Rotational Transfer Policy for Central Secretariat Service (CSS)

Rotational Transfer Policy for Central Secretariat Service (CSS)

Rotational Transfer Policy

The cadre management of Central Secretariat Service (CSS) is centralized in CS.I Division of Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT). DoPT posts officers of US and above levels of CSS to about 80 Ministries/ Departments. However, in the SO and Assistant grades, officers are posted to 45 cadre units. A few of the cadre units are a group of Ministries/ Departments for the purpose of cadre management in the grades of Assistant and SO in a decentralized manner for the purpose of posting/ transfer, conduct of DPCs, disciplinary powers etc.

2. CSS provides a permanent bureaucratic set up in the Central Secretariat and officers of the service provide continuity in the Central Secretariat. As per the scheme of things, they can be posted to any Ministry/ Department and posted to offices participating in CSS and located outside Delhi. They are Generalists and not specialists as in the case of most other organized services viz. Income Tax, Central Excise, Audit & Accounts etc.

3. Rotational Transfer Policy for CSS officers has been there for quite some time. There is divergent opinion about rotational transfer of CSS Officers. There is an opinion that transfer of CSS officers results in loss of institutional memory and creates work related difficulties for the user Departments. Another opinion is that transfers are necessary to avoid developing vested interests. Further, for overall growth of an officer, exposure to different organizations and aspects of working of the Government is very important. Rotational Transfer Policy aims to harmonize these seemingly opposite objectives by prescribing a fixed tenure in a Ministry and Department.

4. The existing Rotational Transfer Policy of CSS prescribes maximum tenures up to which officer remains posted in a Ministry/ Department. A need has been felt to review the existing rotational transfer policy. Accordingly, a Committee under the Chairmanship of AS (S&V), DoPT was formed, which after deliberations submitted its recommendations. On consideration of the recommendations, a draft revised rotational transfer policy for CSS officers was put on the website of this Department and suggestions invited from the stakeholders vide this Department’s O.M. No. 21/2/2009-CS.I(P) dated 21.10.2014 and 3.11.2014.

5. The suggestions received have been examined in this Department and it was followed by a meeting with CSS Associations on 12.12.2014. After considering the suggestions received, the rotational policy has been finalised. The revised RTP is as in the following paragraphs.

6. Tenure in a Ministry / Department


(a) Officers posted in specified Ministries/ Departments/ Offices will have a reduced tenure by one year as indicated in para 11(c).

(b) Section Officers and Assistants on completion of five year tenure in a Ministry/ Department may request for transfer which will be considered as mentioned in para 17.

7. Transfer on promotion and exemption thereof:

(a) On promotion, an officer at any level shall be posted out of the Ministry/ Department if he/she has served in the same Ministry/ Department in any capacity for a period exceeding the prescribed tenure for the promotion post.

(b) If the officer is due for superannuation within two years he/she will be retained in the same Min/Dept against an existing vacancy of the promotional post. In case of no vacancy of the promotional post then the officer will be transferred to another Min/Dept.

(c) If the officer is due for superannuation within six months on promotion he/she will not be transferred as in such a short period one cannot be expected to contribute usefully in another Ministry/ Department. Further, such a transfer may result in delay of finalizing pension papers. Such an officer will be retained in the same Ministry/ Department against an available vacancy of the promotional post. In the absence of a vacancy, the post held by him/her will be upgraded on personal basis by keeping one post in another Ministry/ Department vacant so as not to exceed the cadre strength. On retirement the post will revert to its original level

8. Offices exempted from transfer under RTP

(a) Officers of all grades within two years of superannuation will be exempted from rotational transfers.

b) Officers likely to be promoted within one year shall be exempted from the RTP as on promotion officers are transferred if they have completed the prescribed tenure for the promotional post.

9. Offices exempted under RTP:

Officers serving in PMO, Cabinet Secretariat, O/o Solicitor General & Attorney General, Addl. Solicitor General will be exempted under RTP. It is considered necessary that these offices may be allowed to retain officers of choice beyond the prescribed tenure under RTP. However, before issue of transfer orders under RTP, these offices will be notified about the officers matured for transfer and if the office concerned decides to retain any of the officers also keeping in view the willingness of the officers concerned, it will inform DoPT and such officers will be exempted from RTP. This exercise will be repeated every year.

10.1. Surrender of officers

Unilateral surrender of officers on any ground will not be allowed as surrender of an officer poses several problems to the Cadre Controlling Authority. If an officer is not performing, Ministries/ Departments concerned are expected to initiate appropriate action either to penalize or to reform the officer. Moreover, the officer surrendered has to be posted somewhere and it will be difficult for the Ministry/ Department where he is posted to work with such an officer. If situation warrants that an officer has to be surrendered then a request should be made to DoPT with detailed reasons and DoPT will consider the request on merits, whether to transfer the officer or not.

10.2. If despite the instructions, any Ministry/ Department surrenders an officer unilaterally, then such surrender would be presumed to have been made along with the post and the sanctioned strength of the concerned Ministry/ Department would be reduced accordingly and no replacement would be provided to the cadre unit concerned for one year. After expiry of one year, the position will be reviewed for restoration of the post and posting of an officer.

11. Grouping of Min/Depts

(a) Ministries/Departments will be divided in to two groups – Group `A’ and Group `B’. The proposed lists are at Annexure-I & II. If an officer has served his tenure in List A, he/she will be transferred to List B and vice versa.

(b) However, an officer posted in Group ‘A’ Ministry/ Department may also opt for posting to another Ministry/ Department in Group ‘A’ on promotion. On his posting in the new Ministry/ Department in Group A, tenure will be counted afresh for future transfer under RTP.

(c) Officers serving in certain Departments which are largely regulatory in nature viz. DoPT, MHA, Defence, SSC, DOLA, D/o Expenditure etc. will be given a reduced tenure by one year prescribed for the grade. The list of such Ministries/ Departments is given in Annexure-III.

(d) The lists as above may be modified at any time by the competent authority in DoPT:

12. Officers returning from deputation/ long leave/ long term training etc.:

An Officer returning from deputation, long leave/ long term training will be posted back to the same Ministry/ Department he last served for the balance period of the tenure prescribed for the grade subject to availability of a vacancy and subject to the condition that at least one year of balance tenure is left. In the absence of a vacancy in the last Ministry/ Department served, he will be allowed to exercise option for posting treating the last served Ministry/ Department as his current group. On expiry of the retention for the balance tenure, the officer will be transferred on rotational transfer in the annual rotational transfer.

12.1. Period of leave/ training exceeding six months will be treated as long leave / long term training for the purpose of posting under RTP.

12.2. Officers to be retained on promotion in the same Ministry/ Department in terms of the RTP would be adjusted first and only thereafter officers returning from deputation, long leave or training would be considered for retention, subject to availability of vacancy.

DOPT Released Office Memorandum No. 21/2/2009-CS.I(P) dated 24th January, 2020 for following modification

(i) Para-12 (Officers returning from deputation/ long leave/ long term training etc.) of the existing RTP guidelines is modified and replaced as under:

Posting of Officers of CSS on return from Deputation! Long Leave/ Long Term Training

An ASO/SO/US/DS/Director returning from Deputation/ Long leave! Long Term Training will be posted to any Ministry/ Department based on the Administrative exigencies, with the approval of the Competent Authority. In such cases this posting will be treated as a fresh tenure. In case it is decided that an officer is to be posted back to the same Ministry! Department he last served, then his tenure will be limited to the balance period of the tenure prescribed for the grade subject to the availability of the vacancy and subject to the condition that at least one year of balance tenure is left.

Check the Modification Order here

13. Posting to the Ministry/ Department earlier worked:

An officer who is to be transferred out on promotion from the current Ministry/ Department on completion of prescribed tenure or for want of a vacancy of the promotional post as the case may be, and on rotational transfer may also be allowed option for posting in a Ministry/ Department where he earlier served subject to the condition that there is a gap of period which is equal to tenure prescribed for the post.

14. Preference for posting

(a) Promotion shall be made against available vacancies. Preferences for posting on promotion shall be accommodated as far as possible within the available vacancies and in the order of seniority.

(b) The list of officers who are in the approved panel for promotion and to be promoted in the next order will be notified on the website of this Department along with the vacancy position. Officers concerned may furnish three preferences for posting within the available vacancies within 7 days of notification of vacancies.

(c) Occasions arise that some vacancies are to be filled up immediately on functional needs, and on such occasions, it is not possible to wait for the next promotion order. As such vacancies are filled up by the next officer in the panel approved for promotion and in such cases the question of seeking preferences will not arise.

(c) Posting on promotion/transfer will be recommended by a Placement Committee and its recommendations will be approved by the Competent Authority.

(d) The Placement Committee will recommend posting of officers either on promotion or under rotational transfer keeping in view relevant factors viz. vacancies, seniority, preference for posting, past experience, specialized training done, etc. In case of isolated postings involving few officers returning from long leave, long term training, and repatriation from deputation etc., approval of the Competent Authority will be obtained without the Placement Committee procedure to avoid delay in posting of officers.

(e) For posting of officers to PMO and Cabinet Secretariat, as identified by these offices, no willingness will be sought and the officers will be posted to these offices even without their completion of tenure in the Cadre Unit/ Ministry/ Department.

DOPT Released Office Memorandum No. 21/2/2009-CS.I(P) dated 24th January, 2020 for following modification

A new sub-clause is added to para 14 (Preference for Posting) of the existing RTP guidelines to the effect that:

(f) The transferring out of Officers working in Establishment Office, DoPT will be done only with the concurrence of Establishment Officer (EO). The DoPT Administration will consult the EO and maintain a list of such Officers, ready to be sent to CS Division as and when RTP exercise is taken up.

(g) Any Officer who is not clear from vigilance angle and who may/may not be due for transfer under RTP may be transferred out in case a report is received from the concerned Ministry/ Department. Such an Officer will be posted to a non-sensitive post in any Ministry/ Department without seeking his option for posting irrespective of the tenure of his posting in that Ministry/ Department. No preference will be sought from such officer.

Click here to check the Modification OM

15. Outstation postings

The offices of the Central Ministries / Departments participating in the Central Secretariat Service (CSS) are mostly located in the National Capital Region (NCR). However, there are a few posts of CSS which are located outside NCR in the various regions of the country. The CSS being a transferable service, members of the CSS are liable to be posted to such posts located outside NCR also. Posts of CSS located outside NCR will be filled up as under:

(i) Section Officers’ Grade and Assistants’ Grade :

(a) The cadre-unit will fill up the post from amongst the officers of the Ministry/Department by circulating the post. In case of non-availability of officers within the Ministry/Department, the cadre unit will approach DOPT. DoPT will circulate the post and invite applications from eligible CSS officers in all the Ministries/ Departments and post the selected officer to the outstation vacancy.

(b) Once posted to an outstation office, an officer in Assistant/ SO grade will have tenure of seven years i.e. the maximum proposed up to this level, irrespective of the tenure rendered in the Ministry/Department at Delhi. Prescription of an assured tenure in such outstation posting is considered necessary as officers seek outstation posting generally on compelling family circumstances.

(c) If no application is received after circulation by DoPT, the present incumbent will be allowed to continue on the post for one more year after which the post will be re-circulated once a year till a new incumbent is selected.

(ii) US and above level posts

For US and above level vacancies in offices located outside NCR, CS.I Division will invite applications from willing officers. On the basis of applications received, an officer will be posted with the approval of the competent authority keeping in view the posting profile of the officer/ his family circumstances requiring posting to the particular station etc. The tenure of the officer in the outstation posting will be five years.

(iii) On conclusion of outstation posting, officers of all grades will report to DoPT for further posting, provided they had completed the prescribed tenure under RTP i.e. tenure in the Ministry/ Department at Delhi + outstation office of the same Ministry/ Department.

(iv) In the absence of willing officers, DoPT may at its discretion post officers to such outstation postings as CSS carries all India service liability.

16. Mutual Transfer Request for mutual transfer of officers may be considered by the Department of Personnel & Training subject to the following conditions:

(a) Both of the officers applied for mutual transfer should have completed at least 50% of the tenure prescribed for the post;

(b) The request has been recommended by the Secretary of the Departments concerned.

(c) The officers concerned should be clear from vigilance angle.

(d) Requests for mutual transfers will be considered on case-to¬-case basis keeping functional considerations in mind.

(e) Tenure on mutual transfer in the new Ministry/ Department will be counted afresh for further transfer under RTP.

17. Transfer on request:

Section Officers and Assistants on completion of five year tenure in a Ministry/ Department may on their own volition request for transfer. However, such transfers will be restricted to the Ministries/ Departments in List A i.e. the transfer will be allowed within List A or from List B to List A and shall further be subject to availability of vacancies. On such transfer their tenure in the new Ministry/Department will be counted afresh and they will be required to serve the prescribed full tenure for the post before they are considered for transfer.

18. Leave vacancy:

Substitute officer will be posted in case of leave vacancy exceeding six months; however, this will be subject to availability of officers for posting.

19. Differently abled officers: Physically handicapped persons suffer from a range of problems on account of mobility. There may be many peculiar issues viz., the location of bus stop/metro station near their office, the area where they reside and the conveyance they are using to reach office etc., which may have a bearing on the performance of their official duties. Although these are minor issues for persons without disability, these can have a very huge effect on the day to day activities of a disabled person. Requests from differently abled officers will therefore be considered for posting on case-¬to-case basis.

20. Cut off date and tentative schedule of transfer

(a) The cut-off date for calculating the period of residency in a Ministry/ Department will be 1st July of the year in which rotational transfer is carried out. An officer for being covered under RTP should have completed prescribed tenure as on this date of 1st July. The cut-off date for calculating two year / six months (in case of promotion) in respect of officers superannuating will be calculated as on the last date of the month in which rotational transfer order is issued.

(b) The rotation under RTP in each grade will be undertaken once in a year.

(c) To ensure smooth transition from outgoing to incoming staff, rotation will be done phase-wise and grade wise once in a year as under (indicative schedule):

15th MayDeputy Secretaries and above
15th JulyUnder Secretaries
15th OctoberSection Officers
15th DecemberAssistants

(d) The phased implementation of the transfer policy will be carried out from 2015 onwards.

(e) Officers who have completed the normal prescribed tenure in both the Groups would be transferred first and then officers posted in Ministries/ Departments qualifying for one year reduced tenure would be considered for transfer.

(f) Equal number of officers will be transferred and posted to ensure relievers are available for the officers transferred out. This is possible only if the number of officers covered under rotational transfer in both the groups is equal to ensure provision of relievers in place of transferred officers. If there is a mismatch between the number of officers covered under rotational transfer between the Groups, only equal number of officers will be transferred on the basis of higher length of service and the remaining left out officers will be covered in the next round of rotational transfer in the subsequent year.

21. Joint Secretary (in-situ):

The posts of JS in Central Secretariat are entirely filled up under the Central Staffing Scheme. However, CSS Directors empanelled for appointment as JS under Central Staffing Scheme are given in-situ promotion as JS in SAG Grade at their current place of posting till they are placed under C.St.S. with such in-situ promotion restricted to 40 in number.

21.2. If a Ministry/ Department desirous of utilizing the services of a JS (in-situ) by giving the officer independent charge as JS or otherwise, it may identify an officer from among JSs (in-situ) and inform DoPT. Such an identified officer will be transferred to that Ministry/ Department against an available vacancy in DS/Dir grade provided he/she is willing for such transfer. In case of such transfer the tenure prescribed for DS/Dir grade in a Ministry/ Department and condition of Group will not be attracted.

22.1. Non compliance of orders issued by DoPT:

In terms of Rule 19 of CSS Rules, 2009, The Department of Personnel and Training shall be the competent authority to transfer a cadre officer of any Grade from one cadre unit to another cadre unit and it shall be the duty of the concerned cadre unit to relieve the officer concerned within 45 days of the transfer order. If not relieved within 45 days, the officer concerned in shall be deemed to have been relieved and thereafter the officer shall not be entitled to draw any salary and allowances from the Ministry/ Department from which transferred.

22.2. Henceforth, DoPT will issue promotion/ transfer orders on the last working day of the week (generally Friday) and the officer concerned stands relieved immediately and he/she will be required to join the allocated Ministry/ Department on the first working day of the next week (generally Monday). This will be equally applicable to officers posted in attached offices of the Ministries/ Departments. The onus to join the allocated Ministry / Department on the basis of order issued by DoPT will be on the officer concerned and failure to do so may attract punitive action by DoPT. It will also be incumbent upon the Ministry/ Department and the officer concerned not to draw salary beyond the stipulated date. CSS Rules will be amended suitably in due course.

23. Saving clause: Any proposal for modification/ relaxation in implementation of the provisions of RTP will be considered by a Committee comprising of Secretary (P), EO and AS (S&V) and its recommendations will be approved by MoS (PP). Speaking orders will be issued in such cases.



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DOPT ORDERS on Rotational Transfer Policy

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