The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the central recruiting agency in India. It is independent constitution body.
The first Public Service Commission was set up in India on October 1st, 1926. However, its limited advisory functions failed to satisfy the people’s aspirations and resulted in the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act 1935. Under this Act, for the first time, provision was also made for the formation of Public Service Commissions at the provincial (state) level.
The Constituent Assembly, after independence, saw the need for giving a secure and autonomous status to Public Service Commissions both at Federal and Provincial levels for ensuring unbiased recruitment to Civil Services as also for protection of service interests. With the promulgation of the new Constitution for independent India on 26th January, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission was accorded a constitutional status as an autonomous entity and given the title – Union Public Service Commission.
Composition of Commission: The UPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by President of India. The Commission consists of a Chairman and ten Members.
Tenure of members of the commission: The chairman and members of commission hold office for a term of 6 years or until they attain the age of 65 years whichever is earlier. However they can relinquish their offices any time by addressing their resignation to the President.
- Sir Ross Barker was the first chairman of the commission.
- Present Chairman of the commission is Shri Deepak Gupta.
Independence of the Commission: The constitution of India has made certain provision to ensure the independent functioning of UPSC. A few of them are:
- The chairman or a member of the UPSC can be removed from office by the president only in the manner and on the ground mentioned in the constitution. Hence, they enjoy security of tenure.
- The salaries and other expenses of the all members of the UPSC are charged on consolidated fund of India. Thus they are not subject to vote of parliament.
Functions of the commission:
The UPSC has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution of India. The commission has entrusted with the following duties:
- Recruitment to services & posts under the Union through conduct of competitive examinations;
- Advising on the suitability of officers for appointment on promotion as well as transfer-on-deputation;
- Advising the Government on all matters relating to methods of Recruitment to various services and posts;
Role of the commission:
The constitution visualizes the UPSC to be the ‘watch-dog of the merit system’ in India. It is concerned with the recruitment to the all- India services and Central services. It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions. These matters are handled by The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.