Indian Civil Services or the Indian Bureaucracy may also refer to Indian Civil Service, the Indian civil services during the British Raj. The Civil Services refers to career bureaucrats who are the permanent executive branch of the Indian Republic and the Indian Bureaucracy / Civil Service system is the backbone of the administrative machinery of the country.
In India’s parliamentary democracy, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the people’s elected representatives out of which there are cabinet ministers, but a handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration with varied cultures , languages, traditions and beliefs. Thus the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants, who serve at the pleasure of the President of India, to carry it out though Article 311 of the constitution protects them from politically motivated or vindictive action.
Civil servants or the Indian Bureaucrats are employees of the Government of India (GoI) or of the states, but not all employees of the Government are civil servants. As per 2010 data, there were 6.4 million government employees in India but fewer than 50,000 civil servants to administer them . The bureaucrats in a personal capacity are paid from the Civil List. Senior civil servants may be called to account by Parliament. The civil service system in India is rank-based and does not follow the tenets of the position-based civil services . In 2015 and 2016, the Government of India has also approved the formation of two new cadres of civil servants- the Indian Skill Development Service and the Indian Enterprise Development Service .
The Civil Service Day is celebrated on 21st April every year with the purpose to rededicate and recommit themselves to the cause of the people. It is observed by all Civil Services. This day gives civil servants the opportunity for introspection and thinking about future strategies to deal with the challenges being posed by the changing times. On the occasion, all officers of Central and State Governments are honoured for excellence in public administration by the PM of India. The ‘Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration’ is presented in three categories. Under this awards instituted in 2006, all the officers individually or as group or as organisation are eligible, and the award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount of ₹100,000 , in case of group, the total award money is ₹500,000 subject to a maximum of ₹100,000 and for an organisation the cash amount is limited to ₹500,000 .
The highest ranking civil servant or the Indian Bureaucrat is the Cabinet Secretary. He is ex-officio Chairman of the Civil Services Board ; the chief of the Indian Administrative Service and head of all civil services under the rules of business of the Government of India. This chair also holds the 11th position in the Order of Precedence of India and the position holder is accountable for ensuring that the Civil Service is equipped with the skills and capability to meet the everyday challenges it faces and that civil servants work in a fair and decent environment.