Civil Services in India

Evolution-A brief

Civil Service in India is as old as the British rule. Lord Warren Hastings laid its foundations which were subsequently reformed by Lord Cornwallis. British India Civil service was divided into covenanted and uncovenanted. In the former only Europeans were recruited. The uncovenanted posts comprised only of lower rungs of the administration.

In the post independence period the Civil Service underwent transformation, they were renamed and their nature was changed. For Example: The Judicial powers and Executive powers of the District magistrate was separated and a separate post of judicial magistrate was created. Sardar Vallabhai Patel envisioned that the Civil Service will serve as a medium for national integration.


The Civil Service is called the Steel Frame of India. Since India follows the Parliamentary form of Democracy, the ultimate power lies with the Politically elected representatives whereas the Civil services remains the Permanent Executive for implementing the policies of the Government. The types of civil service are explained in the diagram below.

Img Source: Slideshare

The members of the civil service work at the Pleasure of the President. The Rajya Sabha reserves the exclusive right to create a new All India Service. Article 311 protects them from arbitrary actions and thus provides constitutional protection to them.


Over reliance on Rules

Hierarchical Nature

Red Tape



Lack of Accountability

Lack of Transparency

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