Analyse the growth of Indian Civil Services till the passing of the GoI Act,1919

The Charter Act of 1853, threw open the Civil Service to a competition for all citizens of the British empire. It ended the patronage (nomination) of Directors of the East Indian Company in appointing Civil Servants. In 1858, the Government declared its intention to admit all citizens, impartially, to the services. A committee under Lord Macualay was constituted to establish regulation regarding age, qualifications and subject etc.

In 1860, London was fixed as centre of exam. In 1861, Indian Civil Services Act was passed and it was named as ICS. SN Tagore was the first Indian to enter the ICS. Age limit was reduced to 21 in 1866, lowered to 19 in 1877 and again increased to 21 in mainly to exclude the Indians.

The statutory Civil Services was introduced in 1878-79. It empowered the government to fill 1/6th the vacancies by nomination among the aristocratic Indians. Scholarship Scheme was introduced in 1878 by Lytton.

In 1886 Aitchinson Commission was setup to review the Civil Services. It suggested to abolish statutory civil services and to strengthen provincial services. But, it rejected simultaneous exams in India.

Soon after the term covenanted services was abolished and three classes of services, ie imperial, provincial and subordinate were established. The Royal Commission under Islington (1912) accepted the demand for simultaneous exams in London and India. It also suggested to have 33 percent Indians with annual go up by 1.5 percent in superior civil services. The government gave effect to it through GoI Act, 1919. In a conciliatory mood, Montague, Secretary of State, declared the intention of opening of civil services fully to Indians during the First World War.

Thus, the Indian Civil Services evolved till 1919. It became the steel frame of British rule in India safeguarding and furthering its interests.

September 20, 2016

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