Rotational Transfer Policy for CSS Officers

Rotational Transfer Policy for CSS Officers notified by DOPT after obtaining suggestions

Department of Personnel and Training has issued an OM on Rotational Transfer Policy applicable to CSS Officers


Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
CS. I   Division
2nd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi-110003

Dated the 16th July 2015


Subject:  Rotational Transfer Policy applicable to CSS Officers –  Review of the policy reg.

The undersigned is directed to refer to the subject mentioned above and to say that a draft Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for CSS Officers was published in the website of this Department vide O.M. of even number dated 21.10.2014 seeking comments from the stakeholders.  Subsequently, certain modifications to the policy were also notified vide O.M.s  dated 3.11.2014 and 15.5.2015.    The policy thus framed keeping in view the comments received from the  stakeholders  and  on the  basis of pilot  run is hereby notified for information of all concerned.

(V. Srinivasaragavan)
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Tele.: 24629412

Rotational Transfer  Policy for Central  Secretariat  Service  (CSS)

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.l(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:

Grade     Existing       Revised













(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.         Officers 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  ‘8’.   The proposed lists are at Annexure-1 & II.  If an  officer  has  served  his  tenure  in  List  A,  he/she  will  be transferred to List Band 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-111.

(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.

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.

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 I 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 May                        Deputy Secretaries and above

15th July                         Under Secretaries

15th October                  Section Officers

15th December              Assistants

(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 OS/Dir grade provided he/she is willing for such transfer.   In case of such transfer the tenure  prescribed for OS/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.



Group A

1.       Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances
2.       Agricultural Research & Education
3.       Agriculture & Cooperation
4.       Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries
5.       AYUSH
6.       Bio-Technology
7.       Central Bureau of Investigation
8.       Defence
9.       Development of North Eastern Region
10.     Disinvestment
11.     Earth Sciences
12.     Expenditure
13.     Home Affairs
14.     Inter-State Council Secretariat
15.     Labour & Employment
16.     Legal Affairs
17.     Legislative Department
18.     Minority Affairs
19.     Minority Commission
20.     NATGRID
21.     NOMA
22.     Panchayati Raj
23.     Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare
24.     Personnel & Training
25.     Posts
26.     Public Enterprises
27.     Registrar General of India
28.     Rural Development
29.     SC Commission
30.     Science & Technology
31.     Scientific and Industrial Research
32.     Social Justice & Empowerment
33.     ST Commission
34.     Staff Selection Commission
35.     Statistics & Programme Implementation
36.     Tribal Affairs
37.     Union Public Service Commission
38.     Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
39.     Women & Child Development



Group B


Chemicals & Petrochemicals


Civil Aviation






Commerce (Supply Division)


Consumer Affairs


Corporate Affairs




Economic Affairs


Environment, Forest and Climate Change




Financial Services


Food & Public Distribution


Food Processing Industries


Health & Family Welfare


Heavy Industries


Higher Education


Industrial Policy & Promotion


Information & Broadcasting


Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises




New & Renewable Energy


Overseas Indian Affairs


Petroleum & Natural Gas




Planning Commission






Road Transport & Highways




Skill Development & Entrepreneurship










Urban Development


Youth Affairs & Sports


Ministries/ Departments – for reduced  tenure  of posting by one year

1.        Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances

2.        Central Bureau of Investigation

3.         Defence

4.        Expenditure

5.        Home Affairs

6.         Legal Affairs

7.        Legislative Department

8.        NATGRID

9.        NOMA

10.      Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare

11.        Personnel & Training

12.      Staff Selection Commission

Download DoPT No.21/2/2009-CS.l(P) dated 16.07.2015

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