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Evolution Of UPSC

Evolution Of UPSC

Civil Servants for the East India Company used to be nominated by the Directors of the Company and thereafter trained at Haileybury College in London and then sent to India.


Following Lord Macaulay’s Report , the concept of a merit based modern Civil Service in India with entry through competitive examinations was introduced in 1854. For this purpose, a Civil Service Commission was setup in 1854 in London and competitive examinations were started in 1855.(exams were held only in London)

    Difficulty for Indians:

  • Initially, the examinations for Indian Civil Service were conducted only in London.

  • Maximum age was 23 years and minimum age was 18 years. The syllabus was designed such that European Classics had a predominant share of marks. (Difficult for Indian candidates)

  • In 1864, the first Indian, Shri Satyendranath Tagore brother of Shri Rabindaranath Tagore succeeded.

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  • After the First World War and the Montagu Chelmsford reforms simultaneous examinations held. From 1922 onwards the Indian Civil Service Examination began to be held in India.

  • With the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission in India. The Examination in London continued to be conducted by the Civil Service Commission.


  • Entry into Imperial Police was thrown open to Indians only after 1920 and the following year examinations for the service were conducted both in England and India


  • British India Government started the Imperial Forest Department in 1864.

  • Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867. From 1867 to 1885, the officers appointed to Imperial Forest Service were trained in France and Germany.

  • In 1920, it was decided that further recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service would be made by direct recruitment in England and India and by promotion from the provincial service in India.

  • After independence, the Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 under All India Service Act 1951.

    Civil services:

  • In 1887, the Aitchinson Commission recommended the re-organization of the services on a new pattern and divided the services into three groups-Imperial, Provincial and Subordinate. The recruiting and controlling authority of Imperial services was the ‘Secretary of State’.

  • With the passing of the Indian Act 1919, the Imperial Services headed by the Secretary of State for India, were split into two-
    • All India Services
    • Central Services

  • The central services were concerned with matters under the direct control of the Central Government. Apart from the Central Secretariat, the more important of these services were the Railway Services, the Indian Posts and Telegraph Service, and the Imperial Customs Service.

    Public service commission

  • Government of India Act, 1919. Section 96(C) of the Act provided for the establishment in India of a Public Service Commission.(But no progress)

  • The subject was then referred to the Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India (also known as Lee Commission).

  • The Lee Commission, in their report in the year 1924, recommended that the statutory Public Service Commission contemplated by the Government of India Act, 1919 should be established without delay.


  • It was on October 1, 1926 that the Public Service Commission was set up in India for the first time. It consisted of four Members in addition to the Chairman.

  • Sir Ross Barker, a member of the Home Civil Service of the United Kingdom was the first Chairman of the Commission.

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  • Further, the Government of India Act, 1935 envisaged a Public Service Commission for the Federation and a Provincial Public Service Commission for each Province or group of Provinces.

  • Therefore, in terms of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935 and with its coming into effect on 1st April, 1937, the Public Service Commission became the Federal Public Service Commission.

Finally UPSC (Union Public Service Commission):

With the inauguration of the Constitution of India in January 26, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission came to be known as the Union Public Service Commission, by virtue of of Article 378 of the Constitution.