The Indian Civil Service was the elite higher civil service of the British Empire in India between 1858 and 1947. Lord Warren Hastings laid the foundations of civil service and Charles Cornwallis reformed, modernized and rationalized it. Hence, Charles Cornwallis is known as the ‘Father of Civil Service in India’. Its members ruled more than 300 million Indians and were ultimately responsible for overseeing all government activities in the 250 districts that comprised British India.
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 Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. The examiation is conducted in two phases- a preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type, followed by a personality test (interview).