The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is the central recruiting agency in India. It is an independent constitutional body in the sense that it has been directly created by the Constitution. Articles 315 to 323 in Part XIV of the Constitution contain elaborate provisions regarding the composition, appointment and removal of members along with the independence, powers and functions of the UPSC.
The UPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the president of India. The Constitution, without specifying the strength of the Commission has left the matter to the discretion of the president, who determines its composition. Usually, the Commission consists of nine to eleven members including the chairman. Further, no qualifications are prescribed for the Commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the Commission should be such persons who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the government of a state. The Constitution also authorise the president to determine the conditions of service of the chairman and other members of the Commission.
The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. However, they can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the president. They can also be removed before the expiry of their term by the president in the manner as provided in the Constitution.
The President can appoint one of the members of the UPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances :
a) When the office of the chairman falls vacant; or
b) When the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.
The acting chairman functions till a person appointed as chairman enters on the duties of the office or till the chairman is able to resume his duties.
Functions of Union Public Service Commission
The major functions of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) under Article Section 320 of the Constitution of India are:
- To conduct various examinations for the appointment to the services of the Union
- Direct Recruitment by selection through interviews
- Appointing Department officers on promotion, deputation and through absorption
- Constituting and amending the Recruitment Rules for various services and posts under the Government.
- Disciplinary cases relating to different Civil Services
- About any matter related to the UPSC, they can directly recommend the Government by the President of Indian
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