Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Effect of National movement on government services (1919-1935)


Introduction of Dyarchy, which promised progressive realization of responsible and self-government in India in the post 1919 period brought about many changes in the nature and role of of government services. As the movement for Indianisation gained momentum, Indian public and leaders became allergic to India Civil Services, not on the basis of their actual performance, but because they were controlled by the Secretary of State and were a living symbol of foreign rule. Intensification of national movement and growing demand for Indianization of higher civil services left dampening effect on the bureaucratic set-up.

In 1923, the Lee Commission recommended abolition of certain All India Services, particularly, those dealing with subjects that had been transferred to Indian hands, namely, Indian Education Service, Indian Agriculture Service, Indian Veterinary Service and the roads and Building branch of the Indian Service of Engineers. It, however, recommended retention of Indian Civil Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Forest Service, Indian Medical Service and the Irrigation branch of Indian Service of Engineers. It also recommended increasing Indianisation of these services as also that any British Official belonging to the services of transferred subjects would be free to take voluntary retirement on a proportionate pension at any time. Effect was given to these recommendations.

`Ignominy’ of working under Indian Ministers in provinces, non-cooperation movement of 1920-22, criticism of the individual members of the services by questions in the provincial and Central legislatures,  insufficiency of salaries due to high price-rise in the wake of the World War I, etc., left a dampening effect on the attraction of All India Services as a career service for British Youth. All efforts to attract them fell flat and the number of British Officers began to decline.

With gradual Indianisation of Services, the class consciousness of these services became dim. The Indian element was imbued with a national spirit, which looked forward to a day when Indian would be independent. It had nothing in common with the British element in the service, which, having lost its old sense of mission, was feeling frustrated. It adversely effected the solidarity and “Espirit de Corps” of the services.

With the introduction of Dyarchy, the spirit of mild paternalism in them also began to fade. In the words of K.M. Pannikar: “Lee Commission (1923) was the first evidence of the breakdown of the spirit of the civil services in India, for after that there was no claim that the British Civil Service in India, competent though they continued to be to the end, was anything more than a group of officers doing their work for purely material considerations. The idealism of the past had vanished.16

16 K.M. Pannikar, “The Development of Administration in India”, Bulletin of Public Administration, Patna, Patna University’s Institute of Public Administration, Vol. II, Nos. 2 and 3, p.14.

February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Bureaucracy/Civil Services |


  1. I have learn some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you set to make
    one of these wonderful informative web site.

    Comment by music city metals 20902 | December 7, 2014 | Reply

  2. We stumbled over here from a different page and thought I should check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to checking out your web page again.

    Comment by camera microscopes amscope | December 9, 2014 | Reply

  3. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours lately, but I by
    no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful worth sufficient for me.
    In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as
    you did, the net will probably be much more useful than ever before.

    Comment by ceramic style glass licensed | December 11, 2014 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: