Difference Between UPSC and State PSC (IAS and PCS)

If you are preparing for government job exams then you might have heard about UPSC or State PSC conducting various competitive exams. UPSC stands for Union Public Service Commission and the full form of the State PSC is State Public Service Commission. It is true that UPSC and state PSC both select candidates for administrative services but they are quite different from each other.

It is very common to see students asking questions like how IAS is different from PCS or what the difference between UPSC and state PSC is. If you are also wondering about such questions then go through this post to understand the major differences between these two commissions.

How UPSC is different from the State PSC?

First of all, you should understand that UPSC is different from SPSC in nature and number as explained below.

UPSC

  • There is only 1 Union Public Service Commission in India with no branches.
  • It is a constitutional body under Article 315 of the constitution of India

State PSC

  • Every state in India has its own State Public Service Commission.
  • Just like UPSC, State PSCs are also constitutional bodies under Article 315 of the constitution of India.

Important points to remember – Article 315 to article 323 of the constitution of India deals with the composition, power, appointment of members, removal of members, etc of both Union public service commission (UPSC) and State Public Service Commissions (SPSC).

UPSC Vs SPSC – Composition and Tenure

Let’s discuss the composition and tenure of both the commissions in detail.

UPSC

  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) consists of a chairman along with other members.
  • All members of UPSC are appointed by the President of India.
  • The tenure of Chairman as well as other members of UPSC is of 6 years or until they attain the age of 65 (Whichever is earlier)

SPSC

  • Just like UPSC, State PSC also consists of a chairman along with other members.
  • All members of UPSC are appointed by the governor of that particular state (unlike UPSC).
  • The tenure of Chairman as well as other members of state PSC is of 6 years or until they attain the age of 62 (Whichever is earlier)

Removal of Public Service Commission members

  • According to Article 317, the chairman or other members of a Public Service Commission can be removed by the president of India. The removal will be on the basis of misbehaving after the supreme court (only after a reference being made by the President) has an inquiry of the case as per the procedure mentioned under Article 145.

Difference between Duties of UPSC and State PSC

There are a lot of similarities and dissimilarities between the general duties of UPSC and State PSC as explained in the following table.

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)State Public Service Commission ( State PSC)
This commission organizes examinations every year to select candidates for services of the Union or Central Government. Here, services of Union or Central Government include all Indian services, central services, and public services of the Union Territories.

UPSC also assists the state in framing and operating schemes of joint recruitment for any services for which an aspirant should have special requirements if requested by two or more states.

State Public Service Commission organizes examinations for selecting the candidates for services in a particular state only. For example – Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission conducts examinations for appointments to service under the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
UPSC provides a report to the president regarding the work done by it in a year. The president then put the report in front of both houses of the parliament along with a memorandum explaining those cases in which advice of commission is not accepted along with a reason for the same.The State Public Service Commission provides a report to the governor regarding the work done by it in a year.  The governor then put the report in front of both houses of the state legislature along with a memorandum explaining those cases in which advice of commission is not accepted along with a reason for the same.
The parliament can give other additional tasks to the UPSC if required. The functionality of UPSC can be increased by placing any department constituted by the law under it.The state legislature can give other additional tasks to the state PSC if required. The functionality of State PSC can be increased by placing any department constituted by the law under it
UPSC is just concerned about conducting the fair examination process. The classification of services, cadre management, service condition, training, etc. is managed by the department of personnel and training under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and PensionsTasks such as transfer, posting, etc. of candidates selected by the State Public Service Commission are managed by the State Government.

 

Powers and Responsibility of an IAS officer vs Powers and Responsibility of a State PCS officer

Both IAS and PCS officers have a lot of responsibility and powers that why they are so respected. At first, let’s discuss the responsibilities of an IAS officer.

Duties and Powers of an IAS officer

  • IAS officers have major responsibilities in government affairs. They work in the implementation of policies after consulting with government ministers.
  • After the decision of the government, IAS officers have the responsibility of implementing/ supervising the laws and policies at the ground level.
  • It is also a responsibility of an IAS officer to answer the parliament about irregularities in their area of work.
  • At the entry-level, IAS officers get respective cadres at the sub-divisional level. Here, their responsibilities are to take care of the law and order problem.
  • Experienced IAS officers get the posts in District Magistrate. Here, they have the responsibility of managing the overall district.
  • Some experienced IAS officers are also made Principal Secretaries and Chief Secretaries. Principal Secretaries work with the government ministries. On the other hand, Chief Secretaries work the Chief Ministers of different states.
  • IAS officers are responsible and answerable for overall expenditure management.

Duties and Powers of a State PCS officer

  • PCS officers get roles as assigned by the state. They are appointed by the state government and look after the development work at the block level.
  • After initial training at the Administration training institute, young PCS officers get the post of Deputy Magistrate, Block Development Officers (BDO), or Deputy Collector (DC).
  • Some PCS officers also go on to become Central Rank Officers.
  • A PCS officer can get the highest rank of Departmental Secretary.
  • The duty of the PCS officer includes to ensuring administrative stability in the state.
  • Verifying and supervising different developmental works in the state and contributing to the state growth.
  • Coordinating with different departments of the state government and working toward the common goal i.e. development and growth of the state.

Career Growth in IAS vs Career Growth in State PSC

Many students often get confused while selecting a better career option out of an IAS or PCS. Such students should check the career growth options in both services as explained below.

Career Growth in IAS

  • After their initial training at LBSNAA, Uttarakhand, Young IAS officers get the responsibility at the sub-district level.
  • Then, after some time, they get the responsibility of a District Magistrate. During this duty, they get the responsibility of managing the complete district.
  • Some IAS also get the Principal Secretary post where they can go on to be a Chief Secretary.
  • IAS officers get to retire at the age of 60. After that, they can a get dearness allowance i.e. 50% of the last drawn salary.

Career Growth in PCS 

  • PCS officers are state-level officers which are often called State level Bureaucrats.
  • State-level Bureaucrats are promoted to the post of Chief Development Officer (CDO). In this post, PCS officers have the responsibility of managing the sectoral development of each district.
  • At the divisional level, PCS officers can get a promotion to Additional Divisional Commissioners (ADC).
  • Department Secretary is the highest rank that a PCS officer can get.
  • Apart from this, three posts of District Magistrate (DM) in every state are reserved for PCS officers.
  • At the later stages of their careers, PCS officers may also opt for All India Services (IAS).

Frequently Asked Questions

Question – 1: Are there separate Public Service Commissions of Union Territories?

Answer: No, there are no separate Public Service Commission for Union Territories. The selection of their officers is managed by the UPSC.

Question – 2: Is it true that the exam pattern and syllabus of UPSC IAS, and State PSC exam is the same?

Answer: No, the state PSC examinations are conducted by different State Public Service Commissions. The exam pattern and syllabus are different for every exam.

Question – 3: What is the age limit to appear for UPSC civil service exam?

Answer: For UPSC civil services, the age of a candidate should be more than 21 years and less than 32 years. Relaxations are given to candidates from reserved categories as per the rules.

Question – 4: Which one is a better option career-wise IAS or PCS?

Answer: Well, it depends upon the choice of an individual. The fact is both are highly respected jobs devoted to serve the Nation.

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