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Union Public Service Commission

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is a constitutional body, recruits candidates for various posts through a rigorous examination process which goes on for almost a year.

The controlling authority for the IAS and IPS is The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and for IFS, it is the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change.

Though the officers are placed under various state cadres, the state governments cannot take disciplinary action against the officers without consulting the Central government and the UPSC. But this level of independence has been criticized by various quarters of the civil society.

Composition of the UPSC

For the purpose of the higher level civil services of the Union Government, the Constitution provides for the setting up of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The number of members of the Commission and the conditions of their service are left to be determined by the President, which means the government

It has since been decided that there shall be a chairman and six to eight members of the Commission. The chairman and the members of the Commission are appointed by the President.

The Constitution provides that at least half the members have to be persons who have served for at least ten years under the Government of India or a State Government.

A member holds office for a term of six years from the date he joins duty or until he attains the age of sixty five years, whichever is earlier.

The Chairman is ineligible for any future employment under the government, but other members are entitled to accept the chairmanship of the UPSC or of a State Public Service Commission.

The conditions of service of members cannot be changed to their disadvantage after appointment.

Their salaries, allowances, etc. are not submitted to the vote of Parliament as they are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.


It is also provided that the chairman or a member of the Commission can be removed from office by the President on the ground of misbehaviour.

It is only after an inquiry by Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President. Pending the inquiry by the Court, the President may suspend the member concerned.

A member including the chairman would be deemed guilty of misbehaviour if he becomes interested in any monetary benefit in the discharge of duties as a member. It is also provided that the President may remove the chairman or any other member from office, on the ground of insolvency, infirmity of mind or body, or if he is engaged during the term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office.


As per Article 322, the expenses of the Union 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.

The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.

As mentioned in Article 320 of the Constitution of India, the Commission shall be consulted on all matters relating to recruitment to civil services and posts in India. The Commission carries out its functions through the Secretariat, further divided in divisions. Details and work of each division is mentions above in the ‘Secretariat’ section of this article. In a nutshell, the Commission perform following tasks:

  1. Conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union.
  2. Recruitment (Direct) by selection through interviews.
  3. Appointment of Department officers on promotion, deputation and through absorption.
  4. Framing and amendment of Recruitment Rules for various services and posts under the Government.
  5. Disciplinary cases relating to different Civil Services.
  6. On any matter referred to the UPSC, they can directly advice the Government by the President of India.

UPSC is India’s central recruiting agency. It is mandated by the Constitution of India for recruitment to Central and All India Services of the Republic of India. It carries out this task through 4 modes:

  1. Direct Recruitment
  2. Promotion
  3. Deputation/absorption
  4. Composite Method (Deputation + Promotion)

The Commission has the responsibility of direct recruitment at various levels by the method of “selection” to Group “A” Posts and selected Group “B” Posts in the Central Government.

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