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Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) | POLITY

Introduction | Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

  • 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.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 315 to 323 of Indian Constitution has a provision for such an agency.
  • According to Act 315 of the constitution of India, there shall be a permanent Union Public Service Commission for appointment to the various posts of the central government services.
  • Similarly, as Act 318 of the constitution of India also stated that the Union Public Service Commission will be constituted with a chairman and a fixed number of members; the number of such members and the terms and conditions of their service is to be determined by the President of India.
  • The President, as such, appoints the Chairman and other members of the commission for a period of six years.

Composition of Union Public Service Commission

  • The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) consists of a chairman and ten members. The terms and conditions of service of the chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.
  • On 7th August 2020, Pradeep Kumar Joshi has been appointed as the chairman of UPSC. He was earlier the member of the UPSC. He will remain in the UPSC office as the chairman till 12th May 2021.
  • Arvind Saxena was the UPSC Chairman before Pradeep Kumar Joshi. His tenure ended on 7th August 2020.

Eligibility and Tenure of Chairman & Members

  • The President of India appoints the Chairman and other members of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Generally, the members of the commission are the civil servants with at least 10 years of experience either in Central or State service.
  • The Commission is examined by a Secretariat led by a Secretary with two Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other assistant staff.
  • Each member holds office for a term of 6 years or until he attains the age of 65 years.

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

Exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission

The UPSC is authorized to conduct various examinations in India and the list of exams is given below.

  • Civil Services Examination
  • Indian Forest Service Examination
  • Engineering Services Examination
  • Combined Defence Services Examination
  • National Defence Academy Examination
  • Naval Academy Examination
  • Combined Medical Services Examination
  • Special Class Railway Apprentice
  • Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination
  • Combined Geoscientist and Geologist Examination
  • Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandant) Examination

Independence of UPSC

The Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of the UPSC:

  • The chairman or a member of the UPSC can be removed from office by the President only in the manner and on the grounds mentioned in the Constitution. Thus, they enjoy security of tenure.
  • The conditions of service of the chairman or a member, though determined by the President, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The entire expenses including the salaries, allowances, and pensions of the Chairman and members of the UPSC are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
  • The chairman of the UPSC on ceasing to hold office is not eligible for further employment in the Government of India or any state.
  • A member of the UPSC is eligible for appointment as the Chairman of UPSC or a State Public Service Commission but not for any other employment in the Government of India or any state
  • The chairman or a member of UPSC is not eligible for reappointment to that office for a second term.

Limitations of UPSC

The following matters are kept outside the functional jurisdiction of the UPSC. In other words, the UPSC is not consulted on the following matters:

  • While making reservations of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens.
  • While taking into consideration the claims of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in making appointments to services and posts.
  • With regard to the selections for chairmanship or membership of commissions or tribunals, posts of the highest diplomatic nature and a bulk of group C and group D services.
  • With regard to the selection for temporary or officiating appointment to a post if the person appointed is not likely to hold the post for more than a year.

The president can exclude posts, services and matters from the purview of the UPSC. The Constitution states that the president, in respect to the all-India services and Central services and posts may make regulations specifying the matters in which, it shall not be necessary for UPSC to be consulted. But all such regulations made by the president shall be laid before each House of Parliament for at least 14 days. The Parliament can amend or repeal them.

 

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