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There are usually 3 phases of the evolution of Indian administration: A. Ancient phase Mauryan Administration B. Medieval phase Mughal Administration C. Modern phase British Administration

The Mauryan era of ancient India history gave the world a significant treatise, the Arthashastra of Kautilya. Kautilya Arthashastra is the most important work and landmark achievement on public administration in ancient India. The study of administration in India starts with the work of kautilya. His work, the Arthashastra contains his philosophy of state administration.

The Arthashastra of kautilya contains fifteen books covering different aspects on Administration. According to Pandit Nehru chankyas Arthashastra deals with a vast variety of subjects and covers almost every aspect of theory and practice of government.

Arthashastra means the science dealing with state affairs in the internal as well as the External affairs. It is the science of statecraft or politics and administration. Arthashastra can be studied in two ways. First , as a work throwing light on the state and society at that time in India. Secondly as a treatise on state and government , thus claming universal validity. Kautilyas arthashastra is unashamedly practical. The work is the loudest proof of the


practical turn of the Indian mind. It is a manual of practical statecraft for the day to day guidance of the ruler. The work emphasizes every now and then the close connection between the art of administration and the science of public administration. Arthashastra highlights that an administrator (king or ruler) must possess the knowledge of the science and art of administration.

The arthashastra is more a manual for the administrator than a theoretical work on polity discussing the philosophy and fundamental principles of administration or of the political science. It is mainly concerned with the practical problems of government and describes its machinery and functions, both in peace and war. Thus, this work which is major source of information about the administrative system of ancient India, is not a theoretical treatise on political science or public administration. Kautilya has not evolved any ideal theories regarding law, politics, justice or administration. It does not directly concern itself with the question of the origin of state and the government. It does not define any political concept. The primary concern of Arthashastra is with the matters of practical administration of the state and administration. Kautilya is not interested in the question as how the state has been brought up in existence but with more urgent problem of how to make it mighty and vigorous state ready to face internal and external affairs.

In fact, the arthashastra is more of treatise on administration than on politics and statecraft. The administrative principles are discussed with such insight as to make us wonder there has been any real progress in the science of administration since then.


It may also be noted that Kautilyas Arthashastra does not describe in details the actual administration set-up of the Mauryans. It at best describes an ideal system which should be set up. It is normative as well as empirical in its approach.


Kautilya did not speculate on the origin of state like Machiavelli, he was concerned with the state of his own time. The original state of nature is imagined to be one of total anarchy, in which might was right. When people were oppressed by matsyanyaya , the law of the fish, according to which bigger fish swallows the smaller fish, they made Manu, the son of Vivasvat,king. Thus in order to escape from anarchy, kautilya emphasizes the need for a strong ruler ( Monarch or king) capable of creating order. Monarchy, rule by a single individual, was assumed to be accepted norm. What is more, he believed in a centralizing state. Kautilya also attaches an element of divinity to the king when he says: divine punishment also falls on those who treat kings with disrespect kautilya strictly disapproves of the other form of government. kautilya also gave extensive powers to the king and provides for no direct checks on the absolute power of the monarch. The king is the one who appoints or removes ministers and who assigns tasks to them. It is the king who sets the tone of the whole administration. As he is , so do his subordinates and subjects become. The supremacy of the ruler and his overpowering impact are brought out in clearest possible terms.



Kautilya in his books suggests to the kings and to his successor so that the monarchy rule is maintained. To the king he suggests queer remedies to get rid of an unworthy son and to the successor , how to seize the empire from his father which includes the latters murder. He even discusses conspiracies against the king and renders advice to the conspirators as well.

Benevolent monarchyspirit of welfarism:

Although kautilya was in favour of a strong king and gave an extensive power to the king but it may be doubted whether he was in favour of an absolute monarchy. The king was required to use the extensive powers for the welfare of the public. His foremost duty is the protection of the subjects and their property. This is called raksana or palana. Protection is from both , natural calamities and anti-social elements. He is called to ensure their Yogaksema , a broad term implying the idea of welfare, well being, prosperity and happiness. The text asserts: in the happiness of the subjects lies the happiness of the king and in what is beneficial to the subjects, lies his own benefit, he will consider that as good which pleases his subjects. The king was to undertake several other public utility works such as setubandha, building of bridges and irrigational works, providing pastures for livestock etc. The sale of commodities, whether indigenous or imported, should be arranged in such a way that the subjects are benefited thereby.


When the subjects are struck by calamity, he could take care of them like their father. Thus the idea set before ruler is that of paternalistic rule. There is also a reference to those who have to be necessarily maintained by the state such as minors, the aged and those in distress. There is also reference in arthashastra that villages in new settlements are to enjoy certain privileges and concessions in the initial stages, though in the course of time they would be treated at par with other villages. The fact that each activity has to be performed with the interests in mind may lead us to believe that the cherished concept of welfare state existed even then. It can also be justifiably maintained that arthashastra state that is state visualized by Kautilya is neither a police state nor merely a tax-gathering state. Though kautilya supports the concept of one man rule, it is by all means a benevolent monarchy due to its notion of welfare state. Thus the idea of a welfare state is repeated with great force.

Also though kautilya did not provided for any direct checks on kings power but provides for various indirect control. For instance , his entire training is expected to impress on him the fact that he should use his powers in the interest of the public. The raj Purohit would constantly be remanding him of his duties, though that advice would not be mandatory. Then , there was the moral pressure of the mantris (ministers) and the mantrin parishad who, if ignored constantly , would rise up in revolt. Lastly, if there is discontent among the


subjects, there will be a similar revolt. Thus with these checks operating on the governmental system, it was very difficult for any king to make himself absolute and weild despotic authority.

It is even said that Kautilya reduced the position of a king to that of the servant of state. He would not allow king to have personal likes or dislikes. A king has no personal likes; it is the likes of the subject that should be followed by him . There is nothing more important for a king than the concern for the welfare of his subjects.

ORGANS OF STATE-- SAPTANGA: Kautilya enumerates seven prakritis or vital organ of states. 1. The ruler 2. The minister 3. The territory with people settled on it. 4. The fortified capital 5. The treasury 6. The army 7. Ally and friend



Arthashastra mainly discusses three aspects of the science of administration, that is the principles of public administration, the machinery of government and the management of public personnel system.


MACHINERY OF ADMINISTRATION: The machinery laid out was an elaborate one owing to great expanse of the empire as well as multitude of functions performed by the state. Three levels existed as machinery of administration 1. Centre 2. Provinces 3. Local areas

Central government: The pivot of machinery was the monarch who was assisted by a body of ministers. The system was highly centralised one. The king was bestowed with wide extensive powers. He was the source and centre of authority , the head of administration, law and justice. All the officials were subordinate and answerable to him.The central government was managed through officers of different ranks.


Provincial government: The empire was divided into a number of provinces with a viceroy in charge of each. The provincial government had to maintain law and order, collect taxes, coordinate different departments and keep a watch over the feudatories and frontier people.

Village and Municipal administration: Village was the basic unit of administration. Various example of urban bodies are mentioned like in city of patliputra, taxila etc were urban local bodies worked.

REVENUE ADMINISTRATION: Kautaliya lays great significance to finance. Treasury was a part of saptangas of state. Kosa was important than danda ( army) . The arthashastra recognises 3 principal vacations as means of livelihood : agriculture, cattle lending and trade. Most important tax was on agriculture. Other taxes include toll tax, octroi, fines and present to kings etc. expenditure shown in the budget and accounts under 15 heads .

PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION: Kautilya recognizes that the personnel who man the organisations are as important as organization themselves. Concept of recruitment, training, pay and service condition, promotion, transfer, tenure and removal are mentioned by kautilya.


PRINCIPLE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Though the machinery of the government designed in Kautilyas arthashastra does not closely resemble our modern day polity, it reflects clearly some of the principles which form part of the science of public administration. These are like principle of unity of command, division of labour, coordination, job classification, hierarchy etc.

CONCLUSIONS: Kautilyas arthashastra is the great Indian classic on public administration. It is very valuable as an indigenous text and reference to the administration of those times. It can be called something of a marvel for it was far ahead of its times.

R C Majumdar considers the arthashastra as the classical work on the study of political science and administration and as the high watermark of Indian political thought.

It would be a mistake to regard kautilyas model of state confined to time and place rather, it is a model on the basis of which a very strong state can be organised irrespective of the time and place. So it is a model of permanent value and its relevance exists even in the context of modern political system also. Professor dikshitar has rightly stated that Kautilya wrote a book on polity for all time and for all kings and for all places


The period of Mughal administration existed in India between 1526 and 1707 A.D from Babar to Aurangzeb. Babar historic victory in the battle of Panipath in 1526 enabled him to establish Mughal rule in India. However he did not live longer. He died in 1530 and Humayun , his eldest son , ascended to throne of Agra. However it was rule of Akbar Had major impact on administration and Akbars successors, with slight variation here and there , followed the pattern set up by him.

The MUGHAL upheld the earlier traditions in political and administrative matters. The MUGHAL emperor was a perfect autocrat and the administration was 'a centralised autarchy'. The king symbolized the state and was the source and centre of all power agencies. The MUGHAL did succeed in building up a 'monolithic administration'. When compared to the Mauryas, the MUGHAL moved in the direction of greater centralisation. They did not pay much attention to social services of health and welfare as also morals which were areas of special concern for the Mauryan kings. But the MUGHAL had an efficient civil service They recognised merit and accepted Hindu intelligentsia in the higher civil service. Its only drawback was that it was 'land-based'. It means it was mainly concerned with revenue functions and was a 'highly urbanised institutions'.



Role of the King Administration was personalised. It has aptly been described as paternalistic. The entire administrative machinery revolved around the king who was viewed as a 'father figure' or a 'despot' by his people. Most of the time the king was seen as a benevolent despot who worked for the welfare of his people. The theory upheld was that of absolute monarchy based on the divine right to rule. The king was everything to his people. He was the source of all authority and the fountain-head of justice. The administrative system was highly centralised and personalised. Everything, therefore, depended on the character and person of the king. Hence, when Aurangzeb showed himself as a religious bigot and indulged in religious persecution of the worst kind, while indulging in endless wars in the South, central authority weakened, efficiency suffered and administration collapsed. Rajputs, Marathas, Jats, Sikhs and other local elements sought their independence and thus set into motion, forces of disintegration.

Bureaucracy Organisation of the administrative machinery was unstable. It depended on the whims and fancies of the king. Recruitment was on the basis of caste, kin, heredity and personal loyalty to the king. Administration was based on fear of force. In the name of the king, the officials struck terror in the hearts of people, They wielded much awe and respect among the people. Officials were primarily engaged to maintain law and order, safeguard the interests of the king from internal uprisings and revolts, defend and extend the boundaries of the empire and collect revenue and other taxes.


Every officer of the State held a Mansab or official appointment of rank and profit and was expected to supply a certain number of troops for the military service of the State. Hence, bureaucracy was essentially military in character. Officials or Mansabdars were classified into 33 grades, ranging from Commanders of 10 to those of 10,000 soldiers. Each grade carried a definite rate of pay, out of which its holder had to provide a quota of horses, elephants, etc. State service was not by hereditary succession, nor was it specialized.

Officers received their salaries either in cash or through jagirs for a temporary period. The officers did not have ownership of lands in their jagirs, but only the right to collect the revenue equivalent to his salary. The jagir system provided scope for exploitation of the masses and gave undue power and independence to the holders of ja6rs. These evils were difficult to check when the Emperor was weak. Army The army must b;e understood largely in terms of the Mansabdari system. In addition, there were the supplementary troopers and a special category of "gentlemen troops" who were horsemen owing exclusive allegiance to the king. The army had cavalry which was the most important unit, the infantry, made up of townsmen and pesants and artillery with guns and navy. The MUGHAL army was a mixture of diverse elements. As it grew in numbers it became too heterogeneous to be manageable. The soldiers did not owe direct allegiance to the Emperor but were more attached to their immediate recruiters or bosses and as such were b ~y with their bitter rivalries and jealousies. Above all,


the pomp and splendor ot the army proved to be its undoing. The army on the move was like a huge moving city, with all its paraphernalia of elephants, camels, harem, workshops, etc. Soon indiscipline set in and the inevitable deterioration was fully manifest at the hype of Jahangir. .No longer capable of swift action, the' Marathas, under Shivaji, could score over the MUGHAL in battles. Police In the rural areas, policing was undertaken by the village headman and his subordinate watchmen. This system continued well into the 19' century. In the cities and towns police duties were entrusted to Kotwals. Among their many duties Kotwals had to artest burglars, undertake watch and ward duties, regulate prices and check weights and measures. They had to employ and supervise work of spies and make an inventory of property of deceased or missing persons. However, the Kowal's main job was to preserve peace and public security in urban areas. In the districts, law and order functions were entrusted to Faujdars.

STRUCTURE OF THE MUGHAL ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM Central Administration Central administration, like administration in general, was personal and paternal. The system operated with a fair degree of efficiency as long as the king was able to exercise control from above. As soon as his grip loosened, the system fell to pieces, as seen in the reigns of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. The two highest officials were the 'Vakil' and the 'Wazir'. The Vakil, in fact, was higher of the two. He functioned as regent of State and was in over all


charge of the State. The 'Wazir' or high diwan was the highest officer of the revenue department. He was actually known as 'Wazir' when he acted as Prime Minister. The Chief Diwan supervised revenue collection and expenditure. He was head of the administrative wing of Government. He supervised the work of all the high officials. He controlled and guided provincial diwans who along with their subordinates were in touch with him. He signed all kinds of documents and put his seal authenticating government transactions. The MUGHAL had many diwans. Under the high diwan, that is, diwan-e-ala, there was the 'diwan-e-tan' in charge of salaries and 'diwan-e-khalsa' in charge of State (crown) lands. 'At times, the diwans were also successful military commanders. There was also the 'mustaufi' who audited income and expenditure and the 'waqia-navis' who kept a record of all important farmers. Among other officials there was the 'Khan-e-sama' or the high steward in charge of royal expenditure, the 'diwan-e-buyutat' who was the understudy of the 'Khan-e-sama', the 'Mir-e-Bakshi', the paymaster-general of the empire and the 'Sadr-e-sudur', the head of the ecclesiastical department. Apart from the major officials of the central government, there were several others of minor importance who kept the system going. The administrative pattern was based on regulations, traditions and practices. . .

Provincial Administration Given the centralised and personalised character of MUGHAL administration, provincial authorities were only administrative agencies of the Centre.


The Empire was divided into 'subas' or provinces. At the head of the province was the subedar' or Governor. He was appointed by imperial order and was given the insignia of office and instrument of instructions which defined his powers, functions and responsibilities. As executive head, he was in charge of the provincial administrative staff and ensured law and order in the province. He ' tackled local civil and intelligence staff with a firm hand and realised tributes from the local chiefs under him. He also controlled the local Zamindars and contained their political influence. The provincial diwan was supported by the imperial diwan. Though next in importance to the governor, he functioned independently of him and was subordinate to the imperial diwan. He was in charge of'the finances of the province and appointed 'kroris' and 'tehsildars' to induce ryots to pay government dues in time. The diwan also exercised functions of an auditor and . exercised full control over public expenditure. His establishment included the office superintendent, the head accountant, the treasurer, and clerks. The provincial 'bakshi' performed a role similar to that of the 'bakshi' at the Centre. He was responsible for the maintenance and control of troops and kept an account of the salaries and emoluments of all provincial officers in terms of their 'mansabs'. The 'Sadr' and the 'Qazi' were the two officers at the provincial level which were sometimes united in the same person though there was a distinction in the jurisdiction of the two. 'Sadr' was exclusively a civil judge, but did not handle all civil cases. 'Qazi' was concerned with civil suits in general and also with criminal cases. .


District and Local Administration The 'Suba' or province was divided into 'Sarkars' which were of two types. There were those ruled by officers appointed by the emperor and those under the tributary rajas. At the head of each sarkar was the Faujdar who was the executive head. Although Faujdars were subordinate to the provincial governors, they could have direct communication with the imperial government. On his appointment, a 'Faujdar' received advice regarding policy and conduct. He was also in charge of a military force and saw to it that rebellions were put down and crimes investigated. Apart from the 'Faujdar', the other head of the 'sarkar' was the 'amalguzar'. He was in charge of revenue. Each of them had their own set of subordinate officials. The 'kotwal' did policing of the town and its suburbs. A barkar' was divided into 'parganas'. Each 'pargana' had a 'shiqqdar', and 'amil' and 'qazi'. The 'shiqqdar' was executive head and combined in himself the functions of the 'Faujdar' and 'kotwal' of the 'sarkar'. He took care of law and order, criminal justice and general administration. The 'amil's' duties were similar to those af the amalguzar and the 'qazi's' were judicial. The 'parganas' were further divided into 'Chaklas', which were creatred to facilitate and improve the realisation and assessment of-revenue and had their own set of local iofficials like the 'Chakladars'. Each of the officials was responsible and accountable to those above. REVENUE ADMINISTRATION Land Revenue as the Primary Source of Income The Revenue system needs to be closely studied &cause land revenue has been


traditionally, the primary source of income of the State. The State and the cultivator were two parties to the contract. The right of the State to a share of the produce was recognised as a principle of political economy from times immemorial. What was disputed and had to be determined periodically was the fixing of the share of each. In ancient times, the State's share was defined by law-givers as one-twelfth, oneeighth or even one-fourth. However, about one-sixth was realised. While in the 1 4th century, the State took half, Akbar kept it at one-third.

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE Administration of Civil Justice The MUGHAL State, being a Muslim State was based on Quranic law. The judges followed the Quranic precepts, the 'Fatwas' or previous interpretations of the Holy ' Law by eminent jurists and the ordinances of the Emperors. They did not disregard customary laws and sought to follow principles of equity. The Emperor's interpretations prevailed, provided they did not run counter to the sacred laws. For the dispensation of justice, there were two types of tribunals. There was the Chief 'Qazi' with subordinate 'Qazi' who followed the Islamic law, both civil ad criminal. The other was the miradl, a secular officer who took care of suits not specifically provided for by the religious laws of the two communities. The king was the supreme court of both original and appellate jurisdiction.




The British administration in India started with the establishment of East India Company in 1600. India remained under British domination and control for a very long time. During this period of supremacy the Britisers had their own administrative set up. The administrative policy of British was to strengthen the British rule over India. It was done to streamline their self centered interest, which they wanted to draw from colonial India.

After independence several administrative changes have been introduced to suit new needs and requirements. Yet on the whole the influence of the British administrative system altogether has not been wiped out. There are many areas in which influence of British rule is felt on Indian system. It is often said that among the several legacies of the British rule in the country, one that is recognised as an asset was the administrative system. Even after more than 60 years of our independence and various reforms and changes, the core of administrative machinery still remains intact. The forces of British Indian history have a lasting imprint on the now prevailing administrative system.



The legacy of British rule on Indian administration can be studied under following heads:
1. LEGACY IN THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMNET Indian constitution envisages a parliamentary democracy and a federal system of government . Both of these system of government have been British legacy. Parliamentary democracy and federalism was first of all introduced by the British in India at the level of provinces in the form of diarchy system introduced through government of India act, 1919 and later at central level through the government of India act, 1935. At the centre Bicameral legislature is also British legacy. Lord Canning introduced the portfolio system in 1861 under which each member of his council was placed in charge of particular department. The present system of ministries and departments has its origin to it.

2. LEGACY IN THE CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION There is a market impact of British administration on the organisation and structure , procedure and methods of central administration. The concept of central secretariat system was introduced by the British in 1784. Concept of council of ministers was introduced by British. The post of president is akin to that of governor general of British India.


The concept of executive agencies at central level was introduced by British. The split system of administration that is separation between policy making institutions and policy implementation institutions is also a contribution of British.

3. LEGACY IN THE STATE ADMINISTRATION The present form of state administration also owes their existence to the British. The post of governor is creation of British. State secretariat is on pattern of central secretariat created by the British.

4. LEGACY IN REVENUE ADMINISTRATION The most important innovation in revenue administration was introduction of budget system in 1860. Also in 1860 central revenue department was created to integrate and coordinate the activities of all the revenue authorities. Imperial audit department and audit board was also set up Post of CAG was also created was British which was made responsible to central legislature. Central Public Accounts Committee was created. Standing finance committee was created which had the function of Public Estimates Committee. Another important aspect was introduction of paper currency in 1860 .


The 1935 GOI act established the reserve bank.

5. LEGACY IN THE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION District was established as a unit of administration. The post of District collector was created by warren Hasting in 1772 and is perhaps one of the most significant legacy of the British administration. The office of district collector has survived the historic role of change and the institutions still remains a cherished one. 6. LEGACY IN THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATION The need for establishing local level administration was emphasized especially by Ripon through Ripon resolution 1882 creating rural and urban local government. After resolution municipal councils were established in major cities and rural local bodies were also set up..

7. LEGACY IN LAW AND ORDER ADMINISTRATION Legislation like police act 1861, Indian penal code 1860, and Indian evidence act 1872 are still the major legislation of our police administration and criminal justice system. Criminal investigation department was created in 1902. Police station as basic unit of law and order. Post of SP, IGP etc are creation of British Rule of law and judicial independence was introduced by British.



8. LEGACY IN PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION The most important legacy of the British rule in India was the creation of civil Service. Civil service represented the visible presence of the British in India and it was through its expanded network that authority was wielded. The members of ICS constituted the essence of British power in India and, without them; one would not be able to speak of a British empire in India. The idea of merit based service originated in India for the first time with the submission of the Macaulay report in 1954. The idea of specific age limit to compete in the examination also evolved in 1854.

Another important contribution was the idea that the competitive examinations be conducted by an independent agency. Accordingly, the Federal public Service Commission was created in 1926 and entrusted with the task of recruiting civil servants. The training system was institutionalized by the British by setting up William college in 1800 at Calcutta and continued with several other modification till the end of rule. A well developed pay structure for civil servants was also devised by the British.

The system of promotion also brought about an onslaught on the tradition bound indian society. The condition of service provided for promotional opportunities according to seniority, conduct, and quality of performance. Even as early as 1834, the system of annual returns existed wherein the merit and conduct of the subordinate officers were graded by the superior officers.

Thus the contemporary Indian administrative system has been built on its British heritage. All India services, civil service recruitment, administrative training, the secretarial system, office procedures, management of district, revenue administration


, police system, budgeting, accounting, auditing and a number of other structural and functional areas of Indian administration have their roots in the British rule and forms the backbone of present Indian administrative system.

However there is another point also. There was a large part of India which was partially or just marginally affected by the British rule and its administrative initiatives. More than five hundred and fifty princely states of the country did not experience the same kind of administrative innovation which the British India did. Despite the progressive policies of some of the princely rulers, the chasm in the structure and working of the administrative systems of these two indias was significant.


CIVIL SERVICES UNTIL THE ADVENT OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY Until the Mauryan period in Indian history beginning around 321 B.C., there is insufficient data on the structure of Indian public services or their management. Kautilya's Arthasastra, written around 300 B.C., is an extensive treatise on government and administration. It is mentioned that Amatyas and Sachivas were the important administrative functionaries during the Mauryan period. There were kthanlkas who used to function as executive officials. The highest ranking officers in the administrative hierarchy were the 'mantrins' who were chosen from amongst the 'Amatyas'. During the Mughal period the administrative system was centralised. No distinction was


made between the civil and military administration. Civil Service was organised on a military basis and controlled by the military department. Civil Services in an organised form, as existing now, evolved through various stages during the rule of the East India Company and the British Crown.

CIVIL SERVICES UNDER THE EAST INDIA: Formative stage (1675-1875) The development of the civil services in India dates back to the first quarter of the 17th century, when some British merchants, under the banner of the East India Company, came to India for the purposes of trade. The earliest organised civil service in British India was the 'Covenanted Civil Service' which constituted a group of men who carried on the trade of the East India Company and were known as its 'civil servants'. These were distinct from the naval and military officers of the company. The servants of the company were purely commercial agents, known as 'factors' and were incharge of the trading stations which were established along the sea coasts. These 'factors' were neither statesmen nor administrators, but those who had some knowledge of Eastern trade. In 1675, the company established a regular gradation of posts..Thus a young man was recruited first as an 'apprentice' to later become a 'writer' and, after serving in this capacity for five years, could be promoted as a 'factor'. The 'factors' after putting in three years service could be promoted as 'Junior Merchants' who usually after a period of three years of service could become 'Senior Merchants'. The business transacted by these officials was commercial in nature. Initially, the power of appointment to these posts vested with the Court of Committees but, in 17 14, it was laid down that appointments in the company were to be made through the recommendatory nomination of the members of


the Court of Directors. Every writer had to enter into a covenant or indenture with the company. It was a long document which contained many conditions including faithful, honest, diligent and careful service and bound the writers to observe, keep and fulfill each and every order of the company and the Court of Directors. Hence they were known as Covenanted civil servants. This service consisted of only Englishmen. The other category was the uncovenanted civil service which included Indians, parsis, Englishmen and the Portuguese. Thus civil service under company was divided into two categories. 1765-1853--The Mercantile Service Assuming the Role of an Administrative Service For over a century and a half, the service remained a purely commercial service. Later, from 1760 onwards, as trade expanded administrative tasks increased and the civil service of the company started assuming more administrative responsibilities. By 1765 the term 'civil servant' came to be used in the records of the company. The grant of Diwani to the Company by the Moghuls in 1765, was another landmark in the territorial acquisition of the company and consequent increase in the administrative duties of the civil servants of the company. In 1772, the directors of the company decided to function as diwans themselves and took over the administration. Besides the civil service needed to be streamlined, as there was the problem of the covenanted servants being engaged in private trade and bribery. The Regulating Act of 1773 made a clear distinction between the civil and commercial functions of the company which resulted in a separate personnel classification. The commercial transactions of the company were to be kept separate from revenue and judicial administration, which were to be conducted by a separate class of servants. The Act also prohibited private trading by all those civil servants responsible for collection of revenues or administration of justice. Private trading was restricted to those


engaged in commercial transactions. It forbade civil servants from accepting any gifts from the people. It is said that during Hasting, the civil service began to transcend its trading activity. During his regime, the civil service changed from being a brand of commercial adventures and fortune hunters to a public service in the modern sense of the world. The Pitt's India Act of 1784 with regard to civil service laid down that the vacancies in the Governor General's Council were to be filled by the covenanted civil servants. The Crown was given the power of removing or recalling any servant of the company. The Act for the first time laid down age limits for new entrants in the service of the company. It fixed the minimum age for appointment to the post of writer at fifteen years and maximum at eighteen years. It can be said that the Charter Act of 1793 made a significant contribution to the development of civil services in India. It laid down that any vacancy occurring in any of the civil offices in India "shall be filled from amongst the civil servants of the company belonging to the Presidency in which such vacancies occurred". The Act excluded outsiders from entering the service even though they enjoyed patronage in England. The Act tried to improve the morale of the civil service by making it a closed and exclusive service. The maximum age limit for appointment to the post of writer was raised to 22 years. In 1800, Govemor General Wellesley, established the college at Fort WiIliams with the objective of training civil servants. But this was not favoured by the Court of Directors. Finally, in 1806, the Court of Directors decided to set up a training institution at Haileybury in England which was accorded a statutory status by the Charter Act of 1813. The writers nominated by the Court of Directors of the Company were required to


undergo two years of training at the institution and pass an examination before they were confirmed as writers. The areas of training included European classical languages, law, politrcal economy, general history, oriental languages etc. This College was abolished later in 1857. The designations of merchants, factors etc., continued till 1842 even though they did not perform any commercial functions after the Charter Act of 1833. This Act, which completely prohibited trade and commerce, proposed a significant change in the civil services. It proposed the introduction of a limited competitive examination as the need for a strong bureaucracy was felt as a replacement for the patronage exercised by the Company. Lord Macaulay, speaking in the British Parliament on 10th July, 1833 on the Charter Act said 'it is intended to introduce the principle of competition in the disposal of writerships and from this change I cannot but anticipate the happiest results". A clause was inserted in the Charter Act granted to the company declaring that henceforth fitness was to be the criterion of eligibiIity to the civil services irrespective of caste, creed or colour. The proposal of having open competition did not come into effect till 1853, though the Charter Act contained a provision in this regard. The old powers, rights, of the Court of Directors to nominate candidates for admission to the College of Haileybury were to cease in regard to all vacancies which occurred on or after April 1854. The Act provided for appointment of members of the covenanted civil service of India on the basis of a suitable competitive examination which was to be held in London and thus abolished the system of patronage. The President of Board of ControI, Sir Charles Wood appointed a five- member Committee headed by Lord Macaulay to advice on the measures to be adopted to give effect to the Act of 1853, which, at least in theory, threw open appointments in the Indian Civil Service to competition without any


discrimination. The committee (popularly known as Committee on the Indian Civil Service) laid down certain age limits for admission to the college of Haileybury. It desired that the minimum age limit be raised to eighteen and the maximum to twenty-five. It was in favour of civil servants entering the service at a young age but also specified, that they should have received the best, the most liberal, the most finished education that the country could then afford. It laid emphasis on general education, strengthening of understanding, which precedes special education or training in any skill. The Committee recommended the selection of candidates on the results of a competitive examination, and also laid stress on the need for completion of a period of probation before the final appointment of the candidates. It was not in favour of continuance of the College at Haileybury. It also laid down that the examination should be so conducted as to ensure the selection of candidates with thorough and not superficial knowledge. These recommendations were accepted by the Board of Control and regulations were framed governing the examination and selection of candidates to the civil service. The first examination under the Board of Control was held in 1855 at London, on the basis of the report of the Macaulay committee , by a civil service commission which was set up in 1954. The following years witnessed significant changes in the civil services.

Imperial civil service (1858-1917) With 1858, started a new era in the history of public services in India. On the termination of company's government in 1858, Indian administration came direct under the Crown. The Government of India Act, 1858 vested the power of superior appointments of a political nature with Her Majesty. Her powers, in actual practice, were exercisable by the Secretary of State for India, a Minister of Cabinet rank, who was to be


assisted by an under secretary and a council of fifteen members. The powers and function exercised by the Board of Control and Court of Directors were transferred to the Secretary of State in Council. The responsibility for the conduct of competitive examinations for appointment to her Majesty's civil service was transferred to the Civil Service Commission (set up in 1855) in London. The system of reserving certain posts for the members of the covenanted service was introduced. This continued upto Independence and still to some extent is a part of the successor service i.e the Indian Administrative Service. The Indian Civil Service Act, 1861 reserved certain principal posts to be filled from the covenanted service. All these posts were put in a schedule. It also laid down that any person, Indian or European, could be appointed to any of the offices specified in the schedule annexed to the Act provided he had resided for at least seven years in India. A person appointed under it had to pass an examination in the vernacular language of the district in which he was employed and also remain subject to such departmental tests and other qualifications as the authorities might impose. All appointments were to be reported to the Secretary of State and unless approved by him within twelve months, were declared void. The provisions of this Act did not obviously satisfy the Indian public opinion and its growing demand for Indianisation of services. The Act virtually remained a 'dead letter' partly on account of the disinclination of authorities to give effect to it and largely because of the basic difficulty in implementing the recruitment requirements of the Act. There was growing demand by educated Indians to secure employment in the Covenanted Civil Service. There was failure on the part of British to fulfil the assurance given in the Government of India Act, 1833 and Queen's Proclamation of 1858. The Act provided that no Indian 'shall by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent, colour, or any of them,


be disabled from holding. any place, or employment' under the Government of the East India Company. The selection based on patronage prevented Indians from getting into the service. Though open competition was introduced under the Charter Act of 1853, the provisions such as fulfillment of fitness criteria for competition, holding of examination in London did not let Indians compete. The British Parliament passed an Act in 1870 authorizing the appointment of any Indian (of proved merit and ability) to any office or the civil service without reference to the Act of 1861 which reserved specific appointments to the covenanted service. It also did not make the desired headway, as the opinion was divided on throwing open all civil appointments, or establishing a proportion between Indians and Europeans in the tenure of higher offices. New rules were framed in 1879, which established the Statutory Civil Service; it provided that a fifth of covenanted civil service posts was to be filled by the natives. Only Indians were eligible to be appointed to this by the local government subject to approval of Government of India and the Secretary of State. Unfortunately, the statutory system also failed to achieve the purpose for which it was created. With the Indian National Congress, passing in its very first session; in December, 1885, a resolution for simultaneous civil service examination in England and India, the pressure for Indianisation increased further. The British government decided to consider the question of admission of Indians either to the covenanted civil service or to the offices formerly reserved exclusively to the members of the service.

Aitchison Commission A Commission headed by Sir Charles Aitchison was appointed in 1886, to prepare a


scheme of admission of Indians to every branch of public service. It was expected to look into the question of employment of Indians not only in appointments, ordinarily reserved by law for members of the covenanted civil service but also in the uncovenanted service covering lower level administrative appointments. The Commission rejected the idea of altering the system of recruitment to the covenanted civil service. It advised the abolition of the Statutory Civil Service and advocated a three-fold classification of civil services into Imperial, Provincial and Subordinate. The provincial service was an exclusive sphere of extended Indian employment in the public service. It also proposed a reduction of the list of the scheduled posts reserved by the Act of 1861 for the members of the covenanted civil service and the transfer of a certain number of posts to the provincial civil service. As recommended by the Commission, the Statutory Civil Service was abolished. The designation covenanted civil service was also done away with and the civil services of the country were divided into three grades-the imperial, provincial and subordinate civil service. The superior posts were included in the imperial civil service and recruitment to it was to be made by the Secretary for State in Council. The provincial civil service was designated after the name of the particular province to which it belonged. The lower level grades of the uncovenanted service were constituted into a subordinate service. Thus on his recommendation the covenanted civil service was named the Indian civil service and the uncovenanted civil service was styled as the provincial civil service. The practice of holding examinations for entry to the civil service in England, continued as the Commission strongly advocated it. It was of the view that since the Indian Civil Service represented the only permanent English official element in India, examinations in England become essential to maintain the English principles and methods of the


government. The demand for Indianisation however became persistent and there was mounting pressure for Development of Public Services and holding simultaneous examinations in England and India. Once again, the question of Indianisation was examined by a Public Service Commission in 1912 under the chairmanship of Lord Islington, the then Governor of New Zealand. The Commission observed that at that time Indians constituted only 5% of the civil service. The Commission supported "two separate channels of access to the Indian Civil Service itself, one in England (open to all alike) and one in India (open to statutory natives of India only)". It sought to apply a method for inducting Indians to the higher offices by reserving twenty-five per cent posts for them, i.e. 189 out of 755 posts were to be filled by them. It proposed categorization of the services under the Government of India into Class I and 11. But no radical change in the structure of the organisation of the civil service was envisaged by the Commission. Also it took nearly four years for it to submit the report. As a result, due to lapse of time, the proposed measures came to be regarded as inadequate by the enlightened public opinion in

CIVIL SERVICES UNDER THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACTS, 1919 AND 1935 On 20th August 1917, E.S. Montague, the then Secretary of State in India, issued the historic declaration in the House of Commons announcing the British Government's new policy of "increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration, development of self governing institutions with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible Government in India as an integral part of British Empire". A year later, i.e. in 1918, Montague and Chelmsford (the then Viceroy), both in their joint report on


Constitutional changes, expressed supplementing the recruitment to civil services in England by fixing a definite percentage of recruits from India. The percentage was fixed at thirty-three per cent for superior posts with an annual increase of one-and-a-half per cent. They proposed an increase in percentage of recruitment to other services in India. They were in favour of appointments to be open to all branches of public services without racial discrimination and holding a separate competitive examination in India. The Government of India Act, 1919 on Constitutional reforms recommended a threefold classification of services into All India, provincial and subordinate. All the Imperial services then functioning in the provinces whether in the reserved or transferred departments, were designated as the 'All India Services'. Special safeguards were guaranteed to the members of All India Services in regard to dismissal, salaries, pensions and other rights. The Act proposed as a safeguard against political influence the constitution bf a Public Service Commission entrusted with the task of recruitment to the service. In 1922, the first competitive examination was held under the supervision of the Civil Service Commission. The Indian candidates selected on the basis of its results were put on probation for two years at an English University. The Lee Commission In the midst of great political furore in India over the negative British response towards Indianisation of services and in view of the several complicated problems in relation to the public service matters, in 1923 a Royal Commission on Superior Civil Services in India under the chairmanship of Lord Lee was appointed. The Commission recommended the division of main services into three classes : (a) All India (b) central and (c) provincial. The central services were those which dealt with the Indian states and foreign affairs, with


administration of the state railways, posts and telegraphs, customs, audit and accounts, scientific and technical departments. The Commission recommended that the Secretary of State should retain the powers of appointment and control of the All India Services (mainly Indian Civil Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Medical Service, Indian Forest Service and Indian Service of Engineers) operating in the reserved fields of administration. The most important recommendation of the Lee Commission was regarding services operating in the transferred fields (e.g. Indian Educational Service, Indian Agricultural Service, Indian Veterinary Services eic.), whose further recruitment and appointments were to be made by the concerned local governments. Thus those services were to be provincialised. The existing members of the All India Services were to retain all rights of the officers of All India Services, but the provincial governments were given powers of appointment only on occurrence of fresh vacancies. In regard to the central services, the Commission limited the power of appointment of Secretary of State to the Political Department, Imperial Customs Department and the Ecclesiastical Department. Appointments to all the other central services were to be made by the Government of India. The Commission recommended twenty per cent of superior posts to be filled by promotion from provincial service. To maintain superior standards of recruitment by regulating the exercise of patronage, the Commission urged the establishment of the Statutory Public Service Commission (as recommended by the Government of India Act, 1919). This Public Service Commission was to perform the functions of recruitment of personnel for the All India, central and provincial services, and also other quasi-judicial functions connected with discipline, control and protection of the services. It also made detailed recommendations about the various conditions of service like pay, pension, leave, passage, housing etc. As regards


Indianisation, it suggested that out of every hundred posts of Indian Civil Service, fourty should be filled by direct recruitment of Europeans, fourty by the direct recruitment of Indians and twenty by promotion from the provincial service so that in fifteen years i.e. by 1939, half would be held by Indians and half by Europeans. The recommendations of the Lee Commission were accepted by the British Government. With the discontinuance of the All India Services in the transferred departments, the only All India Services which survived were the Indian Civil Service, Indian Police, Indian Service of Engineers (Irrigation Branch), Indian Medical Service (Civil Branch) and Indian Forest Service (except in the provinces of Burma and Bombay). The Public Service Commission in India was set up in 1926 and the examination for recruitment to civil service in 1927 was supervised by it on behalf of the Civil Service Commission in England. The Government of India Act, 1935 (Indianisation of Higher Civil Services etc.) As the Act of 1935 introduced provincial autonomy under responsible Indian Ministers, the rights and privileges of the members of the civil services were carefully protected. The protection of the rights and privileges of the civil service was a special responsibility of both the Governors and the Governor General. It was provided that a civil servant was not to be dismissed from service by an authority below the rank of the officers who had appointed him. The salaries, pensions, emoluments were not subject to the vote of the legislature. The Act also provided for the setting up of a Public Service Commission for the federation and a Public Service Commission for each of the provinces, though two or more provinces could agree to have a Joint Public Service Commission. As a result of introduction of provincial autonomy under the Act, only three services i.e.


Indian Civil Service, the Indian Police Service and Indian Medical Service were to continue as All India Services. Recruitment to other All India Services (Indian Agricultural Service, Veterinary Service, Educational Service, Service of Engineers, Forest) were provincialised, their recruitment and control coming under the provincial government. The serving members continued on existing terms and the conditions of service were fully protected. Indianisation of the civil services though regulated was considered policy of the colonial rulers in Indian right since the Atchison Commission report of 1887. This process helped greatly when the country became independent in 1947 as in its composition, the civil service in India was reasonably Indian in personnel by the time the country was ripe for responsible government.