History of the IAS Examination

History of the IAS Examination

The history of the IAS examination dates back to the establishment of the uncovenanted civil service, which aimed to encourage Indian participation in lower-level positions. This included specialized services such as the Indian Forest Service, Imperial Police, and Indian Political Service, all of which were part of the Civil Service of the Convention or the British Indian Army. Initially, many participants were from the Imperial Police, but in 1893, a yearly test was introduced to select its members.

In 1858, the Indian Civil Service, which served as the highest public service in the British Raj from 1858 to 1947, replaced the uncovenanted civil service. The British renamed the Indian Civil Service (ICS) in 1942.

With the passage of the Government of India Act 1919 by the United Kingdom parliament, the Indian Civil Services underwent a split into two branches: the All India and the Central Services. The Indian Civil Service was one of the ten All India Services.

It was in 1946, during the Premier’s Conference, that the Central Cabinet, based on the Indian Civil Society, and the Indian police, based on the Imperial Police, decided to form the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

The IAS examination is considered the most sought-after among the various public service examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India. Every year, lakhs of people aspire to become national officials, with a majority of them aiming to become IAS officers. The IAS examination has become synonymous with public services in India.

The history of the IAS can be traced back to the time after 1757 when the East India Company became de facto rulers in parts of India. The company established the Covenanted Civil Services (CCS), and its members were required to sign company board agreements.

After the end of the revolt of 1857, the company’s rule was transferred to the British Crown, and the Imperial Civil Service was introduced until 1886. Later, the Indian Civil Service was established. In 1854, the Macaulay Committee proposed the recruitment of a merit-based system, leading to the use of competitive tests for ICS recruitment from 1855 onwards. This recruitment was only open to Indians.

In 1912, the Islington Commission recommended that 25% of higher positions be filled by Indians, leading to further demands for Indian inclusion in the service. It also suggested conducting higher-level recruiting in both India and England.

The ICS examination was held in India from 1922. On 1 October 1926, the Public Service Commission of India was established under the leadership of Captain Ross Barker. In 1924, the Central Superior Services were designated for all Indian services, and the number of Indians in service increased after 1939 due to the unavailability of Europeans.

After gaining independence, the ICS became the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The IAS has since undergone various changes, and it is now a prestigious service in India. The highest designation of the secretary of government can be attained by an IAS officer, and R Pillai was the first IAS officer to reach the rank of Cabinet minister.

Meanwhile, Check out the list of Best IAS Coaching in other cities

Are you looking to excel in the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam in cities beyond the usual hotspots? We’ve compiled a list of the best IAS academies in various cities that provide top-notch guidance and support to aspiring civil servants. Whether you’re in bustling metropolises like Mumbai, Kolkata, or Chennai or in smaller but equally promising cities like Jaipur, Ahmedabad, or Chandigarh, these coaching institutes offer comprehensive courses and expert faculty to help you achieve your dream of cracking the IAS exam.

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