The Union Public Service Commission of India is a constitutional body. The Constitution of India provides for the establishment of UPSC under Part XIV, from Articles 315 to 323. The working of commission is regarding appointment, recruitment, removal, and others.
Composition of UPSC
The Constitution does not specifically provide or mention the strength of the Union Public Service Commission. But generally, it consists of nine to eleven members.
Composition of UPSC members are:-
1. A chairman who is appointed by the President of India. He holds office for a tenure of six years until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier would be considered.
2. The President of India also appoints other members of the commission. But half of the members of the commission must be those who have been a central government or state government servant or employee for at least ten years.
3. There is no specific qualification prescribed in the Constitution of India for constituting the Union Public Service Commission.
4. If the present chairman of the commission is unable to perform his functions or the office of the chairman is vacant, then the President may appoint any member of the commission as acting chairman of the commission.
Removal of Members of UPSC
The President has powers to remove any member or chairman of the commission on the following grounds:-
1. If the member of the commission has become insolvent or bankrupt.
2. If any member of the commission is engaged in paid employment other than his office.
3. If the President feels that the member is unfit to continue his office due to the reason of infirmity of mind or body.
4. The President may also remove any member of the commission, including the chairman, on the grounds of misbehaviour.
Note: But in case of misbehaviour the President has to consult the matter with the Supreme Court for its advice and opinion. Any advice rendered by the Supreme Court shall be binding on the President. And the President is bound to consider the advice.
5. The chairman of the commission enjoys special privileges that he can be removed only by the President in the manner prescribed in the Constitution and not otherwise.
Independence of UPSC
The members of the Union Public Service Commission enjoy security of tenure. They can not be removed from the office on any other ground than specified in the Constitution. The salaries and allowances of the members are charged on the consolidated fund of India.
The chairman of commission after removal or retirement is not eligible for any other government job. Whereas other members of the commission are also not eligible to hold any central or state government office but can become chairman of the Union Public Service Commission or State Public Service Commission.
Functions of UPSC
The Union Public Service Commission performs various functions like:-
1. The commission conducts examinations for all India services, central services, and public services like IAS, IPS, IES, IRS, IFS, and many others.
2. The commission also assists states for joint appointments of any services.
3. It is the commission’s duty to make rules and regulations to be followed in the process of appointments, removals, promotions, and so on.
4. The commission looks after all the disciplinary matters of central government servants
5. The commission has to give an annual report to the President of India on their working.
Role of UPSC
The role and functioning of the Union Public Service Commission are like that of a watch-dog of the merit system in India. It recruits and appoints all groups A, B, C, and D of all India services. It is also known as the central recruiting agency because its appointment is related to central governance.
In the present time, with the rising competition in India, the working of the Union Public Service Commission has become quite challenging. It is an arduous task to filter merit for the smooth governance of the country, but the commission regularly picks a right hand for it.