Officer on Special Duty (India)

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An OSD (Officer on Special Duty) is an officer in the Indian civil service considered of the status between a Secretary and an Under Secretary in Government of India.

The practice dates back to the British colonial rule in India, and was explained to the Central Legislative Assembly by a government spokesman in 1931 as follows:[1]

"...There are two principal critieria in appointing an OSD in the civil services -

  1. When an officer by his appoinment brign far greater economic benefit to the government than that spent in his appoinment
  2. When there is an obligation on the government to take a certain action for the benefit of the larger good..." [2]

It is also sometimes used as a training post for a future higher level posting. For example, when S.Ranganathan was appointed the Comptoller and Auditor General, he was first appointed as an OSD to understudy the outgoing CAG A.K.Roy and subsequently given charge.

Notable officers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Legislative Assembly Debates". Parliament of British India. II (2): 1132. 23 February 1931. 
  2. ^ S.R., Maheshwari (2003). Indian Administration (6th ed.). New Delhi: Orient Longman Private Limited. ISBN 812501988X.