Experience in most democratic countries has shown that under the old system of private and political patronage the Government used to be deprived of the services of the most able men.
This was because their place was taken by those whose main qualification was the possession of influence. Civil servants actually in office were discouraged from giving of their best to their work, because advancement depended not on their ability and zeal, but on the chances of political and private favouritism.
The civil service was unable to provide continuity of administrative experience for the benefit of successive governments, because the senior posts changed hands when governments changed. The number of civil servants was often unnecessarily enlarged in order to provide posts for the dependents of those who held the reins of political power.
By drawing on the widest possible field for recruitment, the public service gets more able people than when it relied on a system of personal contacts. Moreover, it was able to divide the talent more evenly amongst all the government departments.
In a country like India the necessity and importance of Public Service Commission should be evident. The population of over 1000 million is multi-lingual and multi-racial.
One must also take note of the existence of a number of religious minorities and socially and educationally backward classes and communities.
If political considerations and favouritism dominate the recruitment to the public services under these conditions, the injury to the nation will be incalculable. It will certainly affect the efficiency and integrity of the public services. What the Royal Commission on the Indian Civil Service wrote in 1924 is true even today:
“Wherever democratic institutions exist, experience has shown that to secure an efficient Civil Service it is essential to protect it, so far as possible, from political and personal influences and to give it that position of stability and security which is vital to its successful working as the impartial and efficient instrument by which Governments, of whatever complexion, may give effect to their policies.
In countries where this principle has been neglected, and where the ‘spoils system’ has taken its place, an inefficient and disorganised Civil Service has been the inevitable result and corruption has been rampant.”
The function, therefore, or a Public Service Commission is two-fold: first, it must, to adapt a famous phrase in American history “keep the rascals out”; secondly, it must try to put the best men in. It is difficult to over emphasize the importance of this function.
That the Constituent Assembly was fully aware of this vital role of the Public Service Commissions was made clear by the members who participated in the discussion on the subject.