average 2%, though this year it has gone up to 5%. Delhi’s contribution to the civil services is an average 26%, but this would include not only those from Delhi but also from Bihar, Orissa, the North East, West Bengal and even UP. Even if we were to concede half of Delhi’s contribution to Bihar, it would still not match UP.

Over 11 universities of UP have candidates appearing for the examination with at least a few making it each year. But the university that records the greatest success in UP is the University of Allahabad that is the fifth largest contributing university to the civil services. Allahabad university tops in terms of the number of students appearing for the civil services exam. The other big contributors to the civil services from UP are IIT Kanpur, University of Lucknow and Benaras Hindu University, in that order.

Quite predictably, the highest number of successful candidates in civil services exam are from DU followed by JNU. University of Rajasthan is third, followed by Punjab University. The top eight contributing universities are all from north, followed by University of Pune and University of Bangalore in ninth and tenth respectively. On the basis of the number of candidates appearing for the civil services mains, the top 15 universities are all from the north again, except Osmania University in Andhra Pradesh that figures in the 11th place.

Among IITs, Delhi takes the lead, followed by Kanpur, Roorkee, Kharagpur and Mumbai in that order. In IIT Chennai, interest in civil services appears to have dried up completely, except for a slight resurgence in 2004. Liberalisation and better job prospects in the corporate sector could have something to do with it. While northern universities might dominate top spots, when it comes to states, following Delhi and UP, the states that send the maximum number of candidates are Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, followed by Andhra Pradesh.

These states have a larger number of universities from where students appear for the exam, and even if the number of candidates appearing may not be as large a number as in Delhi or UP, the success rate seems better. The states with the least contribution seem to be Goa and Assam, if we are to discount the North Eastern states, as many students from there appear for the examination as Delhi candidates.

While Tamils may have retained their sway over the civil services, the Bengali babus, the original brown sahibs, seem to have lost out. Bengal’s contribution to the civil services is just a little over 2%, with the bulk from University of Calcutta and IIT Kharagpur. Even Jadhavpur University has little or no contribution. Interestingly, Delhi and UP’s share in the all India civil services is declining as states like Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana gradually improve their share.

Conduct rules


Shyamlal Yadav, May 26, 2023: The Indian Express

There are three All India Services – the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and the Indian Forest Service – which are selected by the central government with officers allotted to various state cadres. The Centre then gets a certain percentage of officers from each state on central deputation. These bureaucrats work directly for the Centre. All India Services are governed by Article 312 of the Constitution of India.

Other services are called Central Civil Services. These services are under the central government itself with no state cadre system. They include services such as the Indian Foreign Service, the Indian Revenue Service, Customs and Central Excise Service and several others.

Two sets of largely overlapping rules.

There are two sets of rules for civil servants – one for All India Services and the other for Central Civil Services. Specially designed Conduct Rules govern an officer’s behaviour and conduct.

The AIS Conduct Rules, 1968 and CCS Conduct Rules, 1964 are mostly similar. These were framed based on recommendations from a committee constituted by then Minister of Home Affairs Lal Bahadur Shashtri in 1962. This Committee on Prevention of Corruption was headed by K Santhanam, Member of Rajya Sabha (who also happenned to be a former editor of The Indian Express).

Some rules are vague, some more specific.

The Conduct Rules cover a wide range of issues, from the ambiguous idea of personal integrity to more specific actions.

For instance, Rule 3(1) states that “Every member of the Service shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the Service.” This rule is purposefully vague and can be applied to individuals in cases of any kind of wrongdoing, even if the allegations are not covered under any more specific rules. For example, while promotion of casteism is not covered under any specific Conduct Rules, casteist behaviour can be interpreted as “unbecoming of a member of the Service” under Rule 3(1).

On the other hand, Rule 4(1) of the AIS Conduct Rules is more specific. It states, “No member of the Service shall use his position or influence directly or indirectly to secure employment for any member of his family with any private undertaking or Non- Government Organisation.”

Members not allowed to be part of, assist political parties.

Rule 5(1) states, “No member of the Service shall be a member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any organization which takes part in politics, nor shall he take part in, or subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or political activity.”

5(4) states, “No member of the Service shall canvas or otherwise interfere with, or use his influence in connection with, or take part in, an election to any legislature or local authority.” While members can hold personal political beliefs, these rules restrict the degree to which they can act on them.

Similar restrictions also there on expressing personal opinion.

Rule 7 of AIS Rules states, “No member of the Service shall, in any radio broadcast or communication over any public media or in any document published anonymously, pseudonymously or in his own name or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press or in any public utterance, make any statement of fact or opinion,— Which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Central Government or a State Government; or which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Central Government and any State Government; or which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Central Government and the Government of any Foreign State.”

However, civil servants are allowed to express their opinion on official files and other official documents and can even talk to the media during field postings. What they can tell the media, though, is restricted to their job or some specific event/issue. Personal beliefs on wider issues are not to be aired.

Taking dowry is banned but seemingly common.

Dowry is an evil which afflicts all of society. Civil servants are no exception.

Often, once selected to the services, officers receive numerous marriage offers. Influential families, including big political ones, covet civil servants as husbands for their daughters and are willing to pay a big price to win their hand in marriage. A civil servant’s job security, status and perks received plays a major role in inflating dowry demands. Officials from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) even receive queries to provide contact details of candidates selected.

At the same time, civil servants and their families too are willing to receive a big dowry.

But as far as rules are concerned, both giving and receiving dowry is strictly prohibited. Rule 11 (1-A) of the AIS Rules on “Giving or taking of dowry” states, “No member of the Service shall— (i) give or take or abet the giving or taking of dowry; or (ii) demand, directly or indirectly, from the parents or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry.”

In fact, any “big” gift a civil servant receives needs to be reported.

Rule 11(1) states, “A member of the service may accept gifts from his near relatives or from his personal friends having no official dealings with them, on occasions such as wedding, anniversaries, funerals and religious functions when the making of gifts is in conformity with the prevailing religious and social practice, but he shall make a report to the Government if the value of such gift exceeds Rs.25,000.”

The threshold of Rs 25,000 was last fixed in 2015.

Rules amended and added from time to time.

While Conduct Rules penned in the 1960s are still being followed, these are never static, with updates made from time to time.

For instance, with regard to Rule 5(1), the government, from time to time, determines whether a particular organisation is political or not. Interestingly, such clarifications have been repeatedly made about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R S S) with rules stating that its activities are political in nature. Notably, while the R S S itself claims to be non-political, even BJP governments at the Centre have not changed its categorisation.

The Narendra Modi government added a few sub-rules in August 2014. For instance, the following was added to the Conduct Rules: “Every member of the Service shall maintain:- high ethical standards, integrity and honesty; political neutrality; accountability and transparency; responsiveness to the public, particularly to the weaker section; courtesy and good behavior with the public” among other things.

The Modi government also added that “Every member of the Service shall maintain integrity in public service; take decisions solely in public interest and use or cause to use public resources efficiently, effectively and economically; declare any private interests relating to his public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts in a way that protects the public interest; not place himself under any financial or other obligations to any individual or organisation which may influence him in the performance of his official duties; not misuse his position as civil servant and not take decisions in order to derive financial or material benefits for himself, his family or his friends; act with fairness and impartiality and not discriminate against anyone, particularly the poor and the under-privileged sections of society; perform and discharge his duties with the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to the best of his abilities”.

Similarly, when allegations were made that only orally orders were being issued to subordinate officials, in 1979, the Janata Party government added that, “The direction of the official superior shall ordinarily be in writing. Where the issue of oral direction becomes unavoidable, the official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter.”

In 1998, the United Front government added that “No member of the Service shall employ to work any child below the age of 14 years.”

Officers are covered under the rules as soon they join training.

As soon as candidates are allotted a particular service and join training which is part of their probation period, they become members of that service and are thus covered by these rules. There are also certain rules which continue to apply post retirement as well.

Provisions for heavy penalties there, but difficult to police.

Transgressions can attract two kinds of penalties — major and minor. Major penalties can include “dismissal” from the service as well.

Besides these conduct rules, there is also the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA). However, action on corruption in India is based less on intelligence and more on complaints. While anonymous complaints are not entertained, complaints with name and details of complainants too hardly ever reach the proper forum. Fora where such complaints can be made include the Central Vigilance Commission, Lokpal and other investigation agencies.

Differently abled officers in the civil services

The Times of India, Dec 03 2015

Rema Nagarajan   Differently abled who crack civil services often fight legal wars for service they deserve

Access denied: How babus find ways to disable an able cause

Ira Singhal, a woman with dis abilities, topping the civil serv ices this year, symbolised the travails and triumph of the decade-long fight of the disabled to gain acceptance in the prestigious civil services. Despite being selected, she had earlier been denied a posting citing her disability and she was fighting a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal when she topped the exam and got IAS.

The 245 disabled candidates allocated various civil services in the last decade is testimony to the success of the disability sector's battle despite the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) finding new ways to harass disabled candidates who crack the civil services examinations.

The declaration of results each year is invariably followed by court cases filed by selected disabled candidates fighting to get into services of their choice and ones they deserve based on their rank.

Of the 245 allotted a service between 2005 and 2014, 121 have locomotor disability, 79 have hearing problems and 45 have visual disability . The largest number (45) has been allocated to the Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), while IAS has inducted 43.

The Revenue Service (I-T), Group `A', has absorbed 41 such candidates. Six with hearing impairment, two with locomotor disability and one with visual impairment have been inducted into the Foreign Service.

In this decade, 8,652 candidates were allotted to various civil services. The 245 with disabilities constituted 2.83% of the total, just short of the 3% reservation mandated by the 1995 Disability Act.

Roughly 2,000 made it to the civil services between 2000 and 2004. Had the disability quota been implemented, about 60 of them would've been disabled candidates. Barely 10 such actually got in during this period.

In 2000, Manoj Sadasivan, a hearing impaired, was given no service despite being ranked 222 out of 411, as there was no reservation for the disabled. His candidature was rejected on medical fitness grounds despite the president and even Kerala HC intervening favourably .

Ravi Kumar Arora, selected in 2001, was rejected for “low vi sion“. He wasn't even being al lowed to appear again for the exam under the disability quota. After a court battle, he took the exam again, got selected in 2005 and was allocated IAS.

Similarly, Avikal Manu was selected in 2004 but told that his polio-affected right arm made him ineligible. He cleared the exam again in 2006 and with court help and the PM's intervention was allocated IRS.

In 2002, Rigzian Samphel and Lokesh Kumar, both physically challenged, had secured the120th and 132nd ranks among the 286 selected that year. They were relegated to the Indian Information Service though they were eligible for IAS. Only after they went to court and the PM stepped in they were allocated IAS. It's the struggle of several such determined candidates that's opened the doors for the disabled in the civil services.

While the overall picture now seems encouraging, it hides anomalies that persist such as allocating the disabled a service lower than what they're entitled to. Many accept it quietly.

The data hides the fact that many “successful“ candidates were allocated a service only after fighting long battles. Thousands of candidates with disabilities continue to take UPSC exams every year, though even today several are sent home after being selected.

Management Students Conspicuous By Their Absence

Rema Nagarajan | TIG

The Times of India

New Delhi: Bureaucracy? Perhaps, technocracy would be more apt, considering that more than a quarter of those who are selected in the all-India civil services examinations are engineers. The fact that an engineering student has topped the 2006 civil services list only reinforces the point.

A look at the educational qualification of candidates selected between 1998 and 2004 show that over 26% of them had an engineering degree. The number of engineers getting selected for the civil services, however, shows a slight dip over the years, while doctors are steadily increasing their share though medical science came into the fray only in the late 1980s.

Civil, mechanical and electrical engineering and medical science are optional subjects for the civil services main examinations, but engineering graduates and medical graduates are also known to choose other subjects like any of the pure science subjects or even humanities. ‘‘The peak was in the early 1990s,’’ recalls an IAS officer, himself an engineering graduate.

‘‘Out of about 80 IAS officers selected in 1991, nearly 50 were engineers. That was how strong the presence of engineers was. But with the introduction of the essay papers in 1983, on the recommendation of the Satish Chandra committee, the number of engineers coming into the civil services fell,’’ he adds.

One category that is conspicuous by its absence is management students. Government services seem to hold no charm for MBA graduates though a lot of bureaucratic work is all about managerial ability. Economic liberalisation since the mid-90s, which has created a huge demand for management graduates in the corporate sector, could explain such disinterest in government service. Except for one student who appeared and was selected from IIM Ahmedabad in 2003, there seem to be no MBA aspirants for the civil services. Lawyers too seem relatively less interested in the civil services.

Interestingly, over the years, graduates seem to do better than post-graduates and others with higher degrees. Graduates comprise nearly 60% of those selected, which of course includes engineering graduates. The success rate of those with a doctorate is not too encouraging. Candidates with a PG degree seem to fare better than those with PhDs.

History is invariably the subject chosen by the largest number of candidates as their optional subject in the main exam, followed by public administration, geography, Hindi literature, anthropology. However, those who have geography as their optional seem to have the highest success rate. Over 12% of selected candidates each year on average had geography as their optional, followed by 11% with public administration, and 9% who chose psychology. These are followed by history, sociology, mathematics and anthropology in that order.

However, if we were to confine the analysis to the subjects opted for by 100 or more candidates and look at the success ratios — the ratio of the number who appeared to the number selected — psychology is always among the top three subjects. The other two subjects in the top three might vary each year from Economics or Agriculture to even Mathematics or Tamil literature.

2002-2012: Profile of selected candidates

The Times of India, September 23, 2015

Rajiv Kumar

Expectations high from PM but he must fix bureaucratic talent crunch to deliver

Publicly available data from the Union Public Services Commission gives unfortunately , reveals a rather worrying trend. The competition for getting into the 24 covenanted civil services is as severe as it has ever been. Barely 0.36% of those applying in 2012 were selected as compared to 0.5% in 1997 (phew). Of those who finally made it, only 15.1% were between 21-24 years of age in 2012 compared to 17.4% in 2002. During the late 60s and 70s several joined the civil service straight after their undergraduate degrees. This would be unheard of today when as many as 35.8% of those selected in 2012 were older than 28 years. The rise in the share of `senior entrants' is partially because of an increase in the number of professionals, doctors, engineers and management graduates, whose share has more than doubled between 2002 and 2012. It still remains rather small at 15%, but the trend is clear. Moreover, the share of `reserved category candidates' including other backward castes, who have a higher age eligibility , has also risen from 48% in 2002 to 54% in 2012.Quite creditably , SC and ST candidates' share has gone up from 19% to 24% between 1998 and 2012. These senior entrants have limited career options and so could be easily under motivated. The conclusion is inescapable that top students, who would join at an early age, are not as keen as earlier to join the civil services. The writer is Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research and Founder Director of Pahle India Foundation

Reserved categories

2019: Cut-offs for EWS lower than for OBCs

August 12, 2020: The Times of India

The cut-offs for economically weaker section (EWS) candidates in the civil services examination 2019, the final results of which were announced by UPSC, were lower than those for other backward classes (OBC) candidates for all three stages of the exam and less than the cutoffs for SC and ST examinees at the mains stage. As per cut-off marks for different stages of the examination announced by UPSC, those for prelims, mains and final round for general candidates were 98, 751 and 961 respectively while for EWS candidates, the marks were 90, 696 and 909. For OBCs, the cut-offs were 95.3, 718 and 925 respectively; for SC candidates, they were 82, 706 and 898 and for ST candidates, they were 77.3, 699 and 893. This is the first year that EWS quota has been applied in the civil services exam. This, even as a plea challenging the quota is pending in the Supreme Court. The apex court had last week referred the matter to a fivejudge bench. The cut-offs, on the face of it, indicate that those in the EWS category would have found it impossible to make it without the quota. It may also raise questions over the extent of the lag between EWS or ‘backwards among forwards’ and other categories.

UPSC, as part of the results declared last week, had recommended 829 candidates for appointment to IAS, IFS, IPS and other Group A and B central services. Of these, 304 are in the general category, 78 in EWS category, 251 in OBC category, 129 SCs and 67 STs. As many as 182 were included in the consolidated reserve list.

The commission has said that “cut-off marks are subject to changes, as may be necessitated by the orders that may be passed by courts in matters pending before them”.

The cut-off for economically weaker section candidates in the civil services examination 2019 was also less than that for SC & ST examinees at the mains stage

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