This article discusses the appointment of Manoj Soni as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and provides information about his professional background and previous contributions. Additionally, the article provides an overview of the UPSC’s role in the selection process for elite services and explains the appointment process for UPSC members, including the Chairman.
What is the context?
Manoj Soni, a distinguished figure with experience as Vice-Chancellor of two universities in Gujarat, assumed the position of Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on May 16,2023.
- Mr. Soni joined the UPSC as a member in June 2017. He then served as the Chairman in charge from April 2022. He is affiliated with the Anoopam mission, a branch of the Swaminarayan movement. He was recognized as a monk here.
- Mr. Soni’s professional journey includes his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of M.S. University of Baroda from April 2005 to April 2008. Prior to this role, he contributed his expertise as a faculty member at S.V. Patel University in Vallabh Vidhyanagar, Gujarat. The University of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University (BAOU), Gujarat, appointed Mr. Soni as Vice-Chancellor in recognition of his contributions. He served for two terms until 2015.
- With a specialization in political science, Mr. Soni obtained his doctorate from Sardar Patel University. His doctoral thesis, titled “Post-Cold War international systemic transition and Indo-U.S. relations.” It showcases his extensive research and knowledge in the subject matter.
- Furthermore, in 2020, Mr. Soni embraced a path of spiritual devotion as a monk, known as a nishkam karmayogi (selfless worker). He was a follower of the Anoopam Mission associated with the Swaminarayan movement in Gujarat. This aspect of his life reflects his commitment to selflessness and service to others.
- In summary, Manoj Soni’s appointment as the Chairman of the UPSC marks another significant milestone in his illustrious career. He has background in academia, expertise in political science, and dedication to public service. Mr. Soni, with his background in academia, expertise in political science, and dedication to public service, is able to lead the UPSC in its crucial role of selecting competent officers who will contribute to India’s administrative landscape.
About Union Public Service Commission
- The UPSC plays a vital role in the selection process for elite services. It includes the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and several other all-India services, forming the cornerstone of India’s administrative structure.
- As the head of the Commission, the Chairman is responsible for leading its operations,. It can include up to 10 members. However, despite the recent appointment of two members, namely B.B. Swain and Suman Sharma, vacancies within the Commission still persist.
The appointment process of UPSC members is as follows:
- The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) invites applications from eligible candidates.
- The DoPT shortlists the applications and prepares a panel of candidates.
- The Cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA) receives the panel.
- The CCA interviews the candidates and recommends a name to the President of India.
- The President appoints the recommended candidate as a member of the UPSC.
The President appoints the Chairperson of the UPSC in the same way as other members of the Commission. The President appoints the Chairperson of the UPSC for a term of six years or until he/she reaches the age of 65, whichever is earlier.