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  • The civil service system in India during the British times was based essentially on the Mughal system, albeit with certain refinements. But the big changes came with the implementation of Macaulay’s Report.
  • The Macaulay Report recommended that only the best and brightest would do for the Indian Civil Service. The Report said, ‘It is undoubtedly desirable that the civil servants of the Company should have received the best, the most liberal, the most finished education that the native country affords’.
  • The Report insisted that the civil servants of the Company should have taken their first degree in arts at Oxford or Cambridge.
  • The Macaulay Committee cannot be faulted for its enthusiasm to get the best and the brightest for the ICS.
  • After all, the interests of the Empire itself demanded that the civil service of colonial India attract the best talents of the British universities.                  PUBLIC SERVICES UNDER THE BRITISHERS
  • The Report suggested that the educational background of the colonial administrator should be even more comprehensive than that of the civil servant in England.
  • In the words of the Committee, ‘Indeed, in the case of the civil servant of the Company, a good general education is even more desirable than in the case of the English professional man; for the duties even of a very young servant of the Company are more important than those which ordinarily fall to the lot of a professional man in England’.
  • The advocacy for the best talents of England to look after the imperial interests in India could not have been done with greater sophistry.
  • In 1835, Lord Macaulay did admit before the British Parliament: “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage”.
  • But Macaulay’s Report was a product of the times. At the time that the Committee reported, British political supremacy in India had matured into a paramount sovereign power capable of imposing its will through its bureaucratic agency.                PUBLIC SERVICES UNDER THE BRITISHERS

From Wellesley through the Marques of Hastings to Dalhousie, the political authority of the British in India kept growing; and the scope of operations of the Empire had increased substantially.

Clearly, the services of the ICS men were trusted agents of the British Government even though there were also many patriots among them.

The ICS was the instrument of the imperial power, and the leaders of the Indian National Congress had made it clear during their struggle for independence that they wanted to abolish the ICS and all it stood for.




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