Union Public Service Commission
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.
- 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.
The President can remove the chairman or any other member of UPSC from the office under the following circumstances:
- If he is adjudged an insolvent (that is, has gone bankrupt);
- If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
- If he is, in the opinion of the president, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body. In addition to these, the president can also remove the chairman or anyother member of UPSC for misbehaviour.
The UPSC performs the following functions:
- It conducts examinations for appointments to the all-India services, Central services and public services of the centrally administered territories.
- It assists the states (if requested by two or more states to do so) in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which candidates possessing special qualifications are required.
- Matters related to grant of extension of service and re-employment of certain retired civil servants.The UPSC presents, annually, to the president a report on its performance.The President places this report before both the Houses of Parliament.
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.
- The Constitution visualises the UPSC to be the 'watch-dog of merit system’ in India. It is concerned with the recruitment to the all-India services and Central services—group A and group B and advises the government, when consulted, on promotion and disciplinary matters.
- It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions, cadre management, training, and so on. These matters are handled by the Department of Personnel and Training—one of the three departments of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
- Therefore, UPSC is only a central recruiting agency while the Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.