1) Which of the following is/are true regarding composition of UPSC?
1) Strength of the UPSC has been left to the discretion of the President and is not mentioned in the Constitution.
2) Members of the Commission hold office for a term of 5 years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 1
- The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is independent Constitutional Body.
- It is the central recruiting agency in India.
- Articles 315 to 323 in Part 14 of the Constitution contain detailed provisions regarding the composition, appointment, removal of members etc., of the UPSC.
Composition of UPSC -
- The UPSC consists of a Chairman and other members.
- They are appointed by the President of India.
- The Constitution has not specified the strength of the commission.
- It is left at the discretion of the President, who determines its composition.
- Usually, the commission consists of nine to eleven members including the Chairman.
- No qualifications are prescribed for the commission’s membership except that one-half of the Members of the Commission should be such people who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a state.
- The Constitution authorizes the President to determine the conditions of service of the Chairman and other Members of the Commission.
- The Chairman and Members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- But, they can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the President.
- They can also be removed before the expiry of their term by the President in the manner as provided in the Constitution.
In the following scenarios the President can appoint one of the members of the UPSC as an acting chairman -
(a) when the office of the chairman falls vacant; or
(b) when the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.
- The acting Chairman functions till a person appointed as Chairman enters on the duties of the office or till the Chairman is able to resume his duties.
2) Which of the following is/are true regarding UPSC?
1) Advice of the Supreme Court regarding removal of Chairman or member of UPSC is not binding on the President.
2) In case of removal of UPSC member on grounds of misbehavior, an enquiry by Supreme Court is a must.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 2
The President can remove the Chairman or any other member of UPSC from the office under the below mentioned circumstances -
(a) if he is adjudged an insolvent (that is, has gone bankrupt); or
(b) if he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
(c) If he is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
- Also, the President can remove the Chairman or any other member of UPSC for misbehavior.
- But, in case of misbehavior, the President has to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for an enquiry.
- If the Supreme Court, after the enquiry, upholds the cause of removal and advises the same, the President can remove the Chairman or a member.
- Under the provisions of the Constitution, the advice tendered by the Supreme Court in this regard is binding on the President.
- During the course of enquiry by the Supreme Court, the president can suspend the Chairman or the member of UPSC.
The Constitution states that the Chairman or any other member of the UPSC is deemed to be guilty of misbehavior if he/she -
(a) is concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by the Government of India or the government of a state; or
(b) participates in any way in the profit of such contract or agreement or in any benefit there from otherwise than as a member and in common with other members of an incorporated company.
3) Which of the following is/are true?
1) Recommendations made by UPSC are only of advisory nature.
2) A member of UPSC on ceasing to hold office is eligible for appointment as the chairman of UPSC or chairman or member of State Public Service Commission (SPSC).
3) There is no second term for the same office for a Chairman or member of UPSC.
a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above
ANSWER: 1, 3
Role of UPSC -
- The Constitution considers UPSC to be the ‘watch-dog of merit system’ in India.
- It is concerned with the recruitment to the all-India and central services - group A and group B.
- It advises the government, when consulted, on promotion and disciplinary matters.
- It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions, cadre management, training etc., which are handled by Department of Personnel and Training of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
- Thus, UPSC is only a central recruiting agency.
- The Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.
- The role of UPSC is limited.
- Recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and not binding on the government.
- The only safeguard is the answerability of the government to the Parliament for deviating from the recommendation of the commission.
- The government can also make rules which regulate the scope of the advisory functions of UPSC.
- The creation of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in 1964 affected the role of UPSC in disciplinary matters.
- This is because both are consulted by the government while taking disciplinary action against a civil servant.
- The problem occurs when the two bodies tender conflicting advice.
- But, the UPSC, being an independent constitutional body, has an edge over the CVC.
- CVC is created by an executive resolution of the Government of India.
- It was conferred a statutory status in October 2003.
Independence of UPSC -
Following provisions of the Constitution safeguard the independence of the UPSC -
(a) The Chairman or a member of the UPSC can be removed from office by the President only in the manner and on the grounds mentioned in the Constitution.
b) Thus, there is security of tenure.
(c) The conditions of service of the Chairman or a member, though determined by the President, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
(d) The entire expenditure including the salaries, allowances and pensions of the Chairman and members of the UPSC are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.
(e) Hence, they are not voted in Parliament.
(f) The Chairman of UPSC on ceasing to hold office is not eligible for further employment in the Government of India or a state.
(g) A member of UPSC on ceasing to hold office is eligible for appointment as the Chairman of UPSC or a State Public Service Commission (SPSC), but not for any other employment in the Government of India or a state.
(h) The Chairman or a member or UPSC after having completed his first term is not eligible for re-appointment to that office. Thus, there is no second term for the same office.
4) Which of the following is/are true regarding limitations on UPSC?
1) UPSC is not consulted for making reservations of post in favor of backward classes.
2) The President can exclude posts, services and matters from the purview of the UPSC.
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
- Some matters are kept outside the functional jurisdiction of the UPSC.
- Thus, UPSC is not consulted on those matters.
They are -
(a) While making reservations of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens.
(b) While taking into consideration the claims of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in making appointments to services and posts.
(c) With regard to the selections for chairmanship or membership of commissions or tribunals, posts of the highest diplomatic nature and a bulk of group C and group D services.
(d) With regard to the selection for temporary or officiating appointment to a post if the person appointed is not likely to hold the post for more than a year.
- The President can exclude posts, services and matters from the purview of the UPSC.
- The Constitution states that the President, in respect to the all-India services and central services and posts may make regulations specifying the matters in which, it shall not be necessary for UPSC to be consulted.
- But all such regulations made by the President shall be laid before each House of Parliament for at least 14 days.
- The Parliament can amend or repeal them.
5) Which statements are true regarding functions of UPSC?
1) It is consulted for principles to be followed during promotions and appointments.
2) Advising the Government on any matter referred to the commission by the President of India.
3) An individual ministry or department can reject advices tendered by UPSC.
4) If the government fails to consult UPSC in regards to personnel management, then the aggrieved public servant can go to Supreme Court.
a. 1, 3
b. 1, 2, 4
c. 2, 3, 4
d. 1, 2
ANSWER: 1, 2
- Under Article 320 of the Constitution of India, UPSC is, inter-alia, required to be consulted on all matters relating to recruitment to civil services and posts.
The functions of the commission under Article 320 of the Constitution are -
- Conduct examinations for appointment to the services of the Union. This includes all-India services, central services and public services of the centrally administered territories.
- Direct recruitment by selection through interviews.
- Appointment of officers on promotion/deputation/absorption.
- Framing and amendment of Recruitment Rules for various services and posts under the Government.
- Advising the Government on any matter referred to the commission by the President of India.
- It assists the states (if requested by two or more states) in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services.
- It serves all or any of the needs of a state on the request of the State Governor. But it needs prior approval of the President of India.
In relation to personnel management it is consulted on the following matters -
(a) All the matters relating to the methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts.
(b) The principles that need to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts.
(c) The principles for making promotions and transfers from one service to another.
(d) The suitability and eligibility of candidates for appointments to civil services and posts; for promotions, deputation etc.
(e) Recommendations for promotions are made by concerned departments and these are ratified by the request the UPSC.
(f) Disciplinary matters relating to different Civil Services including memorials or petitions relating to such matters. Some disciplinary actions can be -
1. Censure i.e., severe disapproval.
2. Withholding of increments or promotions.
3. Recovery of pecuniary loss.
4. Reduction to lower service or rank (Demotion) or compulsory retirement.
5. Removal or dismissal from service (dismissal disqualifies a person from future employment under the government while removal allows the possibility of such future employment).
(g) On regularization of appointments and matters of temporary appointments for period exceeding 1 year etc.
(h) Matters concerning grant of extension of service and re-employment of certain retired civil servants.
(i) Other matters related to personnel management.
- The Supreme Court has held that if the government fails to consult UPSC in the above matters, the aggrieved public servant has no remedy in a court.
- Thus, any irregularity in consultation with the UPSC or acting without consultation does not invalidate the decision of the government.
- The provision is directory and not mandatory.
- Also a selection by the UPSC does not confer any right to the post on the candidate.
- But, the government has to act fairly and without malafide.
- Parliament can confer additional functions relating to the services of the Union.
- It can also place the personnel system of any authority, corporate body or public institution within the jurisdiction of the UPSC.
- Parliament can extend the jurisdiction of UPSC by an act.
- The UPSC annually presents report on its performance to the President.
- The President places this report before both the Houses of Parliament, along with reasons for non-acceptance of advice of the commission.
- The cases of non-acceptance of advice must be approved by the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet.
- An individual ministry or department has no power to reject advices tendered by UPSC.