UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2020: The Union Public Service Commission postpones UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam 2020 on its official website upsc.gov.in. The UPSC prelim examination was scheduled to be held on 31 May but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, the Commission said that it will not be able to hold the exam.
A statement by the Commission said, “The Commission held a special meeting on May 4, 2020, to review the situation after the second phase of the nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Taking notice of the extension of restrictions, the Commission decided that it will not be possible to resume examinations and interviews for the present. The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020, scheduled to be held on May 31, 2020 therefore stands deferred.”
According to the UPSC, since this examination also serves as the screening test for the Indian Forest Service Examination, ‘the schedule for the Indian Forest Service
Examination is also deferred.’ The UPSC said it will review the situation again on 20 May before it announces fresh dates for these examinations.
“The Commission has already deferred the following: (a) Personality test for remaining candidates for the Civil Services Examination, 2019; (b) Notification for the Indian Economic Service/Indian Statistical Service Examination, 2020; (c) Notification for the Combined Medical Services Examination, 2020; (d) Notification for the Central Armed Police Forces Examination, 2020 and (e) the NDA & Naval Academy Examination, 2020.
As and when dates are decided for the deferred tests/examinations, it will be ensured that candidates are given a notice of at least 30 days,” the UPSC statement read.
Civil Servants for the East India Company used to be nominated by the Directors
of the Company and thereafter trained at Haileybury College in London and then sent to
India. Following Lord Macaulay’s Report of the Select Committee of British Parliament,
the concept of a merit based modern Civil Service in India was introduced in 1854. The
Report recommended that patronage based system of East India Company should be
replaced by a permanent Civil Service based on a merit based system with entry
through competitive examinations. For this purpose, a Civil Service Commission was
setup in 1854 in London and competitive examinations were started in 1855. Initially,
the examinations for Indian Civil Service were conducted only in London. Maximum age
was 23 years and minimum age was 18 years. The syllabus was designed such that
European Classics had a predominant share of marks. All this made it difficult for Indian
candidates. Nevertheless, in 1864, the first Indian, Shri Satyendranath Tagore brother
of Shri Rabindaranath Tagore succeeded. Three years later 4 other Indians succeeded.
Throughout the next 50 years, Indians petitioned for simultaneous examinations to be
held in India without success because the British Government did not want many
Indians to succeed and enter the ICS. It was only after the First World War and the
Montagu Chelmsford reforms that this was agreed to. From 1922 onwards the Indian
Civil Service Examination began to be held in India also, first in Allahabad and later in
Delhi with the setting up of the Federal Public Service Commission. The Examination in
London continued to be conducted by the Civil Service Commission.
Similarly, prior to independence superior police officers belonged to the Indian (Imperial)
Police appointed by the Secretary of State by competitive examination. The first open
competition for the service was held in England in June, 1893, and 10 top candidates
were appointed as Probationary Assistant Superintendents of Police. Entry into Imperial
Police was thrown open to Indians only after 1920 and the following year examinations
for the service were conducted both in England and India. Indianisation of the police
service continued to be very slow despite pronouncement and recommendations of the
Islington Commission and the Lee Commission. Till 1931, Indians were appointed
against 20% of the total posts of Superintendents of Police. However, because of non
availability of the suitable European candidates, more Indians were appointed to the
Indian Police from the year 1939 onwards.
Regarding Forest Service, British India Government started the Imperial Forest
Department in 1864 and to organize the affairs of the Imperial Forest Department,
Imperial Forest Service was constituted in 1867. From 1867 to 1885, the officers
appointed to Imperial Forest Service were trained in France and Germany. Till 1905,
they were trained at Coopers Hill, London. In 1920, it was decided that further
recruitment to the Imperial Forest Service would be made by direct recruitment in
England and India and by promotion from the provincial service in India. After
independence, the Indian Forest Service was created in 1966 under All India Service
Regarding Central Civil Services, the Civil Services in British India were classified as
covenanted and uncovenanted services on the basis of the nature of work, pay-scales
and appointing authority. In 1887, the Aitchinson Commission recommended the reorganization of the services on a new pattern and divided the services into three groups-Imperial, Provincial and Subordinate. The recruiting and controlling authority of
Imperial services was the ‘Secretary of State’. Initially, mostly British candidates were
recruited for these services. The appointing and controlling authority for Provincial
services was the respective provincial government, which framed rules for these
services with the approval of the Government of India. With the passing of the Indian
Act 1919, the Imperial Services headed by the Secretary of State for India, were split
into two-All India Services and Central Services. The central services were concerned
with matters under the direct control of the Central Government. Apart from the Central
Secretariat, the more important of these services were the Railway Services, the Indian
Posts and Telegraph Service, and the Imperial Customs Service. To some of these, the
Secretary of State used to make appointments, but in the great majority of cases their
members were appointed and controlled by the Government of India.
The origin of the Public Service Commission in India is found in the First
Dispatch of the Government of India on the Indian Constitutional Reforms on the 5th
March, 1919 which referred to the need for setting up some permanent office charged
with the regulation of service matters. This concept of a body intended to be charged
primarily with the regulation of service matters, found a somewhat more practical shape
in the Government of India Act, 1919. Section 96(C) of the Act provided for the
establishment in India of a Public Service Commission which should “discharge, in
regard to recruitment and control of the Public Services in India, such functions as may
be assigned thereto by rules made by the Secretary of State in Council”.
After passing of the Government of India Act, 1919, in spite of a prolonged
correspondence among various levels on the functions and machinery of the body to be
set up, no decision was taken on setting up of the body. The subject was then referred
to the Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India (also known as Lee
Commission). The Lee Commission, in their report in the year 1924, recommended that
the statutory Public Service Commission contemplated by the Government of India Act,
1919 should be established without delay.
Subsequent to the provisions of Section 96(C) of the Government of India Act,
1919 and the strong recommendations made by the Lee Commission in 1924 for the
early establishment of a Public Service Commission, it was on October 1, 1926 that the
Public Service Commission was set up in India for the first time. It consisted of four
Members in addition to the Chairman. Sir Ross Barker, a member of the Home Civil
Service of the United Kingdom was the first Chairman of the Commission.
The functions of the Public Service Commission were not laid down in the
Government of India Act, 1919, but were regulated by the Public Service Commission
(Functions) Rules, 1926 framed under sub-section (2) of Section 96(C) of the
Government of India Act, 1919. Further, the Government of India Act, 1935 envisaged a
Public Service Commission for the Federation and a Provincial Public Service
Commission for each Province or group of Provinces. Therefore, in terms of the
provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935 and with its coming into effect on 1st
April, 1937, the Public Service Commission became the Federal Public Service
With the inauguration of the Constitution of India in January 26, 1950, the
Federal Public Service Commission came to be known as the Union Public Service
Commission, and the Chairman and Members of the Federal Public Service
Commission became Chairman and Members of the Union Public Service Commission
by virtue of Clause (1) of Article 378 of the Constitution.