||If a responsible government is to be established in India, there will be a far greater need than is even dreamt of at present for persons to take part in public affairs in the legislative assemblies and elsewhere and for this reason the more Indians we can employ in the public service the better. Moreover, it would lessen the burden of Imperial responsibilities if a body of capable Indian administrators could be produced..
|— Regarding the importance of Indianising Civil Services, Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms
Warren Hastings laid the foundation of civil service and Charles Cornwallis reformed, modernised and rationalised it. Hence, Charles Cornwallis is known as the 'Father of Civil Service in India'. He introduced Covenanted Civil Services (Higher Civil Services) and Uncovenanted Civil Services (Lower Civil Services).
The present civil services of India is mainly based on the pattern of the former Indian Civil Service of British India. The civil services were divided into two categories - covenanted and uncovenanted. The covenanted civil service consisted of only Europeans (i.e., English personnel) occupying the higher posts in the government. The uncovenanted civil service was solely introduced to facilitate the entry of Indians at the lower rung of the administration.
With the passing of the Government of India Act 1919, the Imperial Services headed by the Secretary of State for India, were split into two – All India Services and Central Services.
The All India and Central Services (Group A) were designated as Central Superior Services as early as 1924. From 1924 to 1934, Administration in India consisted of 10 All India Services and 5 central departments, all under the control of Secretary of State for India, and 3 central departments under joint Provincial and Imperial Control.
The present modern civil service was formed after the partition of India in 1947. It was Sardar Patel's vision that the Civil Service should strengthen cohesion and national unity. The values of integrity, impartiality and merit remain the guiding principles of Indian civil services.
By the early 21st century, Indian civil servants have been colloquially called "babus", while Indian bureaucracy is called "babudom", as in the "rule of babus", especially in Indian media.
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions located in New Delhi is unofficially the "Ministry of Civil Services" in India. The Ministry is responsible for training, reforms and pension for the civil service system in India.
Constitutional provision for All-India Services
The constitution under Article 312 provides for All India Civil Services branches to be set up by giving the power to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Parliament of India) to resolve by a two-thirds majority to establish new all-India services. The Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service are set up under this constitutional provision.