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What is Civil Service

Civil service, the body of government officials who are employed in civil occupations that are neither political nor judicial. In most countries the term refers to employees selected and promoted on the basis of a merit and seniority system, which include examinations.

The present civil services of India are mainly based on the pattern of the former Indian Civil Service of British India.

During the British raj, 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'.

Cornwallis introduced two divisions of the Indian Civil service—covenanted and uncovenanted. The covenanted civil service consisted of only Europeans (i.e., British 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.

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 the Indian civil services.

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