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Joint Secretary to Government of India

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Title: Joint Secretary to Government of India  
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Subject: Civil Services of India, Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, Inspector-general of police, Principal Secretary (India), Najeeb Jung
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Joint Secretary to Government of India

The post and rank of Joint Secretary (abbreviated as JS) in India denotes a government official from the civil service of high seniority and is only found in the federal Government of India. All promotions and appointments to this rank and post are directly made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The members who hold this rank are either from the All India Services (Deputation on tenure) or Central Civil Services (Group A; on empanelment). In the Order of precedence of India the members are listed with rank "and pay" equivalent to Major-General (MajGen) and Inspector General (IGP).[1]

In the federal government, the members head department wings in the departments and ministries in federal government and hold positions such as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies (Ambassadors and Ministers),[2] Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Director General of Civil Aviation of India,[3][4] Director General of National Literacy Mission Authority, Economic Advisers, Advisors of TRAI, Joint Directors of CBI,[5] Additional Director Generals (AIR and Doordarshan),[6] Board members of Staff Selection Commission of India[7] Commissioner of Taxes and Police, Chief Engineers in Federal Government departments (Railways, CPWD etc), Chairman, managing director, full-time functional Director/Member of the Board of Management of various Public Sector Undertakings/ Enterprises, Corporations, Banks and financial institutions.

They also hold the post of Social Secretary and Press Secretary to President of India.[8]

In the Cabinet Secretariat, the Military wing is headed by an officer from one of the three services with the rank of Major General or equivalent. He is given the status of this rank and is designated as Joint Secretary (Military).[9]

In the state government, the members hold positions such as Secretary, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCFs), Divisional Commissioners and in all north eastern states and few other states like Karnataka, Bihar they also hold the post of Principal Secretary[10] and Additional Principal Secretary.[11]

An OSD (Officer on Special Duty) is considered equivalent to the Joint secretary level. He / she is usually an IAS oficer on central deputation to a particular ministry.[12]


Until the year 1946, there were only 25 Joint Secretaries in Government of India. However, the number has increased enormously in view of the increase in the volume and complexities of work.[13]

Powers, Responsibilities and Postings

Joint Secretary is the overall in-charge with the necessary measure of independent functioning and responsibility of the Wing of the Department allocated and entrusted to him.[14] The Prime Minister of India is the final authority on posting and transfer of officers of Joint Secretary level.[15]

Emolument, Accommodation and Perks

All Joint Secretaries to Government of India are eligible for Diplomatic passport. They are allotted Type V (D-II amd D-I) and Type VI (C-II) apartments across Delhi by Ministry of Urban Development (Directorate of Estates).[16]

Notable members

Challenges and Reforms

Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India Bimal Jalan has voiced for posts at the level of Joint Secretary to be opened up to outside competition.[22]

In year 2015, Government of India modified Joint Secretary-level empanelment process to ensure greater uniformity, consistency and transparency.[23]


  1. ^ Nagendra Singh was a member of the ICS. In 1948, he came to the center as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India) and from 1954 to 1956 was Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence (India) and later was posted to Ministry of Transport, Shipping and Communications in the 1960's.
  2. ^ Manmohan Singh joined the Government of India in 1971 "through lateral entry" as Joint Secretary to Government of India (Economic Adviser) in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, India during the time of Prime Minister of Indira Gandhi. He later went onto become Chief Economic Adviser.
  3. ^ Montek Singh Ahluwalia joined the Government of India in 1979 "through lateral entry" as Joint Secretary to Government of India (Economic Adviser) dealing with economic affairs in the Ministry of Finance (India) during the time of Prime Minister of P. V. Narasimha Rao. He later went onto become Finance Secretary.

See also


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External links


  • Powers and Responsibilities of Joint Secretary in India, Cabinet Secretariat, India
  • Empanelment Guidelines, DOPT (updated July 2014)


  • Prime Minister instructs DoPT for speedy empanelment of officers from all central services by The Times of India
  • IAS vs all central services in scramble for top posts
  • Officers want end to ‘IAS raj’ in secretary posts, seek pay hike
  • Prime Minister to oversee postings of Joint Secretaries by The Times of India
  • Cyber Security Centre to be setup to shield India from cyber attacks by Hindustan Times
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