Home / Civil Services / UPSC – Union Public Service Commission

UPSC – Union Public Service Commission

UPSC – Union Public Service Commission: Historical Background: Indianisation of the superior Civil Services became one of the major demands of the political movement compelling the British Indian Government to consider setting up of a Public Service Commission for recruitment to its services in the territory. The first Public Service Commission was set up on October 1st, 1926. However, its limited advisory functions failed to satisfy the people’s aspirations and the continued stress on this aspect by the leaders of our freedom movement resulted in the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act 1935. Under this Act, for the first time, provision was also made for the formation of Public Service Commissions at the provincial level.

The Constituent Assembly, after independence, saw the need for giving a secure and autonomous status to Public Service Commissions both at Federal and Provincial levels for ensuring unbiased recruitment to Civil Services as also for protection of service interests. With the promulgation of the new Constitution for independent India on 26th January, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission was accorded a constitutional status as an autonomous entity and given the title – Union Public Service Commission i.e. UPSC.

Constitutional Provisions of UPSC – Union Public Service Commission

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has been established under Article 315 of the Constitution of India. The Commission consists of a Chairman and ten Members. The terms and conditions of service of Chairman and Members of the UPSC Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969. The UPSC Commission is serviced by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary with two Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other supporting staff.

The Union Public Service Commission – UPSC –  have been entrusted with the following duties and role under the Constitution:

  1. Recruitment to services & posts under the Union through conduct of competitive examinations;
  2. Recruitment to services & posts under the Central Government by Selection through Interviews;
  3. Advising on the suitability of officers for appointment on promotion as well as transfer-on-deputation;
  4. Advising the Government on all matters relating to methods of Recruitment to various services and posts;
  5. Disciplinary cases relating to different civil services; and
  6. Miscellaneous matters relating to grant of extra ordinary pensions, reimbursement of legal expenses etc.

The major role played by the UPSC Commission is to select persons to man the various Central Civil Services and Posts and the Services common to the Union and States (viz. All-India Services).

Recruitment to various services and posts

Under Article 320 of the Constitution of India, the Commission are, inter-alia, required to be consulted on all matters relating to recruitment to civil services and posts.

Recruitment is made by one of the following three methods:

  1. Direct Recruitment;
  2. Promotion; and
  3. Transfer

DIRECT RECRUITMENT is conducted broadly under the following two methods:

  1. Recruitment by competitive examination.
  2. Recruitment by selection through interview.



Under the Constitution one of the functions of UPSC is to conduct examinations for appointment to Civil Services/Posts of the Union. In addition, competitive examinations are also held by the Commission under arrangements with the Ministry of Defence for entry to certain Defence Services, through the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and the Officers Training Academy.

UPSC usually conducts over a dozen examinations every year on an all India basis. These include Examinations for recruitment to services/posts in various fields, such as Civil Services, Engineering, Medical and Forest Service, etc.


Recruitment by Selection is made by the following methods:

  1. By Interview Only
  2. By Recruitment Test Followed By Interview


Where the number of applicants is very large, it is not practicable to call for Interview all the applicants who fulfill the minimum eligibility conditions prescribed. UPSC, therefore, shortlist the candidates to be called for the interview on the basis of certain pre-determined criteria related to the job. A large number of recruitment cases is handled by UPSC by the method (1) above.


In this category, there are two types of procedure followed:

a. An objective-type written and/or practical test to test the skill of the candidates followed by Interview, the final selection being decided by Interview, aided by the performance of the candidates in the written test and/or practical test.

b. An objective-type written and/or practical test to screen candidates to be called for interview, the final selection being decided by Interview only.

Appointment By Promotion And Transfer On Deputation/Transfer

In accordance with the procedure decided by the Government, in consultation with UPSC, Chairman or a Member of the Commission presides over the Departmental Promotion Committee Meetings to consider promotions from Group B to Group A and from one grade to another within group A, where promotion is to be made by Selection.


The Recruitment Rules for a number of posts provide for appointment by Transfer on Deputation (including short term contract) and Transfer. When the field of consideration consists of Central Government as well as State Government officers, prior consultation with the Commission is necessary for selection of an officer. When the file for consideration is made more broad-based and consists of not only Central/State Government officers but also officers from Non-Government Institutions, the selection has to be made in consultation with the Union Public Service Commission – UPSC.

All India Services

The All India Services Act, 1951 and Rules and Regulations framed there under regulate the recruitment and conditions of service in respect of the All India Services viz. Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service.

As far as direct recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service Examination are concerned, it is done through the Civil Services Examination and for the Indian Forest Service through the Indian Forest Service Examination held by the UPSC Commission.

The relevant Rules and Regulations provide that 33% of the vacancies in the IAS/IPS/IFS should be filled by promotion from amongst the officers of the State Service in consultation with the Commission. The Selection Committee presided over by Chairman/Member of the Commission consists of senior Government representatives of the Central Government and the State.




For more details on UPSC Civil Services Exam visit http://www.upsc.gov.in

To get success in UPSC Civil Services Exam, buy best books. Click here to buy books.

Review Overview

User Rating: Be the first one !

About Editor

Editor of www.IASaspirants.com -- one of the leading portal for preparation of Civil Services Exam conducted by UPSC, New Delhi. You will get every information, inspiration, books, notes, guides, previous years papers, practice papers, etc. you need to get SUCCESS in exam.

Check Also

UPSC Prelims 2014 Question Paper: General Studies Paper II

Share this on WhatsAppUPSC Prelims 2014 Question Paper Civil Services Prelims Exam 2014 General Studies: Paper …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *