Constitutional Provisions of Services under Union and States

The Constitution of India provides for the creation of All India Services that are common to the Union and the States. The All India Services Act, 1951 provides that the Central Government may make rules for regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the All India Services.

  • Presently only the IAS, the IPS and the IFS have been constituted as All India Services.
  • The recruitment to these services is made through the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of the annual Civil Services Examination.
  • This is intended to insulate the civil service from political influences and prevent the development of a patronage system.
  • The officers of the All India Services are recruited and trained by the Union Government and serve in the various State Governments as well as Centre.
  • Please note that the Indian Revenue Service is called a Central Service instead of an All India Service as they work only in the Central Government.

The officers of All India Services are organized into cadres, derived from the states they are allotted to work in for as long as they continue to be a member of the respective Service. Twenty-four states have their own cadre, but there are also three joint cadres: Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur-Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT). Recently the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Amendment Bill, 2011 was approved by the cabinet which seeks to provide for separate Cadres of All India Services for the States of Manipur and Tripura.

  • There are State Cadres and the Officers of All India Services (AIS) – Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service – are divided into State cadres.
  • When on probation the All India Service (AIS) Officers are allocated to their States. Officers of AIS working with the Central Government are posted on deputation for some years.
  • The AIS officers in a State cadre may be original residents of that State but almost 2/3 of all officers are from outside the state.
  • The AIS officer cannot demand his home State cadre but may put in request for being considered for the home cadre. Generally once allotted to a State, an officer for his whole service stays with that State cadre.

The All India Services Act 1951 empowers the government of India to make, after consultation with state governments, rules for the regulation of recruitment and conditions of service of the persons appointed to an All India Service.

Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Controlled by the Central Government.
  • Selected candidates are appointed to different state cadres and as and when required they also move to Central Government jobs on deputation.
  • IAS Officers are trained to handle government affairs. This being the main responsibility, every civil servant is assigned to a particular office which deals with policy matters pertaining to that area.
  • The policy matters are framed, modified, interpreted in this office under the direct supervision of the Administrative Officer in consultation with the Minister. The implementation of policies is also done on the advice of the Officer.
  • Cabinet Secretary stands at the top of the government machinery involved in Policy making followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Under Secretary and Junior Scale Officers in that order.

These appointments are filled by civil servants according to seniority in the Civil Services. In the process of decision making, a number of officers give their views to the Minister who weighs the matter and makes a decision considering the issue involved.

Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

India was one of the first countries in the world to introduce scientific forest management.

  • 1864 → British Raj established the Imperial Forest Department.
  • 1866 → Dietrich Brandis, a German forest officer, was appointed Inspector General of Forests.
  • 1867→The Imperial Forestry Service was organized subordinate to the Imperial Forest Department.

The British colonial government also constituted provincial forest services and executive and subordinate services similar to the forest administrative hierarchy used today. Officers appointed from 1867 to 1885 were trained in Germany and France, and from 1885 to 1905 at Cooper’s Hill, London, a noted professional colleges of forestry. From 1905 to 1926, the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and University of Edinburgh had undertaken the task of training Imperial Forestry Service officers.

  • From 1927 to 1932, forest officers were trained at the Imperial Forest Research Institute (FRI) at Dehradun, which had been established in 1906.
  • The Indian Forest College (IFC) was established in the 1938 at Dehradun, and officers recruited to the Superior Forest Service by the states and provinces were trained there.
  • Forestry, which was managed by the federal government until then, was transferred to the “provincial list” by the Government of India Act 1935, and recruitment to the Imperial Forestry Service was subsequently discontinued.
  • The modern Indian Forest Service was established in the year 1966, after independence, under the All India Services Act 1951.
  • The first Inspector General of Forests, Hari Singh, was instrumental in the development of the IFS.
Indian Police Service

The Indian Police Service is responsible for internal security, public safety and law and order. In 1948, a year after India gained independence from Britain; the Imperial Police (IP) was replaced by the Indian Police Service.

Please note that IPS is not a law enforcement agency; rather it is the body to which all senior police officers belong regardless of the agency for whom they work.

Applicability to Jammu & Kashmir

Article 308 says that in this part, the Expression State does not include the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This means that provisions of Part XIV don’t apply to Jammu & Kashmir. However, please note that we have a Jammu and Kashmir Cadre.

Regulation of recruitment and conditions of the public services

Article 309 empowers the Parliament and the state legislatures to regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of the persons appointed to public services and posts under the Centre and States respectively. The original constitution provided that until such laws are made, the president or Governor can make rules for the regulation of such matters.

Applicability of doctrine of pleasure

Doctrine of pleasure is applicable to public services. Article 310 says that the services under Part XIV are under the pleasure of the President or Governor. This section makes it clear that a person who is a member of a defense service or of a civil service of the Union or of an all-India service or holds any post connected with defense or any civil post under the Union holds office during the pleasure of the President, and every person who is a member of a civil service of a State or holds any civil post under a State holds office during the pleasure of the Governor 3 of the State.

Though, these officers hold the office during the pleasure of the president and Governor, yet their dismissal is subject to a condition. This condition has been stipulated in article 310(2). Article 310(2) says that in case of dismissal of a person from these services, the president or the Governor may (in order to secure the services of a person having special qualifications) provide for the payment to compensation. This compensation may be provided on the following grounds:

  • If the post is abolished before expiration of the contractual period or
  • If he / she is required to vacate that post for reasons not connected with misconduct on his / her part.
Removal and Dismissal of civil servants

Article 311 makes it clear that a person who is a member of the civil service of the Union or State can not be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed. The removal is possible only after an inquiry in which he / she has been informed of the charges against him / her and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.  However, the above rule is not applicable in the following cases:

  • If the person is convicted on a criminal charge.
  • If the authority empowered to remove him / her, records in written that there are satisfactory reasons to remove him / her from service and its practically not possible to conduct such inquiries. The decision of the authority in such cases is final.

If the Governor or President is satisfied that such inquiry is not needed in the interest of the security.

Creation of new All India Services

Article 312 says that if the Rajya Sabha has declared by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting (Special Majority) that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest so to do, Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one or more all India services. Please note that this also includes an All India Judicial Service. Article 312 also makes it clear that the services known at the commencement of Indian Constitution as the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service shall be deemed to be services created by Parliament under this article.

Proposed All India Judicial Service

Article 312 also makes it clear that the all-India judicial service shall not include any post inferior to that of a district judge as defined in article 236.  The law providing for the creation of the all-India judicial service aforesaid may contain such provisions for the amendment of Chapter VI of Part VI as may be necessary for giving effect to the provisions of that law and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

Change in condition of service of Civil Servants

Article 312 A makes it clear that the Parliament by law can change/ revoke the conditions of the services with respect to the remuneration, leave and pension and the rights as respects disciplinary matters of persons who, having been appointed to serve under the Government of India or of a State in any service or post.

The article 312 also makes it clear that dispute on such a decision shall not be questioned in any court.

State public service commissions

Article 315 makes provisions for Public Service Commissions for the Union and Each state. If two or more States may agree that there shall be one Public Service Commission for that group of States, and if a resolution to that effect is passed by the House or, where there are two Houses, by each House of the Legislature of each of those States, Parliament may by law provide for the appointment of a Joint State Public Service. Chairman and other members of a Public Service Commission shall be appointed as follows:

  • President → for UPSC and Joint Public Service Commission
  • Governor → for state public service commission

Further, around 50% of the members of every Public Service Commission shall be persons with minimum 10 years experience under Government of India or under the Government of a State.  A member of a Union Public Service Commission holds the office for a term of 6 years from the date on which he enters upon his office or 65 years of age. The age for State Public Service Commission or Joint Commission is 62 years. A member of Public service commission tenders his / her resignation to President (in case of UPSC/JPSC) or to Governor in case of State Public Service Commission.   A member of Public Service Commission is NOT eligible for reappointment into the same office again, once the term has expired.

Removal of chairman /member of the public service commission can be removed

Article 317 deals with the removal of the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission. Please note that thought the chairman and members of UPSC / JPSC are appointed by President and State PSCs by Governor, the removal of chairman or any member of even a state Public Service Commission can be done ONLY by President.

They can be removed from office by order of the President on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry held in accordance with the procedure prescribed in that behalf under article 145, reported that the Chairman or such other member, as the case may be, ought on any such ground to be removed.

However, this article makes it clear that President, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, and the Governor in the case of a State Commission, may suspend from office the Chairman or any other member of the Commission in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court. This suspension would be valid until the President has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference.

number of members in public service commissions

Article 318 makes it clear that the numbers of members of commission, conditions of service etc. are determined by the President in case of UPSC and JPSC and Governor in case of State PSCs.

Can chairman of UPSC join any other government job after he has ceased to hold office?

No. Article 319 makes it clear that once the chairman of the UPSC has ceased to hold the office, he / she shall be ineligible for further employment, either under Government of India or Government of state.

However, the same article makes clear that Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission or as the Chairman of any other State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.

The members of the UPSC shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.

How examinations are conducted by Public Service Commissions?

Article 320 makes it clear that it shall be the duty of the Union and the State Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union and the services of the State respectively.

If two or more states request the UPSC to assist the states in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required, UPSC will help them out.

Article 321 says that an act made by Parliament or  Legislature of a State may provide for the exercise of additional functions by the Union Public Service Commission or the State Public Service Commission.

Article 322 makes it clear that expenses of the Union or a State Public Service Commission, including any salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or Consolidated Fund of the State.

Who submits the report of public service commission’s in parliament / assembly?

Article 323 makes it clear that it will be the duty of the UPSC to present annually to the President a report as to the work done by the Commission and on receipt of such report the President shall cause it to be laid before each House of Parliament.

In case of state public service commission, the same will be done by the Governor.

If the case is of a Joint Public Service Commission, then the JPSC will present a report annually to the Governor of each of the States the needs of which are served by the Joint Commission a report as to the work done by the Commission in relation to that State.


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