4.1 In organised Central Group `A' Services, there is a non-functional selection grade in the pay scale of Rs.14300-18300. This is inter-mediary scale between the pay scales corresponding to Junior Administrative Grade (Rs.12000-16500) and Senior Administrative Grade (Rs.18400-22400). In the Non-Functional Selection Grade, the duties and responsibilities attached to the posts are the same

as those of the next lower grade, i.e. JAG. Such selection grade is given to a specified number of officers in the JAG under certain conditions and does not involve a change of command. As per decisions taken by Government in the light of the Fourth Central Pay Commission's recommendations, the revised orders regarding non-functional selection grade (Rs.14300-18300) will apply to the organised Group `A' Civil Cadres and the orders will apply to such cadres uniformly. Secondly, there will be no functional selection grade in such cadres.

4.2 The expression" organised Group `A' Civil Cadre" means a cadre which has all the following attributes, namely:- (i) the highest cadre post is not below the level of Rs.18400-22400 (ii) it has all the standard grades, namely, Rs.8000-13500, Rs.10000-15200, Rs.12000-16500, Rs.14300-18300 and Rs.22400-24500 (iii) at least 50% of the vacancies in the Junior Time Scale (Rs.8000-13500) are required to be filled by direct recruitment and (iv) all vacancies above the Junior Time Scale and upto the Senior Administrative Grade (Rs.22400-24500) are filled by promotion from the next lower grade.

4.3 Introduction of a Non-Functional Selection Grade had been specifically recommended for the first time by the Third Central Pay Commission in respect of various organised Engineering Services (besides Indian Economic Service, Indian Statistical Service and Indian Forest Service). The Commission felt that the number of posts in the higher grades of these services was relatively small in the terms of their total cadre strength and member of the Services holding JAG posts are liable to stagnate for this reason. While accepting this recommendation of the pay commission, Government decided that (i) such Selection Grade may also be introduced in various Central Group `A' Services and (ii) the strength of the Selection Grade in each Service should be determined after a detialed review of cadre structure, promotion prospects, etc. in that Service.

4.4 The Pay Commission stipulated that the officers to be placed in the Selection Grade should have reached the maximum of the Junior Administrative Grade and remained there for 2 years. This stipulation constituted the main criterion for (a) the introduction of Selection Grade in a Service, (b) the determination of the size of such Grade and (c) the eligibility of officers to be placed in Selection Grade. In essence, therefore, the non-functional selection grade is intended to mitigate the rigours of stagnation which the officers in the JAG may be exposed to for want of adequate number of posts in the higher grades. In this sense it is not a distinct functional grade carrying a higher level of responsibilities than those associated with JAG but part of JAG itself, the scale of pay being an extension of JAG pay scale. In other words, it is tantamount to an extended pay scale for holders of JAG posts, the pay scale of Rs.12000-16500 being extended to Rs.18300 under certain conditions.

4.5 In general, appointment of officers to a functional grade is by Selection as it involves promotion to a higher level of responsibility. On the other hand, appointment to the Non-Functional Selection Grade is by seniority subject of fitness. This is so because the purpose of introducing a non-functional Selection Grade is to mitigate the hardships caused to officers due to stagnation and no change of command is involved.

4.6 In terms of Government decisions, Selection Grade was to be introduced in a Central Group `A' Service only after a review of its cadre structure. It was also stipulated that the Selection Grade posts were to be carved out of JAG posts.

4.7 Once the proposal to introduce Selection Grade in a cadre structure (under review) has been approved and its strength determined (on the basis of stagnation and other criteria) by Cadre Review Committee and the required number of posts created, the question arises as to the actual procedure to be adopted for placing the eligible officers in the Selection Grade. The procedure has been laid down in detail in separate guidelines prepared for the purpose by the Department of Personnel & Training.

4.8 The main features of the Selection Grade Guidelines are summarised below:-

(i) Central Service Group `A' where the scale of Rs.14300-18300/- exists as part of the cadre structure on functional basis will not be eligible to have non-functional Selection Grade unless the Cadre Controlling Authorities decide to do away with the functional Selection Grade.

(ii) The non-functional Selection Grade posts should be carved out of the Junior Administrative Grade; they thus do not represent net additions.(iii) The strength of the Selection Grade should be equal to 30% of the senior duty post.The Selection Grade should strictly remain non-functional and in no case be converted into functional. They are thus personal to the officers concerned.An Officers to be eligible to be placed in Selection Grade must have entered the 14th year of service on the Ist January of the year calculated from the year following the year of the examination on the basis of which he was recruited.(vi) Appointment to the grade should be by seniority (i.e. seniority subject to rejection of `unfit'). (vii) The inter-se-seniority among officers appointed to non-functional Selection Grade and those in the ordinary grade of JAG shall not be changed as a result of appointment of the former to the Selection Grade.

Scientific Services.

4.9 In terms of the Third Pay Commission recommendations and Government's decision thereon, Selection Grade is relevant to all Central Group `A' Service, both technical and non-technical. In certain Scientific Services, however e.g. Defence Science, Meterological Service etc. there is a system of flexible complementing designed to retain and encourage meritorious scientists engaged in research work. Under this system, while the total numbers of posts in two or more successive grades is fixed, the number in different grades are varied so as to enable officers with a stipulated period of services to be placed in next higher grade on the basis of periodical assessment of performance irrespective of number of vacancies existing at any given time. In view of this, introduction of Selection Grade in Junior Administrative Grade is not considered necessary in such Services.

Engineering Services.

4.10 The 5th Central Pay Commission had recommended NFSG for Organised Group 'A' Central Engineering Services. The NFSG scale applicable is Rs. 12000-16500 i.e at level between STS and JAG. For detailed information refer O.M. No. 22/1/2000-CRD dated 6.6.2000 as clarified  by O.M. No. 22/1/2000-CRD dated 20.12.2000 (Appendix IX and Appendix X).