As the candidates brace themselves for a career in the civil services it is pertinent for them to know at the very outset what would be their primary main responsibilities.
The ” Services” listed for recruitment through the UPSC civil service exam are of two categories, namely central services and the All India services. Central Services are responsible for discharging the functions / responsibilities of the central government in subjects under the List 1 and also in the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution under Article 246. As for instance the subjects under sl 10 to 16 of list 1 cover the responsibilities of the Indian Foreign Service. Each Central services cadre is responsible for administering specific laws pertaining to a central subject of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule such as “Taxes on income (Entry no 82 ) Duties of Customs including export duties”(83), duties of excise (51) and Posts and Telegraphs (31) or Corporation Tax (85), Audit of the accounts of the Union and the states.(76). Since policies have the force of law, the work and duties of every civil service including the All India services substantively relate to administration of laws and policies. This is equally applicable to the state civil service constituted in every state to administer the subjects under the list 2 State subjects and 3 – concurrent list.
2. The word administration means an act of administering an activity connected with government. It’s not management in the sense it is used in corporate parlance as in the latter situation the primary concern is enhancement of share holders values by earning profits. In a modern democratic state such as India administration means essentially carrying out functions in accordance with the laws, Rules made under the laws, policies and to deliver justice in a manner that is not only” just and fair but also appears to be so to the citizens.” This also means the sanctity and the requirement of strictly following the procedures laid down under the laws as violation of the same means violation of the ” procedural rights of the citizens”. Further, the outcome of all actions and functions of civil service officials are subject to review/ appeal either by the designated superior administrative authority or by the Courts at some stage or the other; and it means that the civil servants exercise powers conferred on them under different statutes in their own rights and are only answerable to the designated authorities and not to any other bodies. This concept of accountability is built into the Civil service conduct Rules and is a part of the Civil service ethics of Nation States which have adopted the Parliamentary form of government of the British model.
From this it follows that the Boards constituted by the UPSC to conduct the Personality test are required to see if the candidates whose academic merits have been already tested in the written examinations posess the qualities of leadership and the potential to deliver justice in discharging multifarious duties. These are well known such as capacity to think critically , weigh facts and evidence , appreciation of laws and policies, articulation intellectual and personal integrity of character. For the All India services over and above these, interest in other cultures, languages, societies and empathy are especially needed to deliver ” justice and development service” of the required standard. One must note that these are substantive qualities and therefore the Board will try to assess if the candidates have the potential to match these requirements in good measure .
The gross aberrations in the performance of duties by the civil servants which have come to the notice of the nation in Maharashtra and elsewhere are primarily due to wilful departure from the path of law and justice on the part of civil servants from the path of law justice and propriety.