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Seniority in Government Service – Consolidated Orders

Consolidated order on Determination of Seniority in Government Service issued prior to July 1986

DOPT is issuing instructions on determination of seniority of employees under the Central Government. This consolidated order is incorporated with all the earlier orders issued prior to July 86.


Government of India

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

(Department of Personnel & Training)

dated 3-7-86


Subject: SENIORITY – Consolidated orders on.

The undersigned is directed to say that instructions have been issued by this Department from time to time laying down the principles for determining seniority of persons appointed to services and posts under the Central Government. For facility of reference, the important orders on the subject have been consolidated in this Office Memorandum. The number and date of the original communication has been quoted in the margin so that the users may refer to it to understand fully the context in which the order in question was issued.


(MHA O.M.No.9/11/55-RPS dated 22.12.59)

2.1           The relative seniority of all direct recruits is determined by the order of merit in which they are selected for such appointment on the recommendations of the U.P.S.C or other selecting authority, persons appointed as a result of an earlier selection being senior to those appointed as a result of a subsequent selection.  

2.2           Where promotions are made on the  basis of selection by a D.P.C., the seniority of such promotees shall be in the order in which they are recommended for such promotion by the Committee.  Where  promotions are made on the basis of seniority, subject to the rejection of the unfit, the seniority of persons considered fit for promotion at the same time shall be  the same as the relative seniority in the lower grade from which they are promoted.  Where, however, a person is considered as unfit for promotion and is superseded by a junior such persons shall not, if he is subsequently found suitable and promoted, take seniority in the higher grade over the junior persons who had superseded him.

2.3            Where persons recruited or promoted initially on a temporary basis are confirmed subsequently in an order different from the order of merit indicated at the time of their appointment, seniority shall follow the order of confirmation and not the original order of merit.

2.4.1        The relative seniority of direct recruits and of promotee shall be determined according to the rotation of vacancies between direct recruits and promotees which shall be based on the quota of vacancies  reserved for direct recruitment and promotion respectively in the Recruitment Rules.

2.4.2         If adequate number of direct recruits do not become available in any particular year, rotation of quotas for the purpose of determining seniority would take place only to the extent of the available direct recruits and the promotees.  [DPT OM No.35014/2/80-Estt.(D) dt.7.2.86].

In other words, to the extent direct recruits are not available the promotees will be bunched together at the bottom of the seniority list below the last position upto which it is possible to determine seniority, on the basis of rotation of quotas with reference to the actual number of direct recruits who become available.  The unfilled direct recruitment quota vacancies would, however, be carried forward and added to the corresponding direct recruitment vacancies of the next year (and to subsequent years where necessary) for taking action for direct recruitment for the total number according to the usual practice.  Thereafter in that year while seniority will be determined between direct recruits and promotees, to the extent of the number of vacancies for direct recruits and promotees as determined according to the quota for that year, the additional, direct recruits selected against the carried forward vacancies of the previous year would be placed en-bloc  below the last promotee (or direct recruit as the case may be), in the seniority list based on the rotation of vacancies for that year.  The same principle holds good for determining seniority in the event of carry forward, if any, of direct recruitment or promotion quota vacancies (as the case may be) in the subsequent year.


Where the Recruitment Rules provide 50% of the vacancies of a grade to be filled by promotion and the remaining 50% by direct recruitment, and a assuming there are ten vacancies in the grade arising in each of the year 1986 and 1987 and that two vacancies intended for direct recruitment remain unfilled during 1986 and they could be filled during 1987, the seniority position of the promotees and direct recruits of these two years will be as under:

  1986   1987
1. P1 9. P1
2. D1 10. D1
3. P2 11. P2
4. D2 12. D2
5. P3 13. P3
6. D3 14. D3
7. P4 15. P4
8. P5 16. D4
    17. P5
    18. D5
    19. D6
    20. D7

2.4.3        In order to help the appointing authorities in determining the number of vacancies to be filled during a year under each of the methods of recruitment prescribed, a Vacancy Register giving a  running account of the vacancies arising and being filled from year to year may be maintained in the proforma enclosed.

2.4.4        With a view to curbing any tendency of under-reporting/suppressing the vacancies to be notified to the concerned authorities for direct recruitment, it is clarified that promotees will be treated as regular only to the extent to which direct recruitment vacancies are reported to the recruiting authorities on the basis of the quotas prescribed in the relevant recruitment rules.  Excess promotees, if any, exceeding the share failing to the promotion quota based on the corresponding figure, notified for direct recruitment would be treated only as ad-hoc promotees.

Download Office Memorandum No: 22011/7/86-Estt.(D) dated 03.07.1986 issued on determination of seniority in Government Service