The Government of India Act, 1935:- Public Service Commission (Part-2)


“This was the legacy which Public Service Commission’s of independent India inherited. But has independence brought about any. change in their role? Now, so far as their organisation is concerned, the Constitution has removed all those limitations from which they suffered formerly. They are now organised according to three main principles, viz., (i) their independence from the Executive; (ii) within the Commission the viewpoints of the civil servants and the public men to be balanced; and (iii) Commission is the custodian of merit in the Civil Service, while management of public personnel remains entirely the responsibility of the Government.

Independence of the Commission is necessary for its functioning effectively as the protector of the merit system from nepotism and favouritism likely to be practised by the party government in order to serve their party or personnel ends. The constitution lays down the following provisions for safeguarding the independence of the Public Service Commission’s :

1. The Chairman and members of the Commission are appointed by the President or the Governor, as the case may be, for a period of six years with overlapping tenures of service.

2. The number of the members and the terms of their service are fixed by the President or the Governor. But their salaries and emoluments cannot be changed to their disadvantage during their tenure of office. Further, all the expenditure incurred in payment of the salaries and emolument of the members and staff of the Commission and on its upkeep is charged on the Consolidated Fund of the country which means that it is not subject to the vote of the Parliament or the State Legislature, as the case may be.

3. The tenure of office of the Chairmen and members of the Commission has been made secure for six years. Any of them can be removed from office before the expiry of his term by an order of the President or the Government.

4. In order to ensure to the Commissions the services of persons of mature age and long experience, the age of retirement has been fixed at sixty years for the members of the State Commission and at sixty-five for those of the Union Service Commission. This provision and the previous one make it almost certain that only persons in their fifties and sixties will be appointed to the Commissions, It also makes it possible for the Union Public Service Commission to avail of the services of such members of the State Service Commissions who have made their mark there more eminently.

These provisions have sufficiently strengthened the position of the Public Service Commissions. But in actual practice the system has been seen to suffer from certain loopholes. The Constitution has failed to prescribe any qualifications for, and mode of selection of, the members of the Commissions. Governments have equally failed to follow any uniform rules in these matters, with the result that may appointments to these august bodies smack of political considerations and consequently, the prestige of, and respect for, these Commissions, specially of the States, is not high in the public eyes. This fact has deprived the system of several advantages which might have accrued to it because of the existence of the above-noted constitutional safeguards.” There is also the need, in this country, of a popular and unofficial agency which may function as a forum of discussion of the  problems and policies of personnel management and the role of the Public Service Commissions in them. An Annual Conference of Public Service Commission’s may serve this purpose[2], but only to a limited extent Probably, an all- India Council of Personnel Administration, consisting of representatives of the Public Service Commissions and officials representing the personnel directors in the Central and State governments would best serve this purpose It will be a permanent semi-official body of eminent persons in the field of personnel administration, hence its deliberations and opinions will have a profound effect upon the policies and activities of the government as well as the Public Service Commission.

[1] Bidyut  Chakraborty, India  politics  and  society  since  independence,  Routledge publication,  first  edition, (2008).

[2]  Two such conferences have already been.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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