The Government of India Act, 1935 envisioned a Public Service Commission for the Federation and a Provincial Public Service Commission. In effect on 1st April, 1937, the Public Service Commission became the Federal Public Service Commission and with the inauguration of the Constitution of India in January 26, 1950, the Federal Public Service Commission came to be known as the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Civil Service Examination conducted by the UPSC is a heavy curriculum based examination; little importance is given to the past academic credentials of the candidate (the eligibility being a mere graduate in any discipline from a recognized university). Apparently the impetus is to identify the candidates possessing the intellect and the abilities that are expected of a civil servant.
The commission has implicitly stated in its notification that the exam is intended to assess the personal suitability of the candidate for a career in public service. The test is not only an assessment of the candidate’s intellectual qualities but also social traits and interest in current affairs. Various qualities such as mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, variety of depth if interest, ability for social; cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity are focused upon.