Principal Secretary (India)

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Principal Secretary is a post and a rank in State governments of India. The position holder is a civil servant and a government official of high seniority. Principal Secretaries are the administrative heads of all the departments in a state government.

In all north eastern states and also few other states like Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh[1][2] an officer in the post and rank of Joint Secretary to Government of India holds the post of Principal Secretary.[3]


Principal Secretary in State Government[edit]

In the state governments, a Principal Secretary ranks above a Divisional Commissioner/Secretary but it is below the rank of Chief Secretary.

Principal Secretary to Prime Minister[edit]

The post of Principal Secretary to Prime Minister was created during the tenure of Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister.[4] The Principal Secretary to PM is the head of the Prime Minister's Office.


In Jammu and Kashmir High Court there is a unique creation of Principal Secretary to the Chief Justice, he is of a senior District and Sessions judge rank. He attends matters pertaining to employees of Subordinate Judiciary such as appointments, transfers, promotions and leave. He is also ex officio Secretary of Public Interest Litigation Cell. He also attends all other matters assigned by the Chief Justice. He is overall in charge of chief justice's secretariat.

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ "Awanish Kumar Awasthi appointed Principal Secretary to UP Chief Minister". Business Standard. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Yogi Adiyanath seeks former Gorakhpur District Magistrate as Principal Secretary". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Three more IAS officers from state posted as Joint Secretaries in Modi govt". The Indian Express. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Handbook Of Public Relations In India. Allied Publishers. 1968. ISBN 9788170233343. 

External links[edit]