Role of Civil Services

Civil Services in India

Did you know the best civil service system in the world today is that of Singapore??? Since most of the readers of this post wants to get into civil services, I think it would be a good idea to throw some light on the role of civil services in India as well as other nations of the world (developing as well as developed). Right since open competition in civil services was started in India (way back in 1853) bureaucracy has been acting as pillars of functioning of the state. But is it the same for all the nations of the world alike?

Let’s see…

In developed countries the role of civil service is based on status quo, i.e more administration than governance. Given the fact that the society is more mature and individualistic in nature, hence there is less influence in the socio-economic sphere of people. Most of the decision making process is being done through private corporate sector.

While in developing countries, Civil services has to undo years of colonial misrule and lay the foundation for administration and governance. What is performed by other institutions is expected to be performed by the state and bureaucracy and it has to be more comprehensive and omnipresent .

Categories of Civil services in India:

Types of civil Services

Levels of Civil Services in India

Following are types of civil services in India at present:

  • All India Services : Merits of this category of services include pan-consciousness and unity in diversity that leads to nation building. Efficiency is another merit, owing to the high standard of recruitment and training, exposure and experience. They are impartial and helps in strengthening co-operative federalism at the same time.This results in a better co-ordination between Centre and the state.

However AIS seems to have a stain of Colonial hangover. It also acts as anti federal agent sometimes and the loyalty in state is somewhat of a question mark.

  • Central Services: The most dominant argument against it is it’s structural weakness, heavy burden and over size of bureaucracy. 
  • State services: Wide prevalence of corruption is the most important negative aspect in this service.


The second administrative commission of 2005, had made the following observations regarding civil services in India:

  • Absence of team work .
  • Undue emphasis on routine functions.
  • Proliferation of ministries and department with extended hierarchy , which leads to red tapism, corruption and delayed mechanism . 


  • Constitution of Civil Services Board to take care of transfer and posting.
  • Performance arguments between ministers and secretary in terms of result framework document and mentioning key result area as well as key performance indicators.
  • Last but no the the least, there is a need to create transparency and accountability at every level. Only then all the demerits ( which are too many by this point of time) could get rectified.

So sooner these reforms are implemented , the better it is for bureaucracy structure in our country, right???

Team Aspirant forum



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About Gangotri

Mostly old-school. Feminist. Fiesty. Passionate about things I believe in. Love to learn about something new every day.

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