The UPSC consists of a chairman and other members appointed by the president of India. The Constitution, without specifying the strength of the Commission has left the matter to the discretion of the president, who determines its composition. Usually, the Commission consists of nine to eleven members including the chairman. Further, no qualifications are prescribed for the Commission’s membership except that one-half of the members of the Commission should be such persons who have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the government of a state. The Constitution also authorises the president to determine the conditions of service of the chairman and other members of the Commission.
The chairman and members of the Commission hold office for a term of six years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. However, they can relinquish their offices at any time by addressing their resignation to the president. They can also be removed before the expiry of their term by the president in the manner as provided in the Constitution.
The President can appoint one of the members of the UPSC as an acting chairman in the following two circumstances :