Development of civil services in India - GovtVacancy.Net

Development of civil services in India - GovtVacancy.Net
Posted on 10-07-2022

Development of civil services in India

In ancient times, although there is no clear example of civil service with modern meaning and dimensions, according to the circumstances of the time and country, various empires and rulers paved the way for the formation of civil services and servants. In the Maurya administration, civil servants were appointed in the name of the president and 'rajuk'. Kautilya's Arthashastra indicates that even during that period the process of selection of civil servants was not easy. The vast expansion of the Mauryan  Empire had made it necessary to appoint qualified civil servants and administrators on the basis of merit and superiority. Kautilya has described loyalty and honesty as the two most essential qualities for civil servants. Maurya The administrator of trade in the empire was called 'Panyadhyaksha' and the administrator who looked after agriculture was called Sitadhyaksha. Kautilya had recommended they keep a constant vigil on their functions and also considered it necessary to get their appointments approved by a Vigilance Department. The Stadhyaksha was the head of the Defense Department, which handled the responsibility of protecting the people from foreign invasion and guarding the borders. The Swarnadhyaksha looked after both and regulated the matters relating to various minerals, gold, silver, iron, diamond, etc. The forested head was the head of the forest department, who formulated the forest policies. The head of the measurement department was called 'In-charge'. Thus, in the Maurya Empire, the various chiefs performed the same role as the civil servants. Was. Similarly, the role of civil servants is also seen in the administrative activities of the Gupta period.


During the Mughal period,  Akbar made an indirect effort to promote civil service. In 1557, he initiated land reforms and laid the foundation of a land revenue system. This system later formed the background of the Indian taxation system. The East India Company, established in 1600 AD,  also had its own civil service, which was responsible for carrying out commercial functions.


Lord Cornwallis introduced the civil service in India during the British rule, so that the British territories in India could be administered better. Cornwallis adopted stricter regulations for officers, increased their salaries so that they could be free from corruption,  and also linked promotion to seniority. These efforts turned the civil service into a highly sought-after profession. In the year  1801, Fort William College was opened in Calcutta to train young civil servants. Another institution that provided training to them was the East India  College in England. Initially civil servants were nominated by the directors of the East India Company. Whereas in the year 4853, this system was abolished and  a provision was made to make all the appointments through competitive examinations.


In the year 1854, the Macaulay Committee provided the first modern civil service to India. This  committee recommended that a quality permanent civil service be introduced through competitive examinations in place of the  Patronage based system of the East India Company . After 1855, the recruitment to the Indian Civil Service (ICS)  started being purely on the basis of merit. Initially, candidates were recruited for this service only from Oxford and Cambridge (London)  , but after 1922, this examination was organized in India as well  .

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