Consolidated guidelines on Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for Central Secretariat Service: DoP&T

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Consolidated guidelines on Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for Central Secretariat Service: DoP&T

Consolidated guidelines on Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for Central Secretariat Service: Department of Personnel and Training (DoP&T) O.M. Dated 02.11.2022


No. 21/19/2022-CS .I(P)
Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Public Grievances
Department of Personnel and Training
Government of India

Lok Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi
Dated the 2nd November, 2022


Sub: Consolidated guidelines on Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for Central Secretariat Service – Regarding.

The Central Secretariat Service (CSS) is managed centrally in CS.I Division of Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) for all matters relating to appointment, promotion, posting/transfer etc. CSS provides a permanent bureaucratic set up in the Central Secretariat and officers of the service provide continuity in the Central Secretariat. As a part of the cadre management , the officers of the Service can be posted to any Ministry/Department under Central Secretariat and other offices participating in CSS in Delhi and also located outside Delhi.

2. In order to manage transfer/ posting of the officers of the CSS in a definite framework, a Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) has been in existence for quite some time. As various amendments in the policy have since been made at different times, it is felt to consolidate the same and accordingly , the consolidated guidelines with certain amendments on RTP in CSS have been drawn up and annexed herewith for information and compliance.

(P.B. Sahu)
Deputy Secretary to the Govt. of India


All Cadre Units of CSS through website of DoPT.

Consolidated Guidelines on Rotational Transfer Policy (RTP) for Officers of Central Secretariat Service (CSS)

1. Grouping of Ministries/ Departments

(i) Ministries/ Departments have been divided into two groups — Group `A’ and Group ‘B’ vide Annexure-I. If an officer has served his tenure in Group ‘A’, he/she will be eligible for transfer to Group ‘B’ and vice versa.

(ii) 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.

2. Tenure

The minimum tenure required in a particular Ministry/ Department to be eligible for transfer from one cadre to another is as under:

S. No. Grade Tenure
(i) Assistant Section Officer (ASO) 7 years
(ii) Section Officer (SO) 7 years
(iii) Under Secretary (US) 6 years
(iv) Deputy Secretary (DS)/ Director/ Joint Secretary (in-situ) 5 years

3. Transfer on promotion and exemption thereof

(i) 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.

(ii) If the officer is due for superannuation within two years, he/she will be retained in the same Ministry/ Department 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 Ministry/ Department.

(iii) 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 in finalisation of 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.

4. Officers exempted from transfer under RTP

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

(ii) 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.

5. 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.

6. Surrender of Officers

(i) Unilateral surrender or relieving of officers on any ground is not allowed as surrender or relieving 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/ relieved has to be posted somewhere and it will be difficult for the Ministry/ Department, where he/she is posted to work with such an officer. If situation warrants that an officer has to be surrendered/ relieved, 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.

(ii) 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.

7. Posting of Officers on return from Deputation/Long Leave/Long Term Training

(i) An officer of any grade is required to report to CS.I Division (DoPT) on his/her return from deputation/long leave/long term training and will be posted to any Ministry/ Department based on the administrative exigencies. 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.

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

(iii) 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.

(iv) In all cases not covered under existing provisions like merger and winding up of Departments/ Ministries etc., the posting to Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ of the officer would be determined as follows:

(a) If balance term in a particular Group available is 2 years or more, then the officer would be posted to the Group in which the erstwhile Department/ Ministry was categorized.

(b) If balance term in a particular Group available is less than 2 years, then the officer would be posted to the Group where his/her entire service is less.

8. 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.

9. Preference for posting

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

(ii) 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.

(iii) 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.

(iv) Posting on promotion/ transfer will be recommended by a Placement Committee, as per functional need and its recommendations will be approved by the Competent Authority.

(v) 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.

(vi) For posting of officers to PMO, Cabinet Secretariat and Central Vigilance Commission, 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.

(vii) CS.I Division (DoPT) will share the list of CSS Officers eligible/ covered under RTP with UPSC in each grade and to consider the request of the Commission for retention on case to case basis and in exceptional cases. Retention, so allowed, will be for a period not exceeding 50% of the normal tenure or till the promotion of the officer, whichever is earlier.

(viii) 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.

10. Outstation Posting

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 Assistant Section Officers’ 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 ASO/ 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) Under Secretary and above level posts:

For US and above level vacancies in offices located outside NCR, CS.I Division will invite applications from the 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.

11. Mutual Transfer

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Transfer on request

Section Officers and Assistant Section Officers 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 Group ‘A’
i.e. the transfer will be allowed within Group ‘A’ or from Group ‘B’ to Group ‘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.

13. Transfer and posting requests from 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 such officers will, therefore, be considered for posting on case-to-case basis.

14. Cut-off date and tentative schedule of transfer

(i) 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 1st July of the year. The cut-off date for calculating two years/ six months (in case of promotion/ superannuation) will be calculated as on the last date of the month in which rotational transfer order is issued.

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

(iii) 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 – Assistant Section Officers

(iv) 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.

15. Posting/ transfer of Joint Secretary (in-situ)

(i) The posts of JS in Central Secretariat are entirely filled up under the Central Staffing Scheme (C.St.S). 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.

(ii) If a Ministry/ Department is 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./JS(in-situ) Grade provided he/she is willing for such transfer. In case of such transfer, the tenure prescribed for DS/Dir./JS(in-situ) Grade in a Ministry/ Department and condition of Group will not be attracted.

16. 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 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.

17. Timing of promotion/ transfer orders

DoPT will issue promotion/ transfer orders as far as possible 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 it will also be incumbent upon the Ministry/ Department not to release the salary to the officer beyond the stipulated date. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may attract administrative action by the DoPT.

18. Saving clause

Modification/ relaxation in implementation of the provisions of RTP will be considered by the Competent Authority in DoPT.




S.No Ministry/ Department
1 Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances
2 Agricultural Research & Education
3 Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
4 Animal Husbandry & Dairying
6 Bio-Technology
7 Cabinet Secretariat
8 Central Information Commission
9 Central Bureau of Investigation
10 Central Vigilance Commission
11 Cooperation
12 Development of North Eastern Region
13 Defence
14 Drinking Water & Sanitation
15 Earth Sciences
16 Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)
17 Expenditure
18 Fisheries
19 Home Affairs
20 Inter-State Council Secretariat
21 Investment & Public Asset Management
22 Justice
23 Labour & Employment
24 Legal Affairs
25 Legislative Department
26 Lokpal Secretariat
27 Minority Affairs
28 National Disaster Management Authority
29 National Intelligence Grid
30 Panchayati Raj
31 Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare
32 Personnel & Training
33 Posts
34 Prime Minister’s Office
35 Public Enterprises
36 Registrar General of India
37 Rural Development
38 Science & Technology
39 Scientific and Industrial Research
40 Social Justice & Empowerment
41 Staff Selection Commission
42 Statistics & Programme Implementation
43 Tribal Affairs
44 Union Public Service Commission
45 Unique Identification Authority of India
46 Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
47 Women & Child Development


S.No Ministry/ Department
1 Chemicals & Petrochemicals
2 Civil Aviation
3 Coal
4 Commerce
5 Commission for Air Quality Management
6 Consumer Affairs
7 Corporate Affairs
8 Culture
9 Economic Affairs
10 Education
11 Environment, Forest & Climate Change
12 Fertilizers
13 Financial Services
14 Food Processing Industries
15 Food & Public Distribution
16 Health & Family Welfare
17 Heavy Industries
18 Housing & Urban Affairs
19 Information & Broadcasting
20 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
21 Mines
22 National Medical Commission
23 New & Renewable Energy
24 NITI Aayog
25 Petroleum & Natural Gas
26 Pharmaceuticals
27 Ports, Shipping & Waterways
28 Power
29 Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade
30 Revenue
31 RML Hospital
32 Road Transport & Highways
33 Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
34 Steel
35 Supply Division (Commerce)
36 Telecommunications
37 Textiles
38 Tourism
39 Youth Affairs & Sports
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