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Prior to restructuring of the Central Secretariat Service direct recruitment to the CSS took place at two levels. The Setion Officers were recruited, to the extent of 20% through the Civil Services Examinations conducted by the UPSC. The second level of direct induction, to the  extent of 50% took place at the Assistant Level through the All India Graduate Level Examination conducted byh the Staff Selection Commission.


After the restructuring of CSS in October, 2003 the direct recruitment at the level of Section Officers has been dicontinued. As such direct recruitment into the CSS is available only at the level of Assistants throughl the Graduate level Examination of the SSC. However, the direct recruitment quota has been enhanced from 50% to 75% after restructuring. In addition to the minimum qualification of Graduation, Computer proficiency has also been introduced at this level.


Induction to this service has been through direct recruitment both at the levels of Section Officer (Group ‘B’ Gazetted) till 2000 through Civil Services and the Assistant (Group ‘B’ non-Gazetted) till 1987 through UPSC and only University Graduates have been eligible for appearing in the examination for the posts of Section Officer and Assistants. From 1988 onwards Staff Selection Commission has been conducting All India Competitive Examination for recruitment of Assistants. Since 1999, the Assistants are being recruited through three-Tier All India Level Combined Graduate Level Examination conducted by Staff Selection Commission. Though many other personnel of central Govt. posts are also recruited through the three-Tier All India Level Combined Graduate Level Examination but Assistants are placed at the top being Group-‘B’ non-Gazetted posts.

The CSS has been different from other Group ‘B’ services, inasmuch as this service unlike most other Group ‘B’ services does not form feeder service to any of All India Services or any of the Central Group ‘A’ services.  It is also different from other two services found in the Central Secretariat, namely, Central Secretariat Clerical Service (CSCS) and Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service (CSSS) which are designed to provide assistance to the members of CSS and other senior and top level officers in the Central Secretariat. The Central Secretariat Service Rules, 1962 provides that the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is the Cadre Controlling Authority of all three Central Secretariat Services i.e. CSS, CSCS and CSSS.

As per the Central Secretariat Service Rules, 1962, 50% of the Assistants were direct recruit and 50% of them were given to the employees of Central Secretariat Clerical Service as their promotional avenues. In the Section Officers’ Grade the recruitment was done as 40% by promotion of eligible Assistants 40% through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination and 20% direct recruitment through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC(presently stopped). For the Grades of Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Director promotions are made among the eligible Officers.  Since the employees of the Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service did not have promotional avenues as their service was not organized one, they were given promotional opportunities in CSS in the Grades of Section Officer (through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination) and Under Secretary as lateral entry. After the Cabinet decision of 03.10.2003, the lateral entry of the employees of CSSS has been discontinued. The CAT, Principal Bench, New Delhi have adjudicated in its decision dated 25.05.2007 that lateral entry in Section Officers’ Grade of CSS through Limited Departmental Competitive Examination should also be discontinued. The Govt. have accepted the decision, though it is pending in the Delhi High Court under challenge by the employees of Central Secretariat Stenographers’ Service.