Article 315-323 deal with the composition, appointment, removal and powers and functions of Central recruiting agency which is the Union Public Service Commission of India.
It is an independent Constitutional Body.
Chairman of the Commission and other members as the President decides from time to time. They are all appointed by the President himself. The President generally appoints nine to eleven members including the Chairman. Half of the members should have held office under GOI or State Government for atleast ten years.
The terms and conditions of service of all of the mentioned above are decided by the President himself.
The President also appoints a member as Acting Chairman who shall act as Chairman in case the office falls vacant and in case the Chairman is absent or ill.
Salaries, Allowances and other prerequisites of Chairman and other members
These are charged from Consolidated Fund of India.
Term of Office
6 yrs or 65 years of age whichever is earlier. They can resign at any time addressing their resignation to the President , or can also be removed at any time.
Removal of Chairman or member of Commission
1. If he is insolvent or bankrupt
2. If he holds some employment other than office of Commission
3. If he has unsound mind or unfit body
4. Incase of misbehavior like corruption or in case of interest in any contract made by government, President refers the matter to Supreme Court and if Supreme Court advises to remove him/ her, then only President can remove him/ her. During enquiry he/ she can be suspended.
Independence of Office
Chairman can be removed by the President in the manner mentioned in the Constitution. Secondly, the service conditions cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment. The Chairman cannot be appointed further for any employment by Central or State government. A member of UPSC is eligible for appointment as the Chairman of UPSC or State Public Service Commission but not for any other employment under Central and State Government. The members or Chairman after completing their first term cannot apply for the same office for second term.
Powers and Functions
1. Conduction of exams for All India services, Central services and public services of centrally administered territories
2. If two or more states request to hold Joint Public Service Exam, it assists them in doing so
3. Serves all need of States on request of Governor and with the permission of President
4. Consulted by government regarding
a. Methods of recruitment to above stated services
b. Principles to be followed during recruitment, promotions and transfer of such services
c. Suitability of the candidates for recruitment, transfers and promotions in such services
d. Disciplinary matters including censure or severe disapproval, withholding of increments and promotions, demotions, compulsory retirement, removal from service etc.
e. Any claims for pensions due to injuries sustained while working under Government of India
f. Any claims of legal expenses in legal cases concerning his duties
g. Matters of temporary appointments more than a year
h. Matters of granting extension of civil service and re-employment of retired civil servants
i. Any other matter related to personnel management of any authority, corporate body etc. can be conferred on the UPSC by Parliament
If government acts without consultation, the decision of the government is still validated. Consultation is not mandatory.
Every year, a report is presented by UPSC to the President regarding its performance. The President presents the report before both the Houses of the Parliament alongwith a memorandum explaining reasons for not accepting the advice of the Commission. All such cases must be approved by the Appointment Committee of the Union Cabinet.
Functions not under the jurisdiction of UPSC:
1. Reservations for posts of SCs and STs
2. Claims of SCs and STs to services and posts
3. Selection for posts of group B and C services, highest diplomats etc.
4. Temporary appointments for less than a year.
The President can make regulations in respect to Central services and All India services, regarding matters in which UPSC is not to be consulted. These regulations should be placed before Parliament for atleast 14 days. The Parliament can amend or repeal them.
UPSC is a watchdog of the merit system in India. It advices government regarding recruitment, promotion and disciplinary matters regarding group A and B services. It is not concerned with the classification of services, pay and service conditions and training which are handled by Department of Personnel and Training of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
The role is not only limited, but the recommendations are also just advisory in nature. Even the government can regulate the scope of advisory functions of UPSC.
The emergence of Central Vigilance Commission in 1964 has affected the role of UPSC in disciplinary matters. Both are consulted by the government while taking disciplinary action against a civil servant. However, UPSC being an independent body has an edge over CVC which got statutory status in 2003.