National Civil Service Day: When and How It’s Celebrated?

by Satabdi Mazumdar April 20, 2022

National Civil Service Day - Importance and History

April 21 holds a great importance in India as this day is celebrated every year as the National Civil Service Day. This day appreciates the enormous efforts of all the officers who are engaged in several public departments and give their best to run the administration in India. The officers working in the IAS, IPS, and all the other departments have a major role to play in solving the social issues that are faced by the citizens.


April 21 is devoted to Civil Service employees to honour their outstanding service and to reflect on what they have accomplished over the years. On this day, they also make plans for the future year and how they will perform in their respective departments. The National Civil Service Day is thus observed to remind all the young Civil Servants to serve for the Indian Citizens above all. 


So, when was the National Civil Service Day first celebrated? When was the Indian Administrative Service formed? Read the article to find out the history and significance associated with this particular day.




When is National Civil Service Day 2022?

Just like every year, this year too National Civil Service Day will be celebrated on April 21, 2022. 


History of Civil Service Day 

The history of Civil Services in India can be traced back during the year 1757 when India was under the rule of East India Company. The Covenanted Civil Services were started by the East India Company where it was mandatory to sign the covenants for all the CSS members. India Civil Service was reformed and modernised by Charles Cornwallis in 1886 and thus he is referred to as the father of India Civil Service.


Given below are few important points that are associated with the establishment of the Indian Administrative Services:

  • After the end of the East India Company, CSS was renamed as the Imperial Civil Service in 1886 and was under the power of the British Crown. 

  • Later, in the same year, it was announced by the Aitchison Commission that the Indians must also be given employment in the public services. Thus, the Imperial Civil Service was then named as the Indian Civil Service. 

  • For the first time in the history of India, the Indian Civil Service Exam was conducted in the year 1922.

  • On 1st October 1926 under the chairmanship of Sir Ross Barker, the Public Service Commission of India was established.

  • In 1924, the All India Services were renamed as the Central Superior Services. Since the availability of the Europeans decreased after 1939, the number of Indians in the service increased. After independence, i.e., after 1947, the Indian Civil Service became the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The first person to become an IAS officer in India was Satyendranath Tagore.


The date of April 21 was chosen to commemorate the National Civil Service Day as on this particular day in 1947, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of Independent India, addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers at Metcalf House in Delhi. He also referred to all the Indian Civil Servants as India's "steel frame". 


By this, he addressed the civil workers at all levels of government as the supporting pillars of India's administrative system. He gave a powerful statement, encouraging Civil Servants to embrace the true meaning of national service, leaving behind their previous experiences. After this day, the National Civil Service Day was first observed in a grand manner in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on April 21, 2006. Since that day, National Civil Service Day is celebrated every year across the country on April 21. 


National Civil Service Day Significance

The government of India celebrates Civil Services Day, every year as an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of serving citizens and renew their commitments to public service and excellence in work. This day holds a significant role for the Indian Administration. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and a comprehensive list of All India Services and Central Services Group A and Group B form the Civil service in India. 


Every year, the Indian government commemorates Civil Services Day as an opportunity for civil officials to recommit themselves to the purpose of serving citizens and renew their vows to public service and work excellence. For the Indian Administration, it is a day of great importance and honour. The Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration are granted to Districts/Implementing Units as part of Civil Services Day for administering priority programmes and innovation categories. The Awards scheme includes a huge number of Districts from all across the country, hence, the scale of the entire procedure is vast. 


The National Civil Service Day brings together all the civil workers and lets them connect with one another to learn about best practices in the fields of public work, grievances, and so on. All public officials look forward to this annual event since it allows them to commemorate the accomplishments of their hardwork and dedication. 


Lakhs of candidates every year sit for the ICS examination and aim to enter the Indian Civil Service. It is equally important for all of us to remember the contribution of the Indian Civil Servants to our country.  We  cannot disregard the fact that the civil service is the foundation for the programming of the Indian government and policies and provide an incalculable contribution to the nation as a whole.