Union Public Service Commission

The Union Public Service Commission (Hindi: संघ लोक सेवा आयोग, IAST: Saņgh Lok Sevā Āyōg), commonly abbreviated as UPSC, is India's premier central recruiting agency. It is responsible for appointments to and examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services.[2] While Department of Personnel and Training is the central personnel agency in India.

Union Public Service Commission

Emblem of India
Commission overview
FormedOctober 1, 1926 (1926-10-01)
Preceding agencies
  • Federal Public Service Commission
  • Public Service Commission
JurisdictionRepublic of India
HeadquartersDholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi
28.6080°N 77.2269°E / 28.6080; 77.2269
Commission executive
Parent departmentGovernment of India
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The agency's charter is granted by Part XIV of the Constitution of India, titled as Services Under the Union and the States.[3][4] The commission is mandated by the Constitution for appointments to the services of the Union and All India Services. It is also required to be consulted by the Government in matters relating to the appointment, transfer, promotion and disciplinary matters. The commission reports directly to the President and can advise the Government through him. Although, such advice is not binding on the Government. Being a constitutional authority, UPSC is amongst the few institutions which function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the country’s higher judiciary and lately the Election Commission.[5]

The commission is headquartered at Dholpur House, in New Delhi and functions through its own secretariat. Arvind Saxena has been the Chairman of UPSC since June 2018.

Established on 1 October 1926 as Public Service Commission, it was later reconstituted as Federal Public Service Commission by the Government of India Act, 1935; only to be renamed as today's Union Public Service Commission after the independence.[6][7]


The Royal Commission on the superior Civil Services in India was set up under the chairmanship of Lord Lee of Fareham by the British Government in 1923.[8][6] With equal numbers of Indian and British members, the commission submitted its report in 1924, recommending setting up of a Public Service Commission.[9] The Lee Commission proposed that 40% of future entrants should be British, 40% Indians directly recruited, and 20% Indians promoted from the provincial services.[8][7]

This led to the establishment of the first Public Service Commission on 1 October 1926 under the chairmanship of Sir Ross Barker.[6] A mere limited advisory function was granted to the Public Service Commission and the leaders of the freedom movement continually stressed on this aspect, which then resulted in the setting up of a Federal Public Service Commission under the Government of India Act, 1935.[6][7]

The Federal Public Service Commission became the Union Public Service Commission after independence. It was given a constitutional status with under of Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.[9][7][10]

Constitutional status

Articles 315 to 323 of Part XIV of the constitution, titled as Services Under the Union and the States, provide for a Public Service Commission for the Union and for each state.[3][4] Accordingly, as per Art. 315, at Union level, Union Public Service Commission is envisaged by it. UPSC is amongst the few institutions which function with both autonomy and freedom, along with the country’s higher judiciary and lately the Election Commission.[5]


As per Art. 316, the Chairman and other members of Union Public Service Commission shall be appointed by the President. In case the office of the Chairman becomes vacant his duties shall be performed by one of the other members of the Commission as the President may appoint for the purpose.[11]

Also, nearly half of the members of the Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. A member of a Union Public Service Commission shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier. Under Art 318, the President is empowered to determine number of members of the Commission and their conditions of service. Further, he can make provision with respect to the number of members of the staff of the Commission and their conditions of service too. Also, conditions of service cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.[11]

As per Art 319, a person who holds office as Chairman shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be ineligible for re-appointment to that office. But, a member other than the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, or as the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission, but not for any other employment either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State. Also, the Chairman of a State Public Service Commission shall be eligible for appointment as the Chairman or any other member of the Union Public Service Commission.[11]

Removal and suspension

As per Art. 317, the Chairman or any other member of a Public Service Commission shall only be removed from their office by order of the President on the ground of "misbehaviour" after the Supreme Court, on reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry reported that the Chairman or such other member ought to be removed. The President may suspend the Chairman or other member of the Commission until report of the Supreme Court is received.[11]

The President may also remove the Chairman or any other member of the commission if they:

  • is adjudged an insolvent; or
  • engages during their term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of their office; or
  • is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
  • The Chairman or any other member cannot hold an office of profit or otherwise they shall be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.[11]


As per Art. 320, it shall be the duty of the Union Public Service Commissions to conduct examinations for appointments to the services of the Union. It shall also assist two or more States, if requested so, in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services.[11]

The Union Public Service Commission shall be consulted:

  • on all matters relating to
    • methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts
    • making appointments to civil services and posts
    • making promotions and transfers from one service to another
    • the suitability of candidates for such appointments, promotions or transfers
  • on all disciplinary matters against a civil servant serving in a civil capacity, including memorials or petitions relating to such matters.
  • on any claim by or in respect of a person who is serving or has served in a civil capacity, that any costs incurred by him in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duty should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • on any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving in a civil capacity, and any question as to the amount of such award.

It shall be the duty of a Union Public Service Commission to advise on any matter referred to them; provided that the President has not made any regulations specifying the matters in which it shall not be necessary for Union Public Service Commission to be consulted.[11]


As per Art. 322, the expenses of the Union Public Service Commission, including any salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of the members or staff of the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.[11]

Extension of functions

As per Art. 321, an Act made by Parliament may provide for the exercise of additional functions by the Union Public Service Commission w.r.t. services of the Union.[11]


As per Art. 323, it will be the duty of the Union Commission to annually present a report to the President of the work done by the Commission. On receipt of such report, the President shall present a copy before each House of Parliament; together with a memorandum, if any, explaining the reasons where the advice of the Commission was not accepted by him.[11]

Organisational structure

The Commission consists of a chairman and other members appointed by The President of India. Usually, the Commission consists of 9 to 11 members including the chairman.[12] Every member holds office for a term of six years or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier.

The terms and conditions of service of chairman and members of the Commission are governed by the Union Public Service Commission (Members) Regulations, 1969.[13]

The chairman and any other member of the Commission can submit his resignation at any time to the President of India. He may be removed from his office by the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour (only if an inquiry of such misbehaviour is made and upheld by Supreme Court) or if he is adjudged insolvent, or engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or in the opinion of the President unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.


The Commission is serviced by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary with four Additional Secretaries, a number of Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and other supporting staff.[14] The secretariat, for administrative purpose, is further divided into divisions, each undertaking a specific responsibility:[15]

  • Administration: Administers the Secretariat as well as looks after personal matters of Chairman/Members and other Officers/Staff of the Commission.[16]
  • All India Services: Recruitment to All India Services is done either by direct recruitment (through Competitive Examinations) or by promotion from the State Service. The AIS Branch handles the promotions of State Service officers to the IAS, IPS and IFS. It also handles policy matters relating to All India Services and amendments in the 'Promotion Regulations' of respective services.[17]
  • Appointments: It carry out appointments to central services based on Promotion(based on proposals from various Ministries/Departments/Union Territories and from certain local bodies) and by the means of Deputation and Absorption.[18]
  • Examination: It carries out merit-based selection and recommendation of candidates, through various examinations, to Group A and Group B Services of the Government of India.[19]
  • General: Primarily deals with day-to-day housekeeping works for Commission, like, arrangements and facilitation for conduction of Examinations by the UPSC, printing Annual Report etc.[20]
  • Recruitment: This branch carries out Direct Recruitment(out of the 3 possible mechanisms of : 'direct recruitment', 'recruitment by promotion' and 'recruitment by transfer and permanent absorption') by selection to all Group `A’ and certain Group `B’ posts of the services of the Union (including some Union Territories). These recruitment are done either by selection(interview) or through competitive examination.[21]
  • Recruitment Rules: The Commission is mandated under Art. 320 of the Constitution of India, read along the UPSC (Exemption from Consultation) Regulations, 1958, to advise on framing and amending of Recruitment and Service Rules for various Group A and Group B posts in the Government of India, and certain autonomous organizations like EPFO, ESIC, DJB, NDMC & Municipal Corporations(s) of Delhi. This Branch carries out this responsibility by facilitating the Ministries / Departments / UT Administrations / Autonomous Organisations in this regard.[22]
  • Services I: Handles disciplinary cases received from various Ministries/Departments and State Governments for advice of the Commission, as required under Article 320 (3)(c).
  • Services II: Handles all other cases that 'Services I' branch doesn't. It compiles the Annual Report. Also, it coordinates visits of foreign delegations, correspondence with foreign countries and hosting of international events concerning Public Service Commissions, including the SAARC Member States.

Present members

Current members of the Commission[23]
NameServicePositionTerm startedTerm end
Arvind SaxenaIndian Postal ServiceChair29 Nov 201807 Jul 2020
Pradeep Kumar JoshiAcademicianMember12 May 201512 May 2021
Bhim Sain Bassi IPSMember31 May 201619 Feb 2021
Air Marshal Ajit BhonsleIndian Air ForceMember21 Feb 201714 Feb 2022
Sujata MehtaIndian Foreign ServiceMember29 Feb 201729 Mar 2022
Manoj SoniAcademicianMember28 Jun 201727 Jun 2023
Smita Nagaraj IASMember01 Dec 201721 Sep 2023
M. Sathiyavathy IASMember09 Apr 201815 May 2023
Bharat Bhushan Vyas IASMember13 Dec 201814 Nov 2022
T. C. A. AnantIndian Economic ServiceMember14 Jan 201902 Jan 2023
Rajiv Nayan Choubey IASMember01 Feb 201927 Jan 2024

List of all chairman

Following is the list of Chairmen of UPSC:[24]

List of UPSC Chairmen (since inception)
Chairman Term Background
From To
Sir Ross BarkerOctober 1926 August 1932
Sir David PetrieAugust 1932 1936
Sir Eyre Gorden1937 1942
Sir F. W. Robertson1942 1947
H. K. Kripalani1 April 1947 13 January 1949
R. N. Banerjee14 January 1949 9 May 1955
N. Govindarajan10 May 1955 9 December 1955
V. S. Hejmadi10 December 1955 9 December 1961
B. N. Jha11 December 1961 22 February 1967
K. R. Damle18 April 1967 2 March 1971
Ranadhir Chandra Sarma Sarkar11 May 1971 1 February 1973Academician, West Bengal Civil Services officer
Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai5 February 1973 4 February 1979
M. L. Shahare16 February 1979 16 February 1985
H. K. L. Capoor18 February 1985 5 March 1990
J. P. Gupta5 March 1990 2 June 1992
R. M. Bathew (Kharbuli)23 September 1992 23 August 1996
S. J. S. Chhatwal23 August 1996 30 September 1996
J. M. Qureshi30 September 1996 11 December 1998
Surendra Nath11 December 1998 25 June 2002 Former Vice Chief of the Army Staff[25]
Purna Chandra Hota25 June 2002 September 2003 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1962 batch[26]
Mata PrasadSeptember 2003 January 2005IAS officer of the 1962 Batch
S. R. Hashim4 January 2005 1 April 2006
Gurbachan Jagat1 April 2006 30 June 2007 Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1966 batch[27]
Subir Dutta30 June 2007 16 August 2008
D. P. Agrawal16 August 2008 August 2014Academician
Rajni Razdan16 August 2014 21 November 2014IAS officer of 1973 batch, Haryana cadre[28]
Deepak Gupta22 November 2014 20 September 2016IAS officer of 1974 Batch, Jharkhand cadre[29][30]
Alka Sirohi21 September 2016 3 January 2017IAS officer of 1974 Batch,[31] Madhya Pradesh cadre[32]
David R. Syiemlieh4 January 2017 21 January 2018Academician[33] and former Vice-chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar[34]
Vinay Mittal22 January 2018 19 June 2018Former Chairman Railway Board and Indian Railway Traffic Service officer of 1975 batch[35]
Arvind Saxena (acting)20 June 2018 28 November 2018Indian Postal Service officer of 1978 Batch and an officer of the Research and Analysis Wing[36]
Arvind Saxena28 November 2018 IncumbentAppointed full-time chairman[37]


  1. "The Commission – UPSC". 21 June 2018.
  2. "UPSC | Functions". www.upsc.gov.in.
  3. "Constitutional Provisions". www.upsc.gov.in.
  4. "PART XIV: SERVICES UNDER THE UNION AND THE STATES" (PDF). lawmin.nic.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2011.
  5. J. S. Verma (11 April 2009). "Incredible CBI". Indian Express. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  6. "Civil Administration and legal foundation". vle.du.ac.in. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  7. "Historical Perspective". www.upsc.gov.in.
  8. "Lee Commission | Indian history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  9. "Citizen's Charter of UPSC". www.upsc.gov.in.
  10. "Union Public Service Commission (U.P.S.C) – History, Functions, Powers – Important India". Important India. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  11. "Constitution of India" (PDF). Government of India. November 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. "The members of the Union Public Service Commission". UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. 2017.
  13. "Notification_39019_05_96_Estt(B)" (PDF). document.ccis.nic.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2017.
  14. "Secretariat". www.upsc.gov.in.
  15. "UPSC Divisions". www.upsc.gov.in. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  16. "Administration Division Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  17. "All India Service Branch Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  18. "Appointments: Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  19. "Examinations : Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  20. "General : Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  21. "Recruitment : Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  22. "Recruitment Rules: Introduction". www.upsc.gov.in.
  23. "The Commission". Union Public Service Commission. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  24. "Chairmen of UPSC". India.gov.in. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  25. "New UPSC chairman takes over". The Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 12 December 1998. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  26. "P C Hota takes over as UPSC chief". The Times of India. Press Trust of India. 25 June 2002. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  27. "Gurbachan Jagat takes over as UPSC Chairman". Zee News. 1 April 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  28. "Smt. Rajni Razdan takes over as Chairman, UPSC". pib.nic.in.
  29. "Deepak Gupta made UPSC chairman". 24 November 2014.
  30. "No full-fledged secretaries for I and B, Panchayati Raj ministries, temporarily". www.babusofindia.com.
  31. "Alka Sirohi, 1974 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS, assumes office as DoPT secretary". www.babusofindia.com.
  32. "A Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer, Alka Sirohi, assumes office as Member, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Before taking over her new charge, Sirohi – officer of 1974 batch – served as Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, ministry of personnel. - Times of India".
  33. "Academician David R Syiemlieh appointed interim UPSC chairman".
  34. "Aapsu upset over Rajiv Gandhi University vice-chancellor departure – Times of India".
  35. "Know your UPSC Member and ex-Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal". www.babusofindia.com.
  36. "Arvind Saxena appointed acting UPSC chief". The Times of India. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  37. "Arvind Saxena appointed UPSC chairman". The Times of India. Press Trust of India. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
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