Read this article to learn about the History of Indian Constitution: Farming, Implementing and it’s Structure !
The Constitution of India was framed by a Constituent Assembly set up under the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946. The Assembly consisted of 389 members representing provinces (292), states (93), the Chief Commissioner Provinces (3) and Baluchistan (1).
The Assembly held its first meeting on December 9, 1946, and elected Dr. Sachhidanand Sinha, the oldest member of the Assembly as the Provisional President. On December 11, 1946, the Assembly elected Dr Rajendra Prasad as its permanent Chairman.
The strength of the Assembly was reduced to 299 (229 representing the provinces and 70 representing the states) following withdrawal of the Muslim League members after the partition of the country.
The Constituent Assembly set up 13 committees for framing the constitution. On the basis of the reports of these committees, a draft of the Constitution was prepared by a seven-member Drafting Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr B R Ambedkar.
The drafting Constitution was published in January, 1948 and people were given eight months. After the draft was discussed by the people, the press, the provincial assemblies and the Constituent Assembly in the light of the suggestions received, the same was finally adopted on November, 26, 1949, and was signed by the President of the Assembly. Thus, it took the Constituent Assembly 2 years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the task.
The Constitution of India was not an original document. The framers of the Constitution freely borrowed the good features of other constitutions. However, while adopting those features, they made necessary modification for its suitability to the Indian conditions and avoided their defects. The Constitutions which exercised profound influence on the Indian Constitution were that of UK, USA, Ireland, Canada etc.
The parliamentary system of government, rule of law, law-making procedure and single citizenship were borrowed from the British Constitution. Independence of Judiciary, Judicial Review, Fundamental Rights and guidelines for the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts were adopted from the US Constitution. The federal system with a strong central authority was adopted from Canada.
Directive Principles of State Policy were borrowed from the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland. The idea of Concurrent List was borrowed from the Australian Constitution. The provisions relating to emergency were influenced by the Weimer Constitution.
Above all, the Government of India Act, 1935, exercised great influence of the Indian Constitution. The federal scheme, office of Governor, powers of federal judiciary, etc., were drawn from this Act. In short, the Indian Constitution incorporated the best features of several existing constitutions.
Though the major part of the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, the provisions relating to citizenship, elections, provisional parliament and temporary and transitional provisions came into force with immediate effect, viz., from November 26, 1949.
The Structure of Bureaucracy and the Police:
While guaranteeing the rights of the old services, the new Indian government envisaged the need for replacing with services controlled and manned by Indians. In fact, as early as October 1964, Sardar Patel, the then Home Member in the Governor General’s Executive Council, had secured the agreement of the Provincial Governments to the formation of the two new All India Services – the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), to replace the old colonial ICS and IPS.
The emergence of a free India on August 15, 1947 found the country in a deep crisis of personnel. The new government led by Jawaharlal Nehru promptly and courageously set about the task of filling the gaps in the services.
The first step in this direction was to invite applications to fill about 200 – 300 posts in the newly created Foreign Service. The applications were solicited from persons from all walks of life and the age limit was specially raised to 45 years.
In 1948, a new Recruitment Board was set up to survey the available administrative manpower in the country both inside and outside the ranks of the Permanent Services, and to select men of the right requisite standards in order to make good the deficiency in services.
With the inauguration of the Constitution of India in January 26, 1950, the Special Recruitment Board came to an end. The All India Service Act was passed by the parliament in October 1951 and the Indian Forest Service was constituted.
Training of Civil Servants:
The teething problems of the education and training of Civil Servants have assumed special significance in India today. Recruits to the All India and Central Services are given training, extensively, at different centers of the country.
The IAS, IFS and IPS probationers are directed to the Lai Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie for initial, foundational course training. The idea of this course is that officers of the higher services should acquire an understanding of the constitutional, economic and social framework, within which they have to function as these largely determine the policies and programmes of government policies.
After completion of 3 – 4 months foundational course, the probationers of the services, other than the IAS, leave for their respective training institutions for institutional training and the IAS probationers remain at the Academy to undergo a further course of institutional training.
The IFS trainees get further training at Delhi and the IPS at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad. The LBS Academy may also organise short courses, seminars, conferences etc. for the benefit of senior officers- ordinarily those having about fifteen years of service. The course may deal with the higher problems of government or with special subjects, like social security, fiscal policy, planning, departmental co-ordination etc.
The LBS Academy at Mussorie offers three types of courses as mentioned below:
(i)A one-year course for the IAS officers, to cover the syllabus prescribed under the All- India Services probationers final examinations.
(ii) A six-week refresher course for officers of the seniority of 10 – 15 years. To start with, it is proposed to run this course for IAS officers and in due course, to throw it open for senior officers of the other services also.
(iii) A combined course of five months for all the All India Services and the Central Services, Class I, for training in foundational subjects.
The purport of these courses is to widen the outlook of the trainees. The course is general in nature, and provides for imparting of general education in liberal arts to the personnel recruited for posts of specialised nature. Thus it fulfills a big gap, which previously existed and is a step in the right direction.
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC):
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is a constitutional body. Article 315 of the constitution spells out in detail about it. The constitution of Indian provides for a Public Service Commission for the union and a Public Service Commission for each state or a joint Public Service Commission for a group of states of the union.
The UPSC conducts examinations for appointments to the services of the union. It shall be consulted —
a. On all matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts.
b. On the principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts, and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another, and on the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions and transfers.
c. On all disciplinary matters affecting the central government employees.
d. On any claim by or in respect of central government employee in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings against him in respect of acts done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
e. On any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a central government employee.
The members of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) are appointed by the President for a period of six years or till the age of sixty-five, which ever may be earlier. The authorised strength of the commission is nine.
The independence of the Chairman and other members of the commission is ensured by the following constitutional provisions:
i) The removal of the Chairman and other members can be done only in the manner and on the grounds specified in the constitution.
ii) The conditions of service cannot be changed to the disadvantage of the members.
iii) The expenses of the Commission are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or of the state.
iv) The Chairman shall not be eligible for employment under the government and the members can be eligible for the post of its chairman only.
Generalists and Specialists:
Traditionally, the Indian Public Service has been structured on the British pattern by the division of service into the higher “administrative class and other subordinate technical services”. The origin of such a dichotomy can be traced to the famous North-cote-Trevelyan Report on the “Organisation of Permanent Civil Service” 1853.
This Report recommended that the superior posts should be filled by the “most promising young men of the day by a competitive examination on a level with the highest description of education in the country, and that this examination should be in all cases a competing literacy examination. Thus was created in Britain an elite “administrative class” recruited on the basis of literary attainments.
In recent years, such administrators have come to be christened for want of a better term, Generalists.
In plain terms, a Generalist may be defined as a Public Servant who does not have a specialised background, and is easily transferable to any department or branch of government. Also, a generalist has been defined as a civil servant, who belongs to the managerial class and who is well up in rules, regulations and procedures of administration and who generally performs POSDCORB functions (Planning, Organising, Supervising, Direction, coordinating, Reporting and Budgeting).
It is noteworthy that as management work itself becomes a specialisation, the traditional generalist becomes a specialist. However, the term ‘generalist’ applies mostly to administrators who rise from specialization in early career to progressively boarder administrative assignments.
This is in sharp contrast to the British and Indian system, where certain classes of civil servants are recruited for such work, called, the administrative class in Britain and the Indian Administrative service and the State Administrative or Executive Services in India.
On the other hand, a ‘Specialist’ generally means, a person who has a special knowledge or skill in a specific field e.g. agriculturists, physicians, engineers, educationists, etc. The specialist can easily be distinguished on the basis of his education and training.
An important characteristic of the public services in India is the superior position of the generalist. By and large, the “policy formulation” and the “consideration” levels in the central and state secretaries are manned by the members of the generalist services.
Thus, naturally the main grievance of the specialist services has been that a large majority of top posts in the Union Government and the State Governments are manned by the members of the generalist elite IAS. The position is similar in the case of public enterprises, be it of the Central Government or State Governments.
A good number of steps are being reported by the Government of India to overcome this ‘objection’. Some of the important ones are as follows:
i. Weakening of the Tenure system.
ii. Creation of New Specialist All India and Central Services.
iii. Appointment of Specialists to positions of administrative responsibility.
Some of the other important solutions offered to the problem of the generalist – specialist dichotomy may be indicated as below.
i. Separate Hierarchy:
According to system, there will be a common pay and greater respect for specialists. This is prevalent in Australia, Sweden and West Germany.
ii. Parallel Hierarchy:
In this system, Director – General (Specialist) will be working with Deputy Secretary (Generalist) and Director (Subordinate Specialist) with under secretary and so on
iii. Joint Hierarchy:
According to this arrangement, Deputy Secretary (Generalist) and the Director (Specialist) report jointly to the permanent secretary (Generalist). In other words, the staff of a Ministry should be structured to maintain open channels for competitive view points. Thus, a minister may be advised by both a generalist as well as a specialist.
iv. Unified Hierarchy:
This is, perhaps, the most radical suggestion. It advocates the creation of a Unified Civil Service, for the Central Services and All India Services. There should be a common competitive examination, of a uniform standard, for entry into such service and the emoluments and other conditions of service should also be uniform.
This service may be named as the Indian Union Service (I.U.S.). This idea has been under discussion in India for the last few years. But, while the Government of India (GOI) has not been able to make up its mind on the issue, the Pakistan Government, as a part of its measure of administrative reforms, announced on August 20, 1973, has created a unified Civil Service for Pakistan under this scheme. All the services and cadres in the Pakistan Government have been merged into a Unified Civil Service with equality of opportunity for all, based on the professional and specialised competence for each job.
v. A less drastic solution may be to promote specialists with managerial flair and capacity to the Indian Administrative Service. Perhaps, this can partially satisfy the ambitions of specialists and also provide technical bias to the highest civil service.