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Durable Link to this BlogSaturday, May 31, 2008

The Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.)

Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.)

Indian Civil Service (ICS) was a competitive examination instituted in 1861, for the recruitment of officers to help the British in running the country. Earlier there was an examination for British and European candidates only to help affairs of East India Company. Indians were thought to be fit only for lowly jobs.

The year 1857 changed all this. The need for a team of well trained officers was felt more than ever. A competitive examination for civil services was started in 1861. But recruitment rules were made vary strict. The entry age was 21 and later reduced to 19 years. The place of examination was London. This restriction made Indians almost impossible to appear for this "public" examination!

Over years the British realized their mistake and the rules liberalized regarding the age. The ratio of officers of Indian Origin which was very much less increased to 33% in 1923 and to 75% by 1935. Indian police, medical, education, forest, irrigation services came under the purview of Indian Civil Service.

Industry and private enterprise were not allowed to develop by the British. Business continued on family and traditional lines. Hence government service was the only venue open for educated middle class. ICS post was the dream for the educated elite, as the prestige, salary and perks were very high in ICS. Examinations later started to be conducted in India only.

After Independence, ICS made way for Indian Administrative Service(I.A.S). This is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission stationed in Delhi. This august body arranges numerous examinations for different posts in administration to run the affairs efficiently.

Amma's Column by Jyotsna Kamat

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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