State Public Service Commission
Parallel to UPSC at the Center, there is a State Public Service Commission (SPSC) in a state. The same set of Articles (i.e., 315 to 323 in Part XIV) of the Constitution also deal with SPSC
- SPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the Governor of the state.
- Constitution does not specify the strength of the Commission but has left the matter to the discretion of the Governor.
- No qualifications are prescribed for the commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the commission should be such persons who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of State.
- Constitution also authorises Governor to determine the conditions of service of Chairman and members of Commission.
- Chairman & members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier (in the case of UPSC, the age limit is 65 years). However, they can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the governor.
Although the chairman and members of a SPSC are appointed by the governor, they can be removed only by the President (and not by the governor). The President can remove them on the same grounds and in the same manner as he can remove a chairman or a member of the UPSC.
As in the case of UPSC, Constitution has made the following provisions to safeguard and ensure the independent and impartial functioning of a SPSC
- Chairman or a member of a SPSC can be removed from office by the president only in the manner and on the grounds mentioned in the Constitution. Therefore, they enjoy the security of tenure.
- Conditions of service of Chairman or a member, although determined by Governor, cannot be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- Entire expense including the salaries, allowances and pensions of the chairman and members of a SPSC are charged on the consolidated fund of the state. Thus, they are not subject to vote of the state legislature.
- Chairman of a SPSC (on ceasing to hold office) is eligible for appointment as the Chairman or a member of the UPSC or as the chairman of any other SPSC, but not for any other employment under the Government of India or a state.
- A member of a SPSC (on ceasing to hold office) is eligible for appointment as the Chairman or a member of the UPSC, or as the chairman of that SPSC or any other SPSC, but not for any other employment under the Government of India or a state.
- Chairman or a member of a SPSC is (after having completed his first term) not eligible for reappointment to that office (that is, not eligible for second term).
SPSC performs all those functions in respect of the state services as the UPSC does in relation to the Central services:
SPSC presents, annually, to the governor a report on its performance. The governor places this report before both the Houses of the state legislature, along with a memorandum explaining the cases where the advice of the Commission was not accepted and the reasons for such non-acceptance.
Joint State Public Service Commission
- Constitution makes a provision for the establishment of a Joint State Public Service Commission (JSPSC) for two or more states.
- While UPSC and SPSC are created directly by the Constitution, a JSPSC can be created by an act of Parliament on the request of the state legislatures concerned. Thus, a JSPSC is a statutory and not a constitutional body.
- The two states of Punjab and Haryana had a JSPSC for a short period, after the creation of Haryana out of Punjab in 1966.
- Chairman and members of a JSPSC are appointed by the President. They hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 62 years, whichever is earlier. They can be suspended or removed by the President. They can also resign from their offices at any time by submitting their resignation letters to the President.
- Number of members of a JSPSC and their conditions of service are determined by the President.
A JSPSC presents its annual performance report to each of the concerned state governors. Each governor places the report before the state legislature.