The origin of the Public Service Commission in India can be traced from March 5, 1919 in the First Dispatch of the Government of India on Indian Constitutional Reforms. The Dispatch stated the need for setting up some permanent office for the regulation of service matters. Thereafter, amore practical shape of this concept of a body for regulation of service matters was found in the Government of India Act, 1919. Section 96C of the Act provided for the establishment in India of a Public Service Commission which should “discharge, in regard to recruitment and control of the Public Services in India, such functions as may be assigned thereto by rules made by the Secretary of State in Council”.
It is interesting to note that a long correspondence underwent after the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1919, between the Secretary of State for India and the Local Governments pertaining to the functions and machinery of the institution to be set up. It continued for over four years but no decision was arrived at. Thereafter, the subject was referred to the Royal Commission (i.e., Lee Commission)on the Superior Civil Services in India. The Lee Commission in its report dated 27th March, 1924, recommended that the statutory Public Service Commission as envisioned in the Government of India Act, 1919 should be established without delay.
It was only in on October 1, 1926 that the first Public Service Commission was constituted that consisted the Chairman and four Members appointed by the Secretary of State in Council. The first Chairman of the Commission was Sir Ross Barker who was a member of the Home Civil Service of the United Kingdom. He and his successors built the Commission on the model and the traditions of the British Civil Service Commission.