Union Public Service Commission or UPSC is one of the constitutional bodies of India, which came into force under Article 315 of the Constitution of India, from January 26, 1950 after the constitution of India was promulgated. It is upon the commission to carry out some functions such as:
- Recruitment into different government posts by interview or selection and by competitive examination
- Advising government for the purpose of promotion and deputation
- Advising government on matters of recruitment into different services and posts and amendment of rules
- Handling of disciplinary cases, matters related to extraordinary pensions and reimbursement of legal expenses, etc
As a recruitment authority in the country, the UPSC carries out recruitment in the following four methods:
A- Direct recruitment which can be either recruitment by competitive examination or by selection is done by this body. Some of the competitive examinations that are managed by UPSC are:
- Civil services preliminary
- Civil services main
- Combined medical services
- Engineering services
- Indian forest services
- Geologist’s examination
- Central police forces central commandants
- Combined defence services examination twice a year
- Special class railway apprentice’s held once in two years
- Indian economic services/Indian statistical services
- National defence academy & naval academy
- Section officers and stenographers
Candidates who are women and applying for any of the above posts for recruitment by the UPSC shall be exempted from payment of the application fee as ordained by the central government, since the year 2010 examinations. From the same year, the examination application has been changed into online format.
Each of the examination is advertised in the national newspapers and also in the Employment News on a weekly basis, and the same are also published in the online papers and the UPSC official website, much before the actual date of examination, thereby giving sufficient time for the students to prepare for the examinations. There is a common application form for all examinations, which is available after the advertisement in all the head post offices in the whole country. Only the forms for Civil Services mains and Stenographer/section officers’ examinations are sent to the candidates.
B- The selection is done for many Group “A” and some Group “B” posts in the central government directly, for which advertisements are published in the Employment News Weekly paper and are also given in the internet portals. In the case of selections, the applications that are received over a period of time from the date of publication of advertisements are scrutinised to select the most suitable candidates. Although this is the routine format, yet in many cases, in case there is no final decision over the selection process, then the candidates are called for interview round, where the commission members sit to pick the right candidate for the given jobs.
C- Apart from the direct recruitment, the UPSC also carries out the activities required for promotions and departmental transfers. For this purpose, the chairman of the commission or any member will have to preside over the meeting to consider promotion from Group B to A or from one grade to another in Group A or for change of state services to All India cadre.
The functions of deputation and absorption are also taken care of by the UPSC, which is the highest authority in the country for recruitment. Most of the officer posts are filled by the written and/or interview round tests conducted by the commission. The high standard test and the large number of students seeking to get into central government jobs make this particular examination, one of the toughest in the country.