Joint Secretary to Government of India
Joint Secretary (abbreviated as JS-GOI) is a post and a rank under the Central Stafﬁng Scheme 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. 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. In the international level, Joint Secretaries hold positions in the United Nations - such as Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO. 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.
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. 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).
The post of Joint Secretary in Government of India was created in 1920s. In 1937, the Central Secretariat contained only 7 Joint Secretaries. 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."
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."
Powers, responsibilities and postings
The Prime Minister of India is the final authority on posting and transfer of officers of Joint Secretary level. 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), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), emissaries in the foreign missions/embassies (Ambassadors and Ministers), Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Director General of Civil Aviation of India, Director General of National Literacy Mission Authority, Economic Advisers, Advisors of TRAI, Joint Directors of CBI, Additional Director Generals (AIR and Doordarshan), Board members of Staff Selection Commission of India 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.
Emolument, accommodation and perks
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).
The officers appointed as Joint Secretary in the Government of India are allowed to use a blue beacon (with flasher).
|Salary as per 7th Pay Commission (Per month)||Level|
|₹144,200 (US$2,100) (Entry Pay) to ₹177,750 (US$2,600) (Maximum Pay)||Level 14||Sources:|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
In 2015, Government of India modified Joint Secretary-level empanelment process to ensure greater uniformity, consistency and transparency.
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. Top choices for this position have been given to Central Civil Services and All India Services (excluding IAS).
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- Prime Minister instructs DoPT for speedy empanelment of officers from all central services by The Times of India
- Swachh Bharat mission: Dedicated joint secretary to handle initiative by Indian Express
- 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
- DA case: 88-year-old former Joint Secretary GOI jailed for a year by Indian Express