The Oxford India Short Introductions are concise, stimulating, and accessible guides to different aspects of India. Combining authoritative analysis, new ideas, and diverse perspectives, they discuss subjects which are topical yet enduring, as also emerging areas of study and debate. An efficient and competent bureaucracy is indispensable to any modern state. This short introduction identifies the importance of civil services in nation-building and governance, and puts forth its varied roles in the current polity: as a regulator, a facilitator, and an executer of developmentpolicies. Presenting a clear and concise introduction to the civil services in India, the book engages with: its evolution, size, and structure against a brief historical background the processes of recruitment, training, and performance assessment the managerial, political, social, and judicial mechanisms of accountability; and the relationship between civil servants and the political executive Through in-depth theoretical analyses, it captures the various contributions and drawbacks of the services; and advocates reforms in the existing set-up towards a cleaner, more efficient and performance-based structure in keeping with India's influence as an emerging superpower.