First Indian to become an IAS officer in British regime, The story of Satyendranath Tagore

Mad4India By Archana Bhakta | 2 min read

Satyendranath Tagore

The first person to be chosen for the Indian Civil Services was Satyendranath Tagore in 1863. He was the first Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.

The (UPSC) Union Public Service Commission, the official name of IAS officer, is India patterned examination to recruit Group A officers for the Union Government.

Satyendranath Tagore, the son of Debendranath Tagore, is also the eldest brother of Rabindranath Tagore, the first Indian and an Asian to win a Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. He came from a family full of talents and insightful knowledge. The Tagore family was well-known as a writer. That is why Satyendranath wrote for several publications.

ias officer satyendranath tagore family
Image source: IAS Babuji

Formative Years

He was born on 1 June 1842 in Jorosanko Calcutta, Bengal, British India. He was a student of Hindu College and was among the first batch to appear for the entrance examination of the University of Calcutta. He later went to Presidency College. 

He came from a family that was well-known and appealing in Calcutta. They are regarded as one of the strongest influences during the Bengal Renaissance. 

The Tagore family have great persons that have contributed substantially in the field of literature, business, society, reformation, art, and music.  

As was the custom of that time, he married early at the age of 17 to Gyandanandini Devi. 

Tagore was a bright student and was keen on reading and writing. With this, he prepared for the Indian Civil Services (ICS). He was just 21 years old when became an IAS officer. 

In 1862, he traveled to England from India to study for the exam. Later in 1863, he was selected for the civil examination becoming the first (Indian Administrative Service) IAS Officer of India. 

It was tough to travel to England during that time, but his close friend Monomohun Ghose encouraged and supported him in this journey. 

He became the first IAS Officer of India in 1863 and completed a probation training period in November 1864. He was posted in the Bombay Presidency and after parts of India. He was posted for four months in Bombay when he was officially posted at Ahmedabad. 

During his time, he traveled to different cities and parts of India. Apart from being a responsible IAS Officer government officer, he was a vivid reader and wrote on several occasions. 

While traveling across the country, he learned languages and participated in their cultures. 

Later, in 1882, he was a district judge in Karwar, Karnataka, India. He served as an IAS and fulfilled his responsibilities for thirty years before retiring as a judge in Maharashtra in 1897. 

Civil Services Begin – IAS Journey

ias officer
Image Source: Wikipedia 

The position of IAS Officer holds power, responsibility and is prestigious. It is the dream of nearly one-third of Indians to appear for the Union Public Service Examination and serve the nation with good intent and rightful morals. 

However, it was the British that began administering the Civil Services in India in 1854. The process of selecting the civil servants was recruited by the East India Company’s directors. 

In 1854, when it was founded, it introduced several competitive examinations for people to clear and be an active part of the union government. At that time, the minimum age was 18, and the maximum was 23 for IAS. In consideration, the examination was extremely tough for Indians. 

Apart from being the first IAS officer of India, Satyendranath Tagore was also a writer, composer and contributed positively to Indian women’s emancipation. 

Tagore was profoundly a bright human being and a responsible union officer. Being an IAS civil servant, he was good at his power and dedicated himself to bringing changes in society.

In his lifetime of moments, he heavily influenced the Bengali language and character. He usually conducted literary majlis (gatherings), where he used to hold discussions on various subjects varying from art, music, politics, and literature.

Satyendranath Tagore was India’s first IAS officer, which inspired millions of people to step up to take responsibility and work towards the welfare of India for better enhancement. 

At this time where times have changed, the civil examination of India has grown exponentially with worthy IAS officers in the country. And today, the civil exam of IAS Officer in India is considered to be the toughest to crack and the most significant one too. 

It’s been 157 years of Satyendranath Tagore to be India’s first IAS officer and he keeps on inspiring young people to work hard and move forward in life. 

If you loved this story, read a story about how She Helped 16000 Women Like Her Find Income & Freedom: Nirmal Chandel

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