Joint Secretary to Government of India

Joint Secretary (abbreviated as JS-GOI) is a post and a rank under the Central Staffing Scheme[1] of the Government of India. This post is equal to Assistant Under Secretary, a post under Senior Civil Service Group in the United Kingdom or an officer in the Senior Executive Service in the United States.

The position holder is a career civil servant and a government official of high seniority.[2] The members who hold this rank are either from All India Services (Deputation on tenure) or Central Civil Services (Group A; on empanelment). All promotions and appointments to this rank and post are directly made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet of India.

In the functioning of Government of India, Joint Secretary is the CEO for a department.[3] In the international level, Joint Secretaries hold positions in the United Nations - such as Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO.[4] In the state governments and Union Territories, they also hold senior positions such as Chief Secretary of Pondicherry, and, in all north eastern states and few other states like Karnataka, Bihar they also hold the post of Principal Secretary.[5]

Joint Secretaries in federal government of India is analogous to Major-General and equivalent ranks in Indian Armed Forces and are listed as such in the Order of Precedence.[6][7] In the Cabinet Secretariat, the Military wing is headed by an officer from one of the three services with the rank of Major General and equivalent is given the status of this rank and is designated as Joint Secretary (Military).[8]


The post of Joint Secretary in Government of India was created in 1920s. In 1937, the Central Secretariat contained only 7 Joint Secretaries.[7] However, until 1946, there were only 25 Joint Secretaries in Government of India.

According to A. D. Gorwala, ICS "The Joint Secretaries ought to in reality be what the name implies, namely secretaries for the subject entrusted to them and joined to a more senior secretary for the convenience of administrative work."[9]

Sir Richard Tottenham, ICS had once expressed "In my opinion there is, or should be, no distinction of function, but only of pay between a Joint and a Additional Secretary. Additional and Joint Secretaries should not be either cheap Secretaries or expensive Deputy Secretaries."[9]

Powers, responsibilities and postings

C. H. Bhabha with Secretary and Joint Secretaries to Government of India in 1947.
U. Win with Joint Secretary to Government of India in 1947.

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.[10]

Joint Secretary in charge of Administration also exercises all Administrative powers as Head of the Department of the Ministry/Department.[11]

The Prime Minister of India is the final authority on posting and transfer of officers of Joint Secretary level.[12] Joint Secretaries report either to the Cabinet Minister of India or to the Prime Minister of India.


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),[13] Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies (Ambassadors and Ministers),[14] Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Director General of Civil Aviation of India,[15][16] Director General of National Literacy Mission Authority, Economic Advisers, Advisors of TRAI, Joint Directors of CBI,[17] Additional Director Generals (AIR and Doordarshan),[18] Board members of Staff Selection Commission of India[19] 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.

Emolument, accommodation and perks

An Indian Diplomatic Passport and an Official Passport generally issued to Joint Secretary (GOI).

All Joint Secretaries to Government of India are eligible for Diplomatic passport. They are allotted Type V (D-II and D-I) and Type VI (C-II) apartments across Delhi by Ministry of Urban Development (Directorate of Estates).[20]

The officers appointed as Joint Secretary in the Government of India are allowed to use a blue beacon (with flasher).

Joint Secretary GOI monthly pay and allowances
Salary as per 7th Pay Commission (Per month) Level
144,200 (US$2,100) (Entry Pay) to 177,750 (US$2,600) (Maximum Pay)[21] Level 14 Sources:[21][22]

Notable members


  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 on to 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 on to become Finance Secretary.

Reforms and challenges

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.[28]

In 2015, Government of India modified Joint Secretary-level empanelment process to ensure greater uniformity, consistency and transparency.[29]

Under the administration of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, top choices for civil servants being appointed to this rank and post were from non IAS cadre.[30][31] Top choices for this position have been given to Central Civil Services and All India Services (excluding IAS).[30][31]

See also


  1. "The Central Staffing Scheme" (PDF). Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. January 1996. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  2. "Sahai appointed Joint Secretary NSCS: ACC Appointment". Greater Kashmir. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. "Archive: JS-level posts vacant at Centre, few takers". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  4. "Archive: Dilli Ka Babu: Permanent Representative of India in Unesco". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  5. "Three more IAS officers from state posted as joint secretaries in Modi govt". The Indian Express. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  6. "President's Secretariat" (PDF). Office of the President of India. Rajya Sabha. 26 August 1979. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  7. 1 2 Maheshwari, S. B. (2001). Indian Administration (Sixth Edition). Orient Blackswan. p. 666. ISBN 9788125019886.
  8. "History of Integrated Defence Staff, India". Ministry of Defence, India. January 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. 1 2 Jayapalan, n. (2001). Indian Administration 2 Vols. Set. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. p. 668. ISBN 9788171569212.
  10. "Powers and Duties of Officers and Employees as defined in the Manual of Office Procedure". Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  11. "Joint Secretary GOI: Powers and Responsibilities". Cabinet Secretariat of India. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  12. "PM to oversee cadre allocation of bureaucrats, postings of joint secretaries and above". The Times of India. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  13. "No foreign job for babus who fail to join as CVOs: Centre". The Economic Times. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  14. "MEA Moves its Men, Post-Haste". The Sunday Standard. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  15. "Civil aviation ministry embraces new year with top-level changes". The Sunday Standard. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  16. "Joint secretary Kumar proposed as new DGCA". The Times of India. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  17. "Sanctioned Strength of Central Bureau of Investigation – Executive Officers" (PDF). Central Bureau of Investigation. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  18. "Sheheryar, First Kashmiri Appointed as Director General All India Radio". 3 February 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  19. "Selection of Appointment of Member of Staff Selection Commission of India" (PDF). Minister of Home Affairs (India). 27 December 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  20. "Compendium (RTI Act) – Government Residence (General Pool in Delhi) Rules" (PDF). Directorate of Estates, Ministry of Urban Development. January 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  21. 1 2 "PMO makes salaries of officials public" (PDF). The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  22. "Report of the 7th Pay Commission of India" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  23. "CTC CHAIRMAN BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Hardeep Singh Puri". United Nations. January 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  24. "Najeeb Jung sworn-in as Delhi Lt. Governor". The Hindu. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  25. "Pulok Chatterjee takes over as Principal Secretary to PM". The Hindu. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  26. "U K Sinha to get 2-year extension". Business Standard. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  27. "We need to start worrying about the new normalcy, says Reddy". Mint. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  28. "Bring in experts. Snip away red tape". Hindustan Times. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  29. "Joint Secretary-Level Empanelment Process Modified". The Sen Times. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  30. 1 2 "Non-IAS officers are top choices for Modi government for the crucial Joint Secretary positions". The Economic Times. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  31. 1 2 "Govt appoints 28 officers, half non IAS, to joint secretary level posts". Mint (newspaper). 14 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.

External links



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