(Last Updated on : 09-05-2012)
The Indian Civil Service (ICS), also known as the British India Civil Service, was the civil service of the Government of India
during the era of the rule of British Empire in India
. The members of the civil service were appointed under Section XXXII of the Government of India Act
, 1858 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. After the year 1886, the Indian Civil Service was officially known as Imperial Civil Service. During the initial period, all of the major 1000 officials were Europeans, who received education in the most esteemed British schools. Later by 1914, around 5 per cent of the officials of the Indian Civil Service comprised of Indians. In the year 1942, there were 588 British members and 597 Indian members. At the time of Indian independence, most of the British officials left.
During the Partition of India
in 1947, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was segregated between Pakistan and India. The current Civil Service of India and the Pakistan Civil Service descended from the erstwhile Indian Civil Service. It is regarded as one of the most significant legacies of British India, along with the Indian army, the Indian legal system and the Indian railway
History of Indian Civil Service
Since 1858, after the end of the rule of British East India Company in the country, the British civil service took control of the administrative responsibilities. As a result of the Great Revolt of 1857
, also known as the India's First War of Independence or the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British Government of India was severely affected, which caused the change in governance.
Entry to Indian Civil Service
The competitive examination for the entry into the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was merged for the Diplomatic, the Indian, the Home and the Colonial Services. As per the rules, the candidates were to be aged between the years 21 and 24 that provided the candidates 2 opportunities for entry. A total of 1,900 marks were possible for the entrance examination. Successful candidates had to undergo 1 or 2 years probation in England, which was based on whether they had taken the Indian or the London examination. The candidates spent this period at the University of Cambridge, the School of Oriental Studies in London or the University of Oxford.
By the year 1920, there were 5 methods present for entry into the higher civil service-
* The open competitive examinations in London
* Separate competitive examinations in India
* Nomination in India to satisfy provincial and communal representation
* Promotion from the Provincial Civil Service
* Appointments from the bar which by one fourth of the posts, out of the total posts reserves for the Indian Civil Service were to be filled from the bar.
Decline to Indian Civil Service
The rule and control of the British administration rested on the Imperial Civil Service or the Indian Civil Service, which gradually faced more difficulties. After 1919, fewer candidates in Britain showed interest in participating in the competitive exams and joining the civil service. Moreover the ongoing distrust of Indians resulted in a declining and waning base in terms of quantity and quality. By the year 1945, Indians were numerically dominant in the Indian Civil Service (ICS) and at issue was loyal divided between the British Empire and Indian independence.
The finances and funds of the British Empire depended on land taxes, which became challenging during the 1930s. The British repression of Civil Disobedience after the year 1934 temporarily augmented the power of the revenue agents. After 1937, the British were compelled by the new Congress-controlled provincial governments to provide back seized lands. During the Quit India movement
, the revenue collectors had to depend on armed forces and by 1946- 1947, direct British control was fast fading in most of the countryside.
During the time of the Partition of India, the Imperial Civil Service or the Indian Civil Service was split between the newly independent Union of India
and the Dominion of Pakistan. The segment that was assigned to the newly independent India retained the name Indian Civil Service and Pakistan renamed its segment as the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP).