Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services

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Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQCS) is a Group B Central Civil Services, responsible for providing civilian staff, secretarial, housekeeping, clerical, and support services to the headquarters of Indian Armed Forces and Inter-Services Organizations (ISOs) under the Ministry of defense (MOD).[1] The cadre was established in 1968.[1] The number of employees in the service in 1968 was 1778;[1] in 2011, 2644[2]; and in 2016, 3235.[3]

Background[edit]

In 1942, during World War II, civilian employees under different departments and branches of the Armed Forces Headquarters responsible for providing static ancillary services were reorganized and consolidated under one head who was called the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The first CAO took over on 1 August 1942.[4] In 1987, the post of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), was upgraded to the level of a Joint Secretary (JS).[5][6]

Command and Control[edit]

The head of AFHQCS is Joint Secretary (Trg) cum Chief Administrative Officer(CAO) in the Ministry of Defence.[6][7] The Defence Secretary is the Cadre Controlling Authority of AFHQCS.[8]

Upgrading of Posts[edit]

The AFHQCS pay grades have been revised upwards following the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Central Pay Commissions: in 1968, it had four grades, 204 were in Group A, and 1472 in Group B. The highest grade was senior civil staff officer, a level analogous to deputy secretary.[1] After the 4th Central Pay Commission (1986), and Sixth Central Pay Commission(2006)a large number of existing posts were upgraded. By 2011 Group A level posts had doubled to 409 including 4 at Joint secretary level, and 2235 at Group B level.[5] Following the 7 CPC, in July 2013, a committee was constituted to carry out further cadre restructuring/review of AFHQ Civil Service to enhance the career prospects of the AFHQ-Civil Service.[6] It currently has six grades/levels, from Assistant Section Officer to Principal Director.[2][9][10]

Grades and levels[edit]

Inductions into the service is from upper division clerk by promotion from the Assistant Section Officer, and direct recruitment at the level of Assistant Section Officer.[5] The evolution of the service, its hierarchical structure, pay grades, and levels, are tabulated below:

AFHQ Civil Service: Grades and Levels Table 1
Designation and Group Pay grade-scales

1968

Pay

Band and Scale

[after 6CPC]

2008[5]

Grade Pay (Rs)

2008

level

in Pay matrix 2016[11]:p75[12]

1 Senior Administrative Grade (2001)[5] designation changed to Principal Director in October 2002.[13](Group`A')

AFHQ Civil Service has 4 posts of Principal Director.[6]

- PB-4

37400-67000

10000 14
2 Director

(Group 'A')

Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service eligible for appointment to Principal Director on completion three years service.[5]: Schedule IV p 20[6]

- PB-4

37400-67000

8700 13
3 Senior Civilian Staff Officer/Joint Director (2001)[5] designation changed to Joint Director in October 2002.[13](Class I/ Group 'A')

Joint Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service eligible for appointment to the Director grade on completion of 05 years of approved service in the grade[5]: Schedule IV p 20[6]

1100-50-1400 PB-3

15600-39100

7600 12
4 Civilian Staff Officer (2001) designation changed to Deputy Director in October 2002.[13](Group 'A')

Deputy Directors of the AFHQ Civil Service will be eligible for appointment to the Joint Director grade and to other administrative posts

on completion of 05 years of approved service in the grade.[5]: Schedule IV p 20[6]

740-30-100-50-1150 PB-3

15600-39100

6600 11
5 Assistant Civilian Staff Officer (2001) Designation changed to Section Officer in October 2002[13] Group 'B'

50% of the posts of Section Officers are filled by Direct Recruitment.[6]

Section Officers eligible for promotion to the grade of Deputy Directors

on completion of 06 years service.

In addition, up-gradation (Non-Functional Scale) to the Grade Pay of Rs. 5400/- in PB-3 on completion of 4 years approved service as Section Officer[5][6]

350-25-500-30-520-EB-20-800 PB-2

(i) 9300-34800 (on

initial appointment)

(ii) 15600-39100

(Non-functional

scale/Grade Pay on

completion of 4 years

approved service)

(i) 4800

(ii) 5400

(Non-

functional

Grade Pay)

8-9
6 Assistant Section Officer

(Group 'B', Non-Gazetted) Ministerial.

Assistant Section officer grade done by Direct Recruitment (50%) and 50% by Promotion from UDC grade.[6]

210-10-270-15-200-EB-15-450- 20-520 Group 'B', Non-

Gazetted)

PB-2

9300-34800

4600 7

Strength[edit]

The authorized strength of the service is 2644 (2011), an increase of 866, from a total of 1778 in 1968.[1][5] This is in addition to Armed Forces Headquarters Stenographers Service, which has an overall strength of 856 (8 Senior Principal Private Secretary; 44 Principal Private Secretaries; 300 Private Secretary; and 504 Personal Assistants).[14] The increase in strength of the service is tabulated below:

Strength of AFHQCS 1968-2016 Table 2
Designation and Group authorized strength

1968[1]:second Schedule

authorized strength

2001 [5]:Schedule I p 13

authorized strength

2011[2]

authorized strength

2016[3]

1 Senior Administrative Grade][5] Designation Changed to Principal Director in October 2002.[13](Group`A')

AFHQ Civil Service has 4 posts of Principal Director.[6]

nil 2 3 4
2 Director

(Group 'A')

nil 9 20 21
3 Senior Civilian Staff Officer/Joint Director.[5] Joint Director, since October 2002.[13](Group 'A') 12 72 83 157
4 Civilian Staff Officer. Deputy Director since in October 2002.[13](Group 'A') 194 253 303 419
5 Superintendent- Central civil services class II ministerial (1968)/ Assistant Civilian Staff Officer (2001). Designation changed to Section Officer in October 2002[13] Group 'B' 506 683 778 514
6 Assistant Section Officer

(Group 'B', Non-Gazetted) Ministerial.

1066 1709

including leave reserve

1457 2120
1778 2571 2644 3235

Controversies[edit]

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) on 18 October 2016 with the approval of Manohar Parrikar the Defence Ministers issued a letter that equated Armed Forces Headquarter Civil Service ranks and designations with officer ranks in the Indian Armed forces.[15] The new rank equivalences, apparently issued without Armed forces headquarters concurrence, was cause of resentment in the Armed Forces.[16] Armed forces main objections to MOD's 18 October letter was that AFHQCS time scale ranks/designation were shown equal to senior Armed Forces selection grade ranks.[17] For example, according to the 'equivalences' in 18 October 2016 letter, AFHQCS officers with 9 years of services, called joint directors, are shown equal to colonels and their equivalents in Air Force (Group Captain) and Navy (Captain), all senior selection grade ranks with 16–20 years service.[15][17] 18 October 2016 letter was withdrawn in 2018 after considerable controversy that played out in the national media.[18]

Time Line[edit]

1 August 1942[edit]

In response to the demands of the World War II civilian employees in the War Department in Delhi are consolidated under the Office of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The first four CAO were brigadiers of the Indian Army.[4]

16 August 1947[edit]

Colonel Pritam Singh becomes the first Indian CAO.[4]

1 March 1968[edit]

Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service constituted as group B Service from the existing staff under the Armed Forces headquarters and inter service organisations. The highest grade in the AFHQ Civil Service is Senior Staff Officer, analogous to a deputy secretary, with pay grade of Lt colonel.[1]

1987[edit]

The post of CAO is upgraded to Joint Secretary.[4]

2001[edit]

The Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 2001, superseded by Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 1968. Two Existing posts upgraded to JS, and 9 to Director.[5]

31 October 2002[edit]

AFHQCS adopts new designations of principal director (Senior Administrative grade); Joint Director (Senior Civilian Staff officer), analogous to civil service time scale post with 9 years; Deputy director (Deputy director), analogous to civil service time scale post with 4 years service; and section officer (Assistant civilian Officer) .[13]

15 April 2011[edit]

Principal Director posts increased from 1 to 3: one each in the Military Secretary's branch, Adjutant General's branch, and Directorate general of Quality assurance. 20 existing post upgraded to Director post, a post analogous to civil service time scale post with 13 years[2]

2016[edit]

Principal Director posts increased from 3 to 4. Directors posts to 21/22. All promotion on time scale basis. All Directors in the service are empaneled to be Principal directors.[3] Strength of AFHQ CS is 3235.[3]

16 October 20[edit]

Ministry of Defence (MOD) issues a letter on the new rank equivalences between the Armed Forces Headquarter Civil Service and officers of the Indian Armed forces. The letter in its last para notes that it has the approval of Mohan Parrikar, the (Defence Minister). The memo titled Equivalence between Armed forces Officers and officers of AFHQ Civil Service addressed to three services is signed by V Anandarajan(Indian Revenue Service1988), Joint Secretary and Chief administrative Officer (CAO), an office under the G.Mohan Kumar, IAS, Defence Secretary. In the letter AFHQCS officers with 9 years of services, called joint directors, are shown equal to full colonels and their equivalents in Air Force (Group Captain) and Navy (Captain), all selection grade senior ranks with 16–20 years service. This equivalence made Joint directors ( 9 years service) a time scale designation senior to Lt Colonels, Wing Commanders, Commanders of the Navy. Brigadiers, Commodores, and Air Commodores, all highly selective senior armed forces ranks, are shown equal to AFHQCS officer with 13 years service, called directors, a time scale designation.[15] The controversial letter it seems was circulated to the services headquarters but did not have their approval or concurrence.[17]

25 October 2016[edit]

The new rank equivalences in 16 October memo was cause of much disappointment and resentment in the Armed forces which found voice through the media, and veteran groups.[19] Parrikar responding to outrage assured the armed forces that he would told reporter on the sidelines of a naval commanders' conference that "Military officers will be on same platform as their civilian counterparts" Any discrepancy in the ranks would be corrected in a week, ” adding that government has assured the military that any disparity in rank structure of its officers with those in civil administration will be removed ". and that he "will scrutinise the orders to detect anomalies that threaten to widen the civil-military divide “.[20] Despite his assurances to the armed forces there was no follow up, and issue remained unresolved till he was replaced by Nirmala Sitharaman as the defense Minister.[19]

5 January 2018[edit]

Nirmala Sitharaman, on 5 January 2018, issued order to withdraw "Ministry of Defence letter dated 18 October 2016 on the issue of equivalence between Armed Forces Officers and Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services (AFHQ CS)Officers"[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "SRO 113 Civil Service Rules, 1968" (PDF). MOD. 1 April 1968. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Ministry Of Defence (15 April 2011). "SRO 27 Armed Forces Headquarters civil Service (Amendment) rules , 2011" (PDF). SRO 27. New Delhi: MOD. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Ministry of Defence, CAO (21 October 2016). "Seniority list". Office of JS (Trg) &CAO, Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Ministry of Defence, CAO (30 November 2016). "BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF THE JS (T) & CAO". CAO, Ministry of defence. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "S.R.O. 87 Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service Rules, 2001" (PDF). S.R.O. 87. New Delhi: Ministry of Defence. 1 May 2001. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ministry of Defence. "PROFILE OF SERVICE, DUTIES, CAREER PROSPECTS OF SECTION OFFICER IN ARMED HEADQUARTERS CIVIL SERVICE" (PDF). MOD. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ Ministry of Defence, Office of the JS(E/CAO). "Chief Administrative Officer". Office of the JS(E/CAO), Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  8. ^ Ministry of Defence (28 November 2016). "ORGANIZATIONAL CHART". Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  9. ^ Som, Vishnu (6 January 2018). "Defence Ministry Withdraws Controversial Order Seen To Downgrade Military Officers". NDTV. New Delhi. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman withdraws order on Officers' rank". The Economic Times. New Delhi. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Report of Seventh Central Pay Commission" (PDF). New Delhi: Government of India. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original (p 899) on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  12. ^ "MINISTRY OF FINANCE (Department of Expenditure) RESOLUTION" (Gazette Notification) (in Hindi and English). New Delhi: Ministry of Finance. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ministry of Defence (31 October 2002). "Amendment to Army headquarter Civil service rules" (PDF). SRO 239. New Delhi: MOD. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  14. ^ MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (25 March 2004). "S.R.O.47 Armed Forces Headquarters Stenographers' (Group `A' and `B' posts) Service Rules, 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Anandarajan, V (18 October 2016). "Ministry of Defence Letter 18 October 2016". Ministry of Defence. New Delhi: CAO, Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ Dutta, Sujan (6 October 2017). "Fauji anxieties rise ahead of report on parity of ranks". Express News Service. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Singh, Rahul (27 October 2016). "Military's hopes dashed as govt retains controversial rank structure". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b Raksha Mantri Issues Orders on Matter of Equivalence with Respect to Armed Forces and AFHQ CS Officers, Ministry of Defence, Posted On: 5 January 2018 http://pib.nic.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1515642
  19. ^ a b Dutta, Sujan (6 October 2017). "Fauji anxieties rise ahead of report on parity of ranks". Express News Service. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  20. ^ Singh, Rahul (25 October 2016). "Will correct disparity in military, civilian officers' rank structure: Parrikar". Hindustan Times.

External links[edit]