How was the Hyderabad Civil Service: A look into the 1940s

The Hyderabad Civil Service was a coveted service in the State of Hyderabad and was considered to be an elite service, and the best of the government officers were inducted into it through a competitive examination. It was abolished after the Police Action in 1948 and its Officers were absorbed into the Indian government civil services. The top officers of HCS were accommodated at Hyderabad Civil Service House located near Khairatabad and after merger in 1950 this building was converted into College of Nursing.

With the passing of the Indian Act 1919, the Imperial Services headed by the Secretary of State for India, were split into two-All India Services and Central Services. The central services were concerned with matters under the direct control of the Central Government. Apart from the Central Secretariat, the more important of these services were the Railway Services, the Indian Posts and Telegraph Service, and the Imperial Customs Service. To some of these, the Secretary of State used to make appointments, but in the great majority of cases their members were appointed and controlled by the Government of India.

The administration of Hyderabad underwent a structural change on November 17, 1919, when the old cabinet council was dissolved and the administration of the state was entrusted by the Nizam to an executive council, with Sir Ali Imam, a ghair-mulki from Bihar, as the first president. Once again the principle of preferential treatment for subjects of the state over outsiders in administrative appointments was affirmed in a firman issued by the Nizam.

In accordance with the 1919 Firman, Hyderabad Civil Service Committee was established and as a personnel agency it played a significant role in the management of civil services. It was independent in its functioning and no attempt was made to bring pressure on the decision-making process of the Committee. It was a multifunctional agency and closely associated with all aspects of Hyderabad Civil Service. It had to conduct examinations for the selection and placement of the candidates for the various vacancies in different departments.

The civil servants of the state, after their final selection by the Hyderabad Civil Service had to undergo two years of training. In the 1st year, they had to take a formal course at the Nizam College in Hyderabad. In the 2nd year, they were sent to British India for practical training under British officers and had to prepare for the departmental exam. Most of the department’s secretaries and board directors and commissioners were British. Nevertheless, some powers were kept with the local traditional rulers.

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