Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)


  • Only central recruiting agency
  • Articles 315 to 323 in Part XIV

Composition, Appointment, Tenure etc.

  • Deals with the composition, appointment and removal of members along with the independence, powers and functions of the UPSC.
  • Consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the President of India.
  • President on his discretion decides the number of members in the Commission.
  • The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The Constitution visualizes the UPSC to be the ‘watch-dog of merit system’ in India.
  • The role of UPSC is not only limited, but also recommendations made by it are only of advisory nature and hence, not binding on the government.
  • The same structure exists in the state as well, consisting of same organizational set up and same kind of functions confined to that particular state. Although the chairman and members of a SPSC are appointed by the Governor, they can be removed only by the President (and not by the Governor). The President can remove them on the same grounds and in the same manner as he can remove a chairman or a member of the UPSC.
  • Security of Tenure / can be removed by President only
  • Conditions of service of the chairman or a member, though
    determined by the president, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment
  • Salary charged on Consolidated Fund of India (not
    subject to vote of Parliament)
  • CEC is not eligible for further employment in GOI or State Govt. (Members of EC eligible for CEC only but not for any other employment)
  • chairman or a member of UPSC after completion of term not eligible for second term.
  • The President can appoint one of the members of the UPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances:
  • When the office of the chairman falls vacant; or
  • When the chairman is unable to perform his functions due to absence or some other reason.
  • The President can remove the chairman or any other member of UPSC from the office under the following circumstances:
    • If he is adjudged an insolvent (that is, has gone bankrupt);
    • If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
    • If he is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.
    • Misbehaviour (refer the matter to the Supreme Court for enquiry-SC tendered to Prez is binding under the provisions of Constitution)

Functions of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

  • UPSC conducts the examination for appointments to the all-India services, Central services and public services of the centrally administered territories.
  • It assists the states in recruiting candidates requiring special qualifications. (if asked for)
  • It is consulted on the following matters:
    • All matters relating to methods of recruitment to civil services and for civil posts.
    • The principles to be followed in making appointments to civil services and posts and in making promotions and transfers from one service to another.
    • The suitability of candidates for appointments to civil services and posts; for promotions and transfers from one service to another; and appointments by transfer or deputation. The concerned departments make recommendations for promotions and request the UPSC to ratify them.
    • Any claim for reimbursement of legal expenses incurred by a civil servant in defending legal proceedings instituted against him in respect of acts done in the execution of his official duties.
    • Any claim for the award of a pension in respect of injuries sustained by a person while serving under the Government of India and any question as to the amount of any such award.
  • Presents annual reports to President which will be placed before the houses
  • Non-acceptance of advices (If any) must be approved by the Appointments Committee / individual ministry or department has no power to reject the advice
  • Not Consulted in:
    • reservations of appointments of any backward class
    • consideration the claims of SCs / STs
    • selections for chairmanship or membership of commissions or tribunals, posts of the highest diplomatic nature and a bulk of group C and group D services
    • selection for temporary or officiating appointment to a post if the person appointed is not likely to hold the post for more than a year

Articles Related to UPSC at a Glance

Article No. Subject-matter  
315 Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the states
316 Appointment and term of office of members
317 Removal and suspension of a member of a Public Service Commission
318 Power to make regulations as to conditions of service of members and staff of the Commission
319 Prohibition as to the holding of office by members of commission on ceasing to be such members
320 Functions of Public Service Commissions
321 Power to extend functions of Public Service Commissions
322 Expenses of Public Service Commissions
323 Reports of Public Service Commissions

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