Evolution of West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Cadre
History is undeniable and has its own beginning.
West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Cadre has an undeniable history too. It is awe-inspiring yet mesmerizing; remarkable yet humble.
The history of West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Cadre dates back to centuries. In reality, it has its beginning embedded in the effervescent history of human civilization and that of this country in particular.
In 165 B.C., China conducted its first competitive examination to recruit administrative officials. Later in 1806 A.D., East India Company established a college to make successful students enroll as British Civil Service Officers christened as "Her Majesty's Civil Service." Thereafter in 1855 A.D., British Civil Service Commission was established. The Commission started to induct budding bureaucrats by holding common competitive examinations. Some of these new civil servants came to India on posting. In the meantime, roots of civil service in India, with her capital In Calcutta; were strongly engraved.
In the year 1765, East India Company received permits from the British throne, to collect revenue on their behalf, in undivided Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This necessitated engagement of collectors for revenue collection and magistrates for imparting law and order.
Hence, by involving Regulation IX; post of Deputy Collector was created in 1833 and post of Deputy Magistrate was thereafter created in 1843. This salary was handsomely pegged at around Rupees There hundred per month. These posts were termed as "non-covenanted". Later on 14th April, 1859; Lord Stanly, the Secretary of State to the British Empire, issued another notification to merge these posts. This "Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector" post in turn gave rise to the modern Indian Civil Service. in 1922, during the pre-independence era, the British India saw the birth of Indian Civil Service later to be rechristened as Administrative Service after independence. On the other hand, the officers entering into the post of "Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector," in the province of Bengal, got encompassed in Bengal provincial Civil Service. It later led unto the present day West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) cadre. The history of advancement of the West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) cadre, renamed in its present form post independence, has shown that native officials donning the garb of this Service, had been continually working in tandem with the officials in erstwhile ICS and present day IAS officials in similar posts with similar responsibility. Sub Divisional Magistrate, Additional District Magistrate, District Magistrate, Joint Secretary, Special Secretary, Secretary et al to name a few.
Luminaries of West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) cadre
After the post of Deputy Collector was created in 1833 AD; following personalities enlightened this service.
Social reformer and another Derozio follower as well as planner of modern Connagar city in Hooghly district, Shib Chandra Deb in 1833;
Son of Raja Rammohon Roy and Derozian Ram Prasad Roy in 1838;
Social reformer Braja Sundar Mitra in 1843.
After the post of Deputy Magistrate was created in 1843; following personalities enlightened this service.
Elder brother of Bankim Chandra as well as acclaimed writer Sanjib Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1857;
Father of scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose and an acclaimed social reformer Bhagaban Chandra Bose in 1858.
After the merger of two posts in 1859 on 14th April; the new post of Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector attracted scores of luminaries who were applauded across the world. Some of them are:
Social reformer Kedarnath Dutta in 1866;
Eminent poet Nabin Chandra Sen in 1868 ;
Father of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy and literary figure Prakash Chandra Roy, in 1884 ;
Eminent scholar and writer Chandra Sekhar Kar in 1894.
Besides, historian Sushobhan Sarkar, Social reformer Dilwar Hossain, Education - reformer Shakhawat Hossain, Biologist Hem Chandra Kar and another literary figure Rajendra Lal Acharya.
Dr. Surya Kumar Agasti joined the Bengal Provincial Civil Service in 1884 as Deputy Magistrate & Deputy Collector. His 28 year long service career saw him rise to Joint Magistrate (now Additional District Magistrate) and up to the post of District Magistrate in which post he served in 13 districts. As District Magistrate & District Collector of Medinipur, he established new Medinipur town and Garbeta town.
West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Cadre officers took leadership in building post - independence Bengal. With their active involvement, developmental activities and administrative management continued hand - in - hand.
Digging of nearly 8500 km irrigation canal for making single - crop land into multi-crop land,
By engaging Gram Sevaks; the micro - level developmental necessities were successfully addressed. Later this involvement transpired into the root of Panchayati Raj rural development.
Conducting Election in the post - independence Bengal and conduct of census in 1951.
Post independent era saw a cohesive blending of developmental management with administrative acumen in this State Civil Service Cadre, which still remains a unique feature for this State.
#Flowering of an officer in West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) cadre #
Joining as a budding bud and blossoming into a speaking tree.
An officer either joins this cadre by participating in West Bengal Public Service Commission conducted common Civil Service Entrance Examination or through promotion from different feeder service cadres.
Two years training is imparted in the prime institutes of the State viz. Administrative Training Institute, Salt Lake City, Bidhannagar, Kolkata; State Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development, Kalyani, Nadia; Advanced Regional Training Institute, Shalbani, Medinipur (West). Besides 'hands-on training' is also imparted at various organs of district, sub division and block administrative organs during their district attachment. The areas covered in the said training are - Principles of administration, Methods and modes of governance, Statues of different nature viz. land laws, revenue law, panchayat and municipal laws, court procedures and regulations along with rules of business.
The flagship posting of a Block Development Officer beckons every officer on entry into this service. After a two - three block stint, spanning 5 - 6 years; an officer is withdrawn and posted at district or sub-division level to get accustomed with the supervisory nature of duty in district administration. This is followed by a special posting at district level viz. District Planning Officer, District Panchayat & Rural Development Officer among others.
Thereafter the posts of Sub Divisional Magistrate, Addl. District Magistrate, District Magistrate are held by these officers with advancement in seniority in the service. Besides, posts of Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Joint Director, Additional Director and Director in Directorates are occupied by the civil servants of this cadre. While post of Assistant Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Joint Secretary and Special Secretary are judiciously and effectively manned by these officers too, during later part of their service career.
Important functions of West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Cadre Officers
Since independence, magistracy and development were the two pillars of administration for officers of this Cadre. With the roll out of 3rd '5 year Plan,' the onus of activity tilted unto development than magistracy. Since then, besides maintaining law and order in the respective jurisdiction as Executive Magistrate; an officer of this Cadre -
Acts as Charge Officer in national level activities like Census;
Runs the greatest show of democracy i.e. conduct of Election: as the Regulator, Facilitator and Event Manager;
Executes as an administrator in Panchayati Raj and Nagarpalika's Local 'Self Government' Bodies ;
Facilitates service delivery to the doorstep of every citizen along with generation of awareness for becoming a self sufficient, free, fair and transparent Bengal.