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The Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms

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Introduction

War is a great catalyst in the society; its tremors are not restricted to the battlefields only. Its impact is profound and far-reaching. The First Great War (1914-18) in the winning of which India, though still a British Colony, played a significant role that intensified India’s national movement for independence to which Great Britain responded by enunciating the goal of responsible Government. The Secretary of State for India made the following announcement in the House of Commons on 20 August 1917: “the policy of this Majesty’s Government with which the Government of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing association of Indian in every branch of the administration with a view to the progressive realization of responsible Government in India as an integral part of the British Empire”. This was a historic announcement by the colonial power marking ‘the end of one epoch and the beginning of the new one’ to quote the Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms, 1918. This proclamation was echoed in the Government of India Act, 1919, which marked a move towards the establishment of responsible Government in India by stages. A beginning was made at the provincial level and here too in half of administration – that half which was dealing with, what Montague Chelmsford Report called, ‘nation-building activities’ (read, development). In other words, ‘responsible Government was to be introduced (with suitable checks) in the provinces in that sector of administration dealing with development subjects like education, cooperatives, agriculture, animal husbandry, local self Government, public health etc.’ Indians would be entering the provincial level of administration in the developmental sector, the other half dealing with ‘reserved’ subject like law and order remaining solely with the Governor. Indian leadership would best know the felt needs of the people and thus the programmes and the schemes of development are bound to be more meaningful and realistic. As the leadership traditionally lacks administrative experiences, they were being basically political agitators who were liable to make mistakes. But the effects of such mistake would be localized and moreover they would learn from their mistakes and would be ready for larger responsibilities.

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Written by upsc aspirants

January 28th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

The Royal Commission on the Public Service in India

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Introduction

A comprehensive examination of India’s Civil Service system was undertaken in 1912 when the British Government in London appointed what was called the Royal Commission on the Public Services in India Competitive examination for public recruitment. This was introduced in India in 1854 giving birth to a new Civil Service in the country. The patronage-based Civil Service was replaced by merit-based recruitment. There was thus no fresh addition to Haileyburians (as they were called) and thus both the streams co-existed: – The Haileyburians and the ‘Competition Wallas’ until the last Haileyburian retired from the service. The Royal Commission on the Public Services in India was set up in 1912 to examine the methods of recruitment to the Indian Civil Service and other Civil Service, imperial and provincial and conditions of service, salary, leave and pension. The Royal Commission was also to look into the employment of Indians in the Civil Service. The Royal Commission comprised of 12 members including the Chairman John Poynder, Baron Islington. Nine members including its Chairman were British while the remaining three were Indian. The Indian members were Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahadev Chaubal and Abdur Rahim. The Report is in twenty volumes. Volume one contains main report, volume two to volume nine contain the evidence relating to the Indian and provincial Civil Service taken in India in each of the nine provides in which made up British India and great Britain volumes XII to XX contain the evidence taken in regard to other service and department. The evidence in volume II to XI record processes accepted for the remaining volumes.

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Written by upsc aspirants

January 27th, 2012 at 9:40 pm