Reform Attempts In Recruitment

In any governance system the quality of its public servants is critical and in this context recruitment of suitable persons is of great importance. Those aspiring to be civil servants the civil services. The system of recruitment to the civil services in India has evolved over the years. The recruitment process has undergone many changes, especially post independence to reflect the administration’s requirements from time to time. Several commissions and committees were created to make recommendations on different aspects of recruitment. 
These recommendations are included in the Report on Public Administration by A.D. Gorwala, 1951; Report on the Public Services (Qualifications for Recruitment) Committee, 1956 – alternatively called Dr. A. Ramaswami Mudaliar Committee Report; Report on Indian and State Administrative Services and Problems of District Administration by V.T. Krishnamachari, 1962; ARC’s Report on Personnel Administration,1969; Report of the Committee on Recruitment Policy and Selection Methods, 1976 – a.k.a the D.S. Kothari Committee Report; Report of the Committee to Review the Scheme of the Civil Services Examination, 1989 – also known as the Satish Chandra Committee Report; Report of the Civil Services Examination Review Committee, 2001, also known as Professor Yoginder K. Alagh Committee Report; Report of the Committee on Civil Service Reforms also known as the Hota Committee Report, 2004. A.D.Gorwala’s Report (Report on Public Administration, 1951) recommended that recruitment to any government grade must be done in such a fashion that there is no scope for patronage; it also proposed that this principle should hold good for the temporary staff as well. Dr. A. Ramaswami Mudaliar Committee Report, 1956, on Public Services (Qualifi cations for Recruitment) proposed that a University degree should be the minimum educational qualification for recruitment into the higher services and for ministerial & secretarial services, a University degree need not be mandatory. This Committee also recommended that the upper age bar for the highest administrative and executive services ought to be between the years of 21 and 23. The Krishnamachari Committee Report (Report on Indian and State Administrative Services and Problems of District Administration by V.T. Krishnamachari, 1962) assessed the recruitment processes to Class I and Class II services in the State Governments and recommended that recruitments should be conducted yearly. The first ARC stressed on the importance of proper personnel planning and also management of cadre. It suggested that recruitment to the IAS/IFS and other non-technical Class I services should be made only through one competitive examination. It also recommended that the upper age bar for taking the civil services competitive examinations should be raised to 26 years. The First ARC further recommended that direct recruitment to Class II posts of Section Officers should be stopped and these posts may be filled by promotion of Assistants. The Commission also recommended that recruitment to clerical and other secretarial posts should be through simple objective tests. The Commission recommended establishment of Recruitment Boards for the appointment of Class III & IV personnel. The D.S. Kothari Committee Report on Recruitment Policy and Selection Methods, 1976, inter-alia recommended a drastic change in the system of examination. They recommended a two-stage examination process – a preliminary examination followed by a main examination. This Committee also proposed changes in the training process for the civil services. The Fifth Central Pay Commission suggested that employment on contract basis should be encouraged and Government employees should have the right to retain their lien for 2 years if they wish to move to the private sector. The Civil Services Examination Review Committee, 2001 (chaired by Professor Y. K. Alagh) recommended many changes in the structure of the examination system for recruitment to the civil services. It favoured assessing the candidates in a common subject rather than on optional subjects. The Committee on Civil Service Reforms (Hota Committee Report, 2004) made recommendations, among other things on recruitment and recommended that the age for entrants to the higher civil services should be between 21-24 years with a relaxation of 5 years for SC/STs and 3 years for OBCs. The Hota Committee also suggested that aptitude and leadership tests may be introduced for selection and that probationers may be allowed one month’s time after commencement of training to exercise their option for Services.

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