In the year 1923, the British Government established a Public Service Commission to examine the salary structure of the Indian Civil Service. The Commission was composed of four Englishmen and four Indian with Lord Lee of Fareham serving as its Chairman. The Commission also addressed the rate of Indianization of the Indian Civil Service and the Indian Police. It determined a rate which in fifteen years would make the Indian Civil Service with a fifty per cent Indian membership and the same in twenty-five years for the Indian Police.
It was left largely to the discretion of provincial Governments to recruit and exercise control over their Services, as they thought proper. As a result of the discretionary powers left to provincial Government, the Government of Madras and Punjab proposed to set up their Public Service Commissions.
The Madras Service Commission thus came into being under an Act of the Madras Legislature in 1929. Madras Presidency had the unique honour, of being the only province in India to establish the first Service Commission.
The Madras Service Commission started with three Members, including the Chairman. After re-organisation of States in 1957, several Commissions were constituted. The Madras Service Commission became Madras Public Service Commission with headquarters at Madras in the year 1957. During 1970, when the name of the State was changed into Tamil Nadu, the Madras Public Service Commission automatically became the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC).
In view of its important and impartial function, Public Service Commissions rightly find a place of pride in the Indian Constitution. Articles 16, 234, 315 to 323 deal with various functions and powers of the Public Service Commissions. The working of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission is also regulated by Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Regulation, 1954 and the TNPSC Rules of Procedure.