India is a democratic country and according to this democratic system, the citizen of the country confers the power. Elected representatives are answerable to the citizen of the country and all the administration works according to them.
So it is believed that civil services fulfil the will of parliament but the fact is that civil services have a powerful impact over the decision of the cabinet. As we know that parliament makes the rules and passes the bills and its civil services responsibility to implement it on the ground level.
India has three pillars that ensure the functionality of the state. These three pillars are as follows; Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The civil service is a part of executive pillars. Ministers and cabinet members also come under the category of the executive. But unlike ministers, the civil services’ workers are permanent hence that have a stronger impact on the society.
Importance of Civil Services
Justice B Chandra Kumar of High Court Andhra Pradesh once quoted that honest intellectual and purposeful person who could influence society and help steer the nation in the right direction needed. these type of people we have in politics but their impact is more if we have them in civil services.
If we compare the politicians, especially ministers with civil service workers then we will find that on grounds the work of a civil service worker is as important as it’s of an elected representative.
Civil services are considered as the main component of the Indian administrative system. Indian civil services can be categorised as Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Both of the services are among the dream career of many youngsters. Civil Services is considered as an appealing career among the students because of its importance and challenges associated with this profession.
Civil Services support the chosen representatives to develop effectual policies. Civil Services help the elected repetitive with their experience, better understanding of public affairs and knowledge. Implementing the policies for the welfare of society will not be possible without the civil services. The other importance of civil services is that civil services handle the most difficult civilian situations and try to resolve before they get out of control.
India is a country with much different religion and culture, so in the case of some conflicts between two groups, its civil services that handle and stop it. India has constitutional fairness and its operations are depending on Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, and Free Press, each of them works to support the democracy.
The civil services work as a subdivision of government which is usually grouped with the Executive, and without which governments cannot function. Mainly civil services are associated with the following works; Give advice to the executive, Assist the political executive to Formulate or implement policy.
Historical Review of Civil Services
Civil service is basically a government official body which is neither political nor judicial. Both political and judicial bodies and important for society but we cannot think of a society without civil services. Civil Services or public administration system is not new, it is presented in India since ancient time. Many historians believe that during Mauryan kingdom the signs of public administration were present.
The adhyakshas and rajukas of that time used to work like civil services of today’s time. In Kautilya’s Arthasastra also the presence of civil servants is mentioned. Later on, during the Moghul period, these civil servants became state servants. After Moghuls, East India Company also follows the same module of civil services but their works and responsibilities have also changed.
During East India Company time, the civil servants had to handle the financial matters as well. In modern time, Lord Wellesley was the first person who felt the need of qualifies public administrators in 1800 AD.
The present public administration of India is influenced by British’s public administration system. The British Government established the civil services basically with the aim of strengthening the British administration in India but this system worked for the development of India. After independence, in the constitution of India, more rights were given to civil services.
Constitutional Provisions Related to Civil Services in India
In the constitution of India, some powers were given to the civil service. These powers are as follows;
- At present IAS, IFS, and IPS all three of them has been constituted as All India services.
- According to Articles 53 and 154, the executive power of the Union and the States vests in the President or Governor directly or through officers subordinate to him.
- According to Article 315, there shall be a Public Service Commission for the Union and a Public Service Commission for each State.
- Article 320 describes the functions of Public Service Commissions. According to this article, 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.
Apart from the aforementioned articles many other articles after also present in India’s constitution that describes different rules associated with civil services.
Major Responsibilities of Civil Servants
To understand the role of civil services in democracy, we will have to look at their responsibilities. IAS, IPS, and IFS all three carry different roles but some of their responsibilities are common. We cannot deny that civil services play a crucial role to maintain the peace and ensure continuity of development to the society. Let’s look at the major responsibilities of civil servants;
- Civil Services serve the government of the day. Civil services implement the rules and schemes developed and introduced by the government. Civil Service is an essential function of government and its all responsibilities revolve around the government’s instruction.
- Civil servants are responsible to maintain law, especially during the crucial time.
- When the elected representatives want, civil servants need to produce a report based on their working area. On the bases on a report, the government takes some steps.
- Civil servants are also responsible for public interest in maintaining the law and ensuring that proper procedures are followed.
Major Criticisms of Indian Civil Services
We have understood that civil services are essential for the development of society and for the implementation of government policies on the ground. But some criticisms are also attached to civil services.
Outdated rules are ones of the issues which stop the civil servants to give their best performance. Too much political interface stops the civil servants to work at their best. Civil servants need to be more open to the common people to understand their needs.
In a democracy, the government runs by the elected representatives but these representatives work for 5 years and civil servants are for permanent. So we need to admit that although the civil servants are not the elected representatives they ate equally important.
Civil servants are effective policy implementer and effective policymakers. This is the reason that many civil servants are present in government’s rules-making team. As in a movie, a politician says to a civil servant that we are here for 5 years but you are here for a longer time. Civil services are the need of the hour but the government needs to implement technology to make it more effective.