Role Of Civil Services In A Democracy

Among all the institutions governing people as well as the ones who rule over them, the most noble and open is democracy. It is an institution in which the individuals choose who should govern them. Nevertheless, India had elements of functional democracy in the earlier times; it is post independence that it became a modern democracy. There are three pillars that make sure the proper functioning in a modern democracy:

  • Executive
  • Legislature
  • Judiciary

The civil services form a component of the executives. Unlike the ministers who tenure is temporary, the civil servants hold permanent position. Their main role is to advise and help the ministers in their work. In fact, there is proof that in ancient India, there were also a group of officers and executives who played same roles.

It was post-independence that the civil service turned into an institution to truthfully serve the Indian people. When people talk about the role of civil services in a democracy, especially in India, there can merely be two aspects to it. First of all, there are the traditional roles as well as functions that the civil servants are expected to exercise.
The title ‘collector’ was at first given to officers who collected land revenue under the British Raj. At present, IAS officers as collectors carry out the following functions:
1. Collecting income tax dues, other duties and dues
2. Land assessment
3. Collecting land revenue
4. Distributing agricultural loans
5. Land acquisition

As district magistrate, the civil servants have to perform the below jobs:
1. Supervising police and jails
2. Supervising subordinate executive magistracy
3. Maintaining law and order
4. Hearing cases under the preventive section of the CRPC

When a crisis occurs, the civil servants that are in charge of the area are ought to act fast as well as bring the situation under control.


The civil servant is expected to direct in various developmental activities in the region under his supervision.
Recent issues as well as the current socio-political scenario mandate that the civil servants take hold of a more holistic outlook of their job. A civil servant is expected to take up more developmental as well as leadership roles as per the changing times, apart from doing their traditional duties. They might have a positive effect on the kind of life people in the nation they live because:

  • Their main role is to give advice and help the government. The government (ministers) keeps on altering but the IAS officers remain constant. Thus, they are necessary for a sense of continuity to the administration.
  • Their vast range of knowledge as well as particular domain expertise permits them to bring in and conduct developmental activities inside their region.
  • Not bound by electoral politics, they can steadfastly work for the upliftment of society and root out specific problems using the existing machinery.
  • They can give unbiased and apolitical advice to the ministers.
  • They are present all over the country thus acting as a binding force.