Secretary to the Government of India

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Union Secretary
Emblem of India.svg
Flag of India.svg
Government of India
Member ofCommittee of Secretaries on Administration
Reports to
AppointerAppointments Committee of the Cabinet
Term lengthNo term length i1100.htm[dead link]</ref>[1][2]
Term extendable
Formation1930; 94 years ago (1930)
Succession23rd (on the Indian order of precedence.)
Salary225,000 (US$3,200) monthly[3][4]

Secretary to the Government of India, often abbreviated as Secretary, GoI, or simply as Secretary, is a post and a rank under the Central Staffing Scheme of the Government of India.[5] The authority for the creation of this post solely rests with the Union Council of Ministers.[6]

The position holder is generally a career civil servant, mostly from the Indian Administrative Service,[3][7][8][9][10][11] and a government official of high seniority.

Secretary is either from All India Services (deputation; on tenure, after empanelment) 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.

In the structure of the Indian government,[12][13][14] a secretary is the administrative head of a ministry or department,[15][16] and is equivalent to chief secretaries or additional chief secretaries of state governments and Vice Chief of the Army Staff, General Officers Commanding in Chief of Army Commands, and their equivalents in the Indian Armed Forces,[17] and are listed as such on the Indian order of precedence, ranking twenty-third.[18][19][20][21]


C. H. Bhabha with a Secretary and a few Joint Secretaries to the Government of India in 1947.

In mid-1930s, the Central Secretariat contained only twenty-nine secretaries,[22] who were all members of the Indian Civil Service. The salary for a member of this rank and post was fixed at 48,000 (US$670) annum in the 1930s.[22] As per warrant or precedence of 1905,[23] secretaries to the Government of India was listed together with joint secretaries to the Government of India and were ranked above the rank of chief secretaries of provincial governments.[23]

N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar had once suggested "[a] secretary should not be immersed in files and burdened with routine. It is essential that he should have time to grasp the overall picture, size up the problems facing the government in the field allotted to his charge, and think and plan ahead. All these are his proper functions and must be efficiently performed. Failure to make adequate provision in this respect cannot be compensated by a mere increase in the establishment under his control."[24]

The Administrative Reforms Commission visualised the role of secretary, primarily as one of a "coordinator, policy guide, reviewer, and evaluator."[24]

Powers, responsibilities and postings[edit]

The organizational structure of a department of the Government of India.

A secretary to the Government of India is the administrative head of a ministry or department and is the principal adviser to the minister-in charge on all matters of policy and administration within the ministry or department.[16]

The role of a secretary is as follows:

  • To act as the administrative head of the ministry or department. The responsibility in this regard is complete and undivided.[15]
  • To act as the chief adviser to the minister on all aspects of policy and administrative affairs.[15]
  • To represent the ministry or department before the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of India.[15]

The prime minister-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is the final authority on posting and transfer of officers of secretary level.[25] Secretaries report to their ministerial cabinet minister and to the prime minister.[citation needed]


In the Indian government, secretaries are the head of the ministries of the government and hold positions such as Finance Secretary, Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Chairperson of the Railway Board and members of the Railway Board and Telecom Commission.

According to the report of the Seventh Central Pay Commission of India, seventy-one out of ninety-one secretaries to the Government of India are from the Indian Administrative Service.[3]

Emolument, accommodation and prequisites[edit]

An Indian diplomatic passport and an official generally issued to Secretaries to the Government of India.

All secretaries to the Government of India are eligible for a diplomatic passport. Secretaries are allotted either type-VII or type-VIII bungalows in areas like New Moti Bagh and Lutyens' across Delhi by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs' Directorate of Estates.[26][27][28]

The salary and emolument in this rank is equivalent[17] to chief secretaries of state governments and to Vice Chief of the Army Staff, General Officers Commanding in Chief of Army Commands, and their equivalents, in the Indian Armed Forces, which is to say Level 17 of the Central Pay Matrix.[17]

Secretary to the Government of India monthly pay and allowances
Base salary as per the Seventh Pay Commission Pay matrix level Sources
225,000 (US$3,200) per month Pay level 17 [3][4]

List of current secretaries to the Government of India[edit]

Secretaries to the Government of India[29]
Ministry Designation Name of secretary Background Batch
President's Secretariat Secretary to the President Rajesh Verma IAS officer 1987[lower-alpha 1]
Vice President's Secretariat Secretary to the Vice President Sunil Kumar Gupta 1987[lower-alpha 1]
Prime Minister's Office Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P.K. Mishra 1972[lower-alpha 1]
Cabinet Secretariat Cabinet Secretary[lower-alpha 2] Rajiv Gauba 1982
Secretary (Coordination) Praveen K. Srivastava 1988
Secretary (R&AW) Samant Goel IPS officer 1984
Secretary (Security) Arun Kumar Sinha 1987
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Secretary (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare) Sanjay Agrawal IAS officer 1984
Secretary (Agricultural Research and Education) Trilochan Mohapatra Scientist
Atomic Energy Secretary (Atomic Energy) and chairperson of the Atomic Energy Commission K. N. Vyas[30] Scientist
AYUSH Secretary (AYUSH) Rajesh Kotecha
Chemicals and Fertilizers Secretary (Chemicals and Petrochemicals) Arun Baroka IAS officer 1990
Secretary (Fertilizers) Rajesh K. Chaturvedi 1987
Secretary (Pharmaceuticals) Aparna Subramani 1988
Civil Aviation Secretary (Civil Aviation) Rajiv Bansal[31] 1988
Coal Secretary (Coal) Anil Kumar Jain 1986
Commerce and Industry Secretary (Commerce) Sunil Barthwal 1989
Secretary (Industrial Policy and Promotion) Anurag Jain 1989
Communications Secretary (Posts) Vineet Pandey IPoS officer 1986
Secretary to (Telecommunications) and chairperson, Telecoms Commission K. Rajaraman IAS officer 1989
Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Secretary (Consumer Affairs) Rohit K. Singh 1989
Secretary (Food and Public Distribution) Sudhanshu Pandey 1987
Co-operation Secretary (Co-operation) Devendra K. Singh 1989
Corporate Affairs Secretary (Corporate Affairs) Rajesh Verma 1987
Culture Secretary (Culture) Govind Mohan 1989
Defence Defence Secretary Giridhar Armane 1988
Secretary (Defence Production)
Secretary (Defence Research and Development) and chairperson, DRDO G. Satheesh Reddy Scientist
Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) B. Anand IAS officer 1987
Secretary (Department of Military Affairs) and Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM Indian Armed Forces officer
Development of North Eastern Region Secretary (Development of North Eastern Region) Lok Ranjan IAS officer 1989
Earth Sciences Secretary (Earth Sciences) and chairman, Earth Sciences Commission M. Ravichandran Scientist
Education Secretary (Higher Education) K. Sanjay Murthy IAS officer 1989
Secretary (School Education and Literacy) Anita Karwal 1988
Electronics and Information Technology Secretary (Electronics and Information Technology) Ajay P. Sawhney 1984
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary (Environment, Forest and Climate Change) Leena Nandan 1987
External Affairs Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra IFS officer 1984
Secretary (East) Saurabh Kumar 1989
Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma 1990
Secretary (CPV & OIA) Ausaf Sayeed 1989
Secretary (Economic Relations) Dammu Ravi 1989
Finance Finance Secretary & Secretary (Expenditure) T. V. Somanathan IAS officer 1987
Secretary (Economic Affairs) Ajay Seth[32] 1987
Secretary (Public Enterprises) Ali Raza Rizvi 1988
Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj 1988
Secretary (Investment and Public Asset Management) Tuhin Kanti Pandey 1987
Secretary (Financial Services) Debashish Panda 1987
Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Secretary (Animal Husbandry and Dairying) Atul Chaturvedi 1986
Secretary (Fisharies) Jatindra N. Swain 1988
Food Processing Industries Secretary (Food Processing Industries) Pushpa Subrahmanyam 1985
Health and Family Welfare Secretary to (Health and Family Welfare) Rajesh Bhushan 1987
Secretary (Health Research) Balram Bhargava Scientist
Heavy Industries Secretary (Heavy Industry) Arun Goel IAS officer 1985
Home Affairs Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla 1984
Secretary (Official Language) Ansuli Arya 1989
Secretary (Border Management) Dharmendra S. Gangwar 1988
Secretary (Inter-State Council Secretariat) Anuradha Prasad IDAS officer 1986
Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary (Housing and Urban Affairs) Manoj Joshi [33] IAS officer 1989
Information and Broadcasting Secretary (Information and Broadcasting) Apurva Chandra 1988
Jal Shakti Secretary (Drinking Water and Sanitation) Vini Mahajan 1987
Secretary (Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) Pankaj Kumar 1987
Labour and Employment Secretary (Labour and Employment) Arti Ahuja 1990
Law and Justice Secretary (Justice) S. K. G. Rahate 1990
Secretary (Legal Affairs) Niten Chandra
Secretary (Legislative) Reeta Vasishta Legal Service Officer
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Secretary (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Bidyut B. Swain IAS officer 1988
Mines Secretary (Mines) Alok Tandon 1986
Minority Affairs Secretary (Minority Affairs) Renuka Kumar 1987
New and Renewable Energy Secretary (New and Renewable Energy) Indu Sekhar Chaturvedi 1987
NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer and ex officio Secretary Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam 1987
Panchayati Raj Secretary (Panchayati Raj) Sunil Kumar 1987
Parliamentary Affairs Secretary (Parliamentary Affairs) Gyanesh Kumar 1987
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Secretary (Personnel and Training) Pradeep K. Tripathi 1987
Secretary (Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances) V. Srinivas 1989
Secretary (Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare)
Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary (Petroleum and Natural Gas) M.M KUTTY 1990
Planning Secretary (Planning)
Ports, Shipping and Waterways Secretary (Ports, Shipping and Waterways) Sanjeev Ranjan 1985
Power Secretary (Power) Alok Kumar 1988
Ministry of Railway (Railway Board) Chairperson, Railway Board and ex-officio Principal Secretary Vinay Kumar Tripathi[34] IRSME officer 1983
Road Transport and Highways Secretary (Road Transport and Highways) Aramane Giridhar IAS officer 1988
Rural Development Secretary (Land Resources) Ajay Tirkey 1987
Secretary (Rural Development) Nagendra Nath Sinha 1987
Science and Technology Secretary (Biotechnology) Rajesh S. Gokhale Scientist
Secretary (Science and Technology) Sribhari Chandrasekhar
Secretary (Scientific and Industrial Research) Sekhar C. Mande
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Secretary (Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) Rajesh Aggarwal IAS officer 1989
Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary (Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities) Anjali Bhara 1988
Secretary (Social Justice and Empowerment) R. Subramanyam 1985
Statistics and Programme Implementation Secretary (Statistics and Programme Implementation) G. P. Samanta[35] Scientist
Space Secretary (Space) and chairperson of ISRO S. Somanath
Steel Secretary (Steel) Sanjay K. Singh IAS officer 1987
Textiles Secretary (Textiles) Upendra P. Singh 1985
Tourism Secretary (Tourism) Arvind Singh 1988
Tribal Affairs Secretary (Tribal Affairs) Anil Kumar Jha 1988
Women and Child Development Secretary (Women and Child Development) Indeevar Pandey 1988
Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary (Sports) Sujata Chaturvedi 1989
Secretary (Youth Affairs) Usha Sharma 1985
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Retired
  2. Cabinet Secretary is not a secretary rank position but the highest level of empanelment in Government of India is at secretary rank.


Media articles and others have argued in favour of lateral entrants being recruited to this rank/post to infuse fresh energy and thinking into an insular, complacent and archaic bureaucracy.[36][37][38][39]

Non-IAS civil services have complained to the Government of India because of lack of empanelment in the rank/post of secretary on numerous occasions.[3][7][8][9][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. "Fixed tenure for defence, home secretaries". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. "Fixed tenure for Defence, Home Secretaries". Outlook.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Report of the 7th Central Pay Commission of India" (PDF). Seventh Central Pay Commission, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biswas, Shreya (ed.). "7th Pay Commission cleared: What is the Pay Commission? How does it affect salaries?". India Today. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  5. "The Central Staffing Scheme" (PDF). Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  6. "Only Cabinet can create Joint Secretary, above level posts". Press Trust of India. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tripathi, Shishir. "IAS: Emperor among the kings?". Governance Now. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Tikku, Aloke. "Parity between IAS and non-IAS? The IAS will get to decide". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Non-IAS bureaucrats now eligible for secretary-level posts". The Asian Age. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Need Pay Parity With IAS Officers, Say Officials Of 20 Civil Services". NDTV. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dastidar, Avishek G. "Alleging bias, non-IAS officers petition PM Modi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  12. "Part I of the Constitution of India- The Union and its territory - Article 1" (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  13. "Part XIV of the Constitution of India- Finance, Property, Contracts and Suits - Article 300" (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  14. "Part XIV of the Constitution of India- Services under the Union and the States - Article 312(2)" (PDF). Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Laxmikanth, M. (2014). Governance in India (2nd ed.). Noida: McGraw Hill Education. pp. 3.1–3.10. ISBN 978-9339204785.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure - 14th Edition (2015)" (PDF). Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension. p. 6. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "TGC Entry Advert, 2022" (PDF). Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  18. "Order of Precedence" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. President's Secretariat. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  19. "Table of Precedence" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. President's Secretariat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  20. "Table of Precedence". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. President's Secretariat. Archived from the original on 28 April 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  21. Maheshwari, S.R. (2000). Indian Administration (6th ed.). New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Ltd. ISBN 9788125019886.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Kirk-Greene, A. (2000). Britain's Imperial Administrators, 1858-1966. New York City: Springer. ISBN 9780230286320.
  23. 23.0 23.1 As per published records and book named "The India List and India Office List 1905" as published by India Office and India Office Records.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Singh, Hoshiar; Singh, Pankaj (2011). Indian Administration (1st ed.). Delhi: Pearson Education India. pp. 104–126. ISBN 978-8131761199.
  25. "PM to oversee cadre allocation of bureaucrats, postings of joint secretaries and above". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  26. "Compendium (RTI Act) – Government Residence (General Pool in Delhi) Rules" (PDF). Directorate of Estates, Ministry of Urban Development They are also eligible for Y+ security i.e of 4 Para commando and 18 Armed Forces. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  27. Gupta, Geeta. "New homes for govt staff changing New Delhi". Indian Express. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  28. Singh, Vijaita. "Home Secretary gives the miss to fortified bungalow". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  29. "Secretaries to the Government of India (as on 1 February 2022)" (PDF). Department of Personnel and Training. Government of India. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  30. "Top Scientist KN Vyas Appointed As Atomic Energy Commission Chief". Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  31. "Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal appointed as Civil Aviation Secretary". mint. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  32. "Ajay Seth takes over as new economic affairs secretary - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  33. "Manoj Joshi takes charge as new secretary of Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry". ThePrint. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  34. "Vinay Kumar Tripathi appointed as new chairman of Railway Board". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  35. Suneja, Kirtika. "Govt appoints GP Samanta as new Chief Statistician". The Economic Times. Retrieved 27 January 2022.
  36. Natarajan, Gulzar. "Lateral entry, blind alley". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  37. Chandra, Shailaja. "Should the government allow lateral entry into the civil services?". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  38. "The need for lateral entry in civil services". Live Mint. HT Media. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  39. Natarajan, Gulzar; Subbarao, Duvvuri. "The case for lateral entry". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 August 2017.


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