Print Friendly, PDF & Email

16th Civil Services Day

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Role of Civil Services in a Democracy


Source: PIB 

Context: National Civil Service Day, observed on April 21 every year, is a celebration of the idea of national civil service.

  • The first National Civil Services Day was celebrated on April 21, 2006.



  • Civil servants constitute the backbone of the administration.
  • They ensure the implementation of government policies, ensuring the passage of benefits to the people.
  • The civil services in India consist of the
    • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
    • Indian Police Service (IPS)
    • Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and
    • A comprehensive list of other Central Services (Group A, B)
  • It commemorates the day when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – independent India’s first Home Minister, inaugurated the newly-created Indian Administrative Service in 1947, calling them the “steel frame of India.”
Indian Civil Services
Issues faced Govt efforts
Lack of professionalism and poor capacity building.


An ineffective incentive system that does not reward meritorious and upright civil servants.


Rigid and outmoded rules and procedures restrict the exercise of individual judgement and .efficient performance.


Lack of accountability and transparency, with no adequate protection for whistle-blowers.


Political interference causes arbitrary transfers, and insecurity in tenures.


An erosion in ethics and values has caused rampant corruption and nepotism.


Patrimonialism (a form of governance in which all power flows directly from the leader).


Resistance to change from the civil servants themselves.

Towards capacity building and Specialisation:


Mission Karmayogi: A National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB).


Lateral entry: Personnel from the private sector are selected for administrative posts in the government.


Towards transparency and accountability:


SVAMITVA scheme: A reformative step towards the establishment of clear ownership of property in rural inhabited areas, by mapping land parcels using drone technology.


Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS): An online web-enabled system that provides the facility to lodge a grievance online from any geographical location.


RTI, Citizen Charter, etc


A new ethic of civil servants:

  • Selfless service and empathy.
  • Duty-bound to drive India’s transition from Amrit Mahotsav to Amrit Kaal.
  • The removal of a colonial mindset, sharing a sense of pride in the Indian roots, with a nation-first approach.
  • A future-ready civil service, which is
    • Proactive and polite;
    • Professional and progressive;
    • Energetic and enabling;
    • Transparent and tech-enabled;
    • Creative and constructive; and
    • Imaginative and innovative.


Desired outcomes for the Indian civil services:

  • Maximum Governance, Minimum Government
  • Cooperative Federalism through uniformity in administration across the Union and the States



  • The Indian civil services must transform itself from a rigid, restrictive and rule-bound colonial bureaucracy to one rooted in the national ethos.
  • “…now, you are serving your own people, so you have to serve with your heart and mind and soul…” (Sardar Patel while inaugurating the new IAS in 1947)


Insta Links:

Reforms in Indian Civil Services


Mains Links:

Has the Cadre based Civil Services Organization been the cause of slow development in India? Critically examine. (UPSC 2014)