In administrative parlance, public services have a slightly wider connotation since it covers besides civil servants, other employees of government such as military officials, PSUs employees etc. Public service can be provided by various stakeholders in a society besides civil servants such as civil society, citizen, private sector, media etc. who have the desired motivation to serve public at large.
But whenever we discuss about public service, largely civil servants are considered in general since they are instruments of governance who translates governments’ plans and programmes into implementable action.
Public service can be distinguished from private services in terms of the core goals that these services pursue. In public service, public welfare is the end goal whereas private services are driven by profit agenda. For instance, Mid-day meal programme for school children is a public service whereas food offered by KFC and Dominos is an example of private service.
Public service is considered as an important instrument of political modernisation in the developing societies. Well-knit and well-organised public bureaucratic structure precedes electoral democracy since it provides stability and continuity to the system of government. For example, during general elections or in case of change in political regime, it’s the bureaucracy which helps in smooth transaction of transfer of power and political stability in the society under caretaker government.