Union Secretary
Government of India
Member ofCommittee of Secretaries on Administration
Reports to
AppointerAppointments Committee of the Cabinet
Term lengthNo term length[dead link][1][2]
Term extendable
Formation1930; 94 years ago (1930)
Succession23rd (on the Indian order of precedence.)
Salary225,000 (US$2,700) 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[3][7][8][9][10][11] and a government official of high seniority. The civil servants who hold this rank and post are either from All India Services (on 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 functioning of the Government of India,[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] In the Department of Military Affairs of the Ministry of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff is currently designated as Secretary (GOI).[18]

Secretaries (GOI) rank 23rd on Order of Precedence of India.[19][20][21][22]


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,[23] who were all members of the Indian Civil Service. The salary for a member of this rank and post was fixed at 48,000 (equivalent to 12 million or US$140,000 in 2023) annum in the 1930s.[23] As per warrant or precedence of 1905,[24] 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.[24]

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."[25]

The Administrative Reforms Commission visualised the role of secretary, primarily as one of a "coordinator, policy guide, reviewer, and evaluator."[25]

Powers, responsibilities and postings

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:

The prime minister-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet is the final authority on posting and transfer of officers of secretary level.[26] 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

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 or Official 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.[27][28][29]

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$2,700) per month Pay level 17 [3][4]

List of current secretaries to the Government of India

Secretaries to the Government of India[30]
Office or Ministry Designation Name of secretary Background Batch
President's Secretariat Secretary to the President Rajesh Verma IAS officer 1987[a]
Vice President's Secretariat Secretary to the Vice President Sunil Kumar Gupta 1987[a]
Prime Minister's Office Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P.K. Mishra 1972[a]
Supreme Court Registry Office Secretary General of Supreme Court of India Shri Atul M. Kurhekar Legal Service Officer
Parliament's Secretariat Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha Pramod Chandra Mody IRS (IT) Officer 1982
Secretary General of the Lok Sabha Utpal Kumar Singh IAS officer
Cabinet Secretariat Cabinet Secretary[b] Rajiv Gauba 1982
Secretary (Coordination) Pradeep Kumar Tripathi
Secretary (R&AW) Ravi Sinha IPS officer 1988
Secretary (Security) Swagat Das[31] 1987
Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Secretary (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare) Vacant IAS officer
Secretary (Agricultural Research and Education) Himanshu Pathak Scientist
Atomic Energy Secretary (Atomic Energy) and chairperson of the Atomic Energy Commission Ajit Kumar Mohanty[32] Scientist
AYUSH Secretary (AYUSH) Rajesh Kotecha
Chemicals and Fertilizers Secretary (Chemicals and Petrochemicals) Nivedita Shukla Verma IAS officer 1991
Secretary (Fertilizers) Rajat Kumar Mishra 1992
Secretary (Pharmaceuticals) Arunish Chawla 1992
Civil Aviation Secretary (Civil Aviation) Vumlunmang Vualnam[33] 1992
Coal Secretary (Coal) Amrit Lal Meena 1989
Commerce and Industry Secretary (Commerce) Sunil Barthwal 1989
Secretary (Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) Rajesh Kumar Singh 1989
Communications Secretary (Posts) Vineet Pandey IPoS officer 1986
Secretary to (Telecommunications) and chairperson, Telecoms Commission Neeraj Mittal[33] IAS officer 1992
Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Secretary (Consumer Affairs) Nidhi Khare 1992
Secretary (Food and Public Distribution) Sanjeev Chopra 1990
Co-operation Secretary (Co-operation) Ashish Kumar Bhutani 1992
Corporate Affairs Secretary (Corporate Affairs) Manoj Govil 1991
Culture Secretary (Culture) Chandu Burusu 2019
Defence Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane 1988
Secretary (Defence Production)
Secretary (Defence Research and Development) and chairperson, DRDO Samir V. Kamath Scientist
Secretary (Ex-Servicemen Welfare) Niten Chandra IAS officer 1990
Secretary (Department of Military Affairs) and Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan Indian Armed Forces officer
Development of North Eastern Region Secretary (Development of North Eastern Region) Chanchal Kumar[34] IAS officer 1992
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) Sanjay Kumar 1990
Electronics and Information Technology Secretary (Electronics and Information Technology) S Krishnan[33] 1989
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary (Environment, Forest and Climate Change) Leena Nandan 1987
External Affairs Foreign Secretary Vikram Misri IFS officer 1989
Secretary (East) Jaideep Mazumdar 1989
Secretary (West) Tanmay Lal 1991
Secretary (CPV & OIA) Arun Kumar Chatterjee 1992
Secretary (Economic Relations) Dammu Ravi 1989
Secretary (Dean) Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service Gaddam Dharmendra 1990
Finance Finance Secretary
Secretary (Expenditure)
T. V. Somanathan IAS officer 1987
Secretary (Economic Affairs) Ajay Seth 1987
Secretary (Public Enterprises) Ali Raza Rizvi 1988
Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra 1990
Secretary (Investment and Public Asset Management) Tuhin Kanti Pandey 1987
Secretary (Financial Services) Vivek Joshi 1989
Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Secretary (Animal Husbandry and Dairying) Alka Upadhyaya 1990
Secretary (Fisheries) Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi 1991
Food Processing Industries Secretary (Food Processing Industries) Anita Praveen 1989
Health and Family Welfare Secretary to (Health and Family Welfare) Apurva Chandra 1988
Secretary (Health Research) Dr. Rajiv Bahl Scientist
Heavy Industries Secretary (Heavy Industry) Kamran Rizvi IAS officer 1991
Home Affairs Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla 1984
Secretary (Official Language) Ansuli Arya 1989
Secretary (Border Management) Rajendra Kumar 1992
Secretary (Inter-State Council Secretariat) K.Moses Chalai IAS officer 1990
Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary (Housing and Urban Affairs) Vacant IAS officer
Information and Broadcasting Secretary (Information and Broadcasting) Sanjay Jaju 1992
Jal Shakti Secretary (Drinking Water and Sanitation) Vini Mahajan 1987
Secretary (Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) Debashree Mukherjee[35] 1991
Labour and Employment Secretary (Labour and Employment) Sumita Dawra 1991
Law and Justice Secretary (Justice) Raj Kumar Goyal 1990
Secretary (Legal Affairs) Vacant
Secretary (Legislative) Dr. Rajiv Mani Legal Service Officer
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Secretary (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Subhas Chandra Lal Das IAS officer 1992
Mines Secretary (Mines) VL Kantha Rao 1992
Minority Affairs Secretary (Minority Affairs) Katikithala Srinivas[33] 1989
New and Renewable Energy Secretary (New and Renewable Energy) Bhupendra Singh Bhalla 1990
NITI Aayog (Planning Commission) Chief Executive Officer and ex officio Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam 1987
Panchayati Raj Secretary (Panchayati Raj) Vivek Bhardwaj 1990
Parliamentary Affairs Secretary (Parliamentary Affairs) Umang Narula[33] 1989
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Secretary (Personnel and Training) Vacant
Secretary (Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances) V. Srinivas 1989
Secretary (Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare)
Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary (Petroleum and Natural Gas) Pankaj Jain 1990
Ports, Shipping and Waterways Secretary (Ports, Shipping and Waterways) T K Ramachandran 1991
Power Secretary (Power) Pankaj Agarwal 1992
Ministry of Railway (Railway Board) Chairperson, Railway Board and ex-officio Principal Secretary Jaya Varma Sinha IRTS 1988
Road Transport and Highways Secretary (Road Transport and Highways) Anurag Jain IAS officer 1989
Rural Development Secretary (Land Resources) Manoj Joshi 1989
Secretary (Rural Development) Shailesh Kumar Singh 1991
Science and Technology Secretary (Biotechnology) Rajesh Sudhir Gokhale Scientist
Secretary (Science and Technology) Abhay Karandikar[36]
Secretary (Scientific and Industrial Research) N. Kalaiselvi
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Secretary (Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) Atul Kumar Tiwari IAS officer 1990
Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary (Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities) Rajesh Aggarwal 1989
Secretary (Social Justice and Empowerment) Amit Yadav 1991
Statistics and Programme Implementation Secretary (Statistics and Programme Implementation) Saurabh Garg IAS officer 1991
Space Secretary (Space) and Chairperson of ISRO S. Somanath Scientist
Steel Secretary (Steel) Nagendra Nath Sinha IAS officer 1987
Textiles Secretary (Textiles) Rachna Shah 1991
Tourism Secretary (Tourism) V. Vidyavathi 1991
Tribal Affairs Secretary (Tribal Affairs) Vibhu Nayar 1990
Women and Child Development Secretary (Women and Child Development) Anil Malik 1991
Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary (Sports) Sujata Chaturvedi 1989
Secretary (Youth Affairs) Meeta R Lochan 1990
  1. ^ a b c Retired
  2. ^ Cabinet Secretary is not a secretary rank position but the highest level of empanelment in the 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.[37][38][39][40]

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


  1. ^ "Fixed tenure for defence, home secretaries". Rediff.com. 22 September 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Fixed tenure for Defence, Home Secretaries". Outlook. 22 September 2005.
  3. ^ a b c d e "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. ^ a b Biswas, Shreya, ed. (29 June 2016). "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. January 1996. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Only Cabinet can create Joint Secretary, above level posts". Press Trust of India. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b Tripathi, Shishir (8 December 2015). "IAS: Emperor among the kings?". Governance Now. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b Tikku, Aloke (15 January 2016). "Parity between IAS and non-IAS? The IAS will get to decide". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Non-IAS bureaucrats now eligible for secretary-level posts". The Asian Age. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Need Pay Parity With IAS Officers, Say Officials Of 20 Civil Services". NDTV. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ a b Dastidar, Avishek G (14 January 2017). "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. ^ a b c d Laxmikanth, M. (2014). Governance in India (2nd ed.). Noida: McGraw Hill Education. pp. 3.1–3.10. ISBN 978-9339204785.
  16. ^ a b "Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure - 14th Edition (2015)" (PDF). Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension. p. 6. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "TGC Entry Advert, 2022" (PDF). Ministry of Defence, Government of India. 24 January 2022. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Who's Who: Department of Military Affairs". Ministry of Defence (India). Retrieved 18 July 2024.
  19. ^ "Order of Precedence" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. President's Secretariat. 26 July 1979. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Table of Precedence" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. President's Secretariat. 26 July 1979. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ Maheshwari, S.R. (2000). Indian Administration (6th ed.). New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Private Ltd. ISBN 9788125019886.
  23. ^ a b Kirk-Greene, A. (2000). Britain's Imperial Administrators, 1858-1966. New York City: Springer. ISBN 9780230286320.
  24. ^ a b As per published records and book named "The India List and India Office List 1905" as published by India Office and India Office Records.
  25. ^ a b Singh, Hoshiar; Singh, Pankaj (2011). Indian Administration (1st ed.). Delhi: Pearson Education India. pp. 104–126. ISBN 978-8131761199.
  26. ^ "PM to oversee cadre allocation of bureaucrats, postings of joint secretaries and above". The Times of India. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  27. ^ "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. January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  28. ^ Gupta, Geeta (21 July 2011). "New homes for govt staff changing New Delhi". Indian Express. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  29. ^ Singh, Vijaita (16 September 2015). "Home Secretary gives the miss to fortified bungalow". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Secretaries to the Government of India (as on 6 September 2023)" (PDF). Department of Personnel and Training. Government of India. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  31. ^ "IPS Swagat Das Appointed As Secretary (Security) In Cabinet Secretariat". Indian Masterminds. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  32. ^ "Ajit Kumar Mohanty pointed As Atomic Energy Commission Chief". Times of India.com. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  33. ^ a b c d e "S Krishnan is new Meity secy, Neeraj Mittal to lead telecom dept in reshuffle". Hindustan Times. 1 September 2023. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  34. ^ "Big Reshuffle at Centre, Modi Govt Shifts 16 IAS Officers, 3 IAS Elevated to Rank of Secy". Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  35. ^ "IAS Debashree Mukherjee takes charge as Secretary, Dept of Water Resources". 4 October 2023. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  36. ^ www.ETTelecom.com. "Government appoints Abhay Karandikar as Department of Science & Technology Secretary - ET Telecom". ETTelecom.com. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  37. ^ Natarajan, Gulzar (13 April 2015). "Lateral entry, blind alley". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  38. ^ Chandra, Shailaja (15 July 2017). "Should the government allow lateral entry into the civil services?". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  39. ^ "The need for lateral entry in civil services". Live Mint. HT Media. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  40. ^ Natarajan, Gulzar; Subbarao, Duvvuri (9 August 2017). "The case for lateral entry". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 August 2017.