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All about ASO (CSS)

Assistant Section Officer (ASO) in Central Secretariat Service

Level: 7

Basic Pay: Rs. 44,900/-

Assistant Section Officer or Assistant in CSS is the most discussed post among all assistant post offered through CGL.

Age Limit: 30 Years

Quick Preview

  1. You need to qualify CPT otherwise getting even 1st rank will not make you eligible for CSS
  2. Fast Joining Process after selection (within 2 months of final result)
  3. Life Time Delhi Posting
  4. 5 days/9AM to 6PM Job
  5. Fast Promotion
  6. Only for Honest
  7. Clerical/File Work

Let's understand what CSS is...

The Role of CSS (As per DOPT Website)

CSS का काम क्या है ??

The ultimate objective of all Government business is to meet the citizens’ needs and to further their welfare without undue delay. 

The permanent bureaucratic set up should provide

  • A delivery system for policy formulation
  • Continuity in policy administration
  • Monitoring & review of the implementation of policies/schemes

The CSS Officers as a part of permanent bureaucratic setup are expected to perform on all counts i.e.

  • Prompt action
  • Checks on delays
  • Linking of all relevant material including rules,
  • precedents etc. &
  • Put up alternative solutions along with possible consequences and conclusions.
  • Facilitate maintaining the vital link between Parliament and the Central Secretariat, especially when it comes to handling of Parliament Questions, Assurances & Government Bills.
  • Work relating to cadre management of various organized services
  • Work relating to financial management and preparation of the budget of various Departments of the Central Government.
  • Litigation work of the Central Government (preparing reply for court cases)

Thus, apart from better skills in noting, drafting and interpretation of rules and regulations by members of CSS, the CSS members ensures continuity in the policies of the Government of India. (देश यही से चलता है)

After Joining

DOPT is the department responsible for the after recruitment process of ASO in CSS. DOPT starts process as soon as they receive list of selected aspirants. ASO's will be the first to join government service among all other post offered through CGL. ASO's will receive their joining letter within 2 months of the final result. 

ASO's are directly put in to training from day 1 of their joining. some details of their training are worth to be mention.

* In past Training of ASO's took place in ISTM (istm.gov.in) only, but for CGL 2013 ASO's training is going on at Hyderabad, Shimla and Gurgaon also. Some details about training are worth to mention

  1. Training Name - Assistant Direct Recruits (Foundational) training
  2. Duration - 8 Weeks
  3. Hostel facility for Non - NCR residents
  4. Lunch and snacks free
  5. In 8 weeks of foundational training you will be taken for village tour and study tour. These tour are mostly excursion hardly any learning takes place.
  6. Training schedule is hectic but hardly one needs to be active and listening to the lectures
  7. In the last week of training, you have to take a exam and score of that exam will decide your seniority (75% weightage of CGL Merit, 25% of Exam Score)

 Job of Assistant Section Officer

The lowest functionary of the CSS i.e. Assistant (now Assistant Section Officer)

  • Routine noting, drafting, writing letter and submission of cases (फाइल वर्क)
  • Required to locate and collect other files or papers, information, data and material, if any, referred to in the receipt, or having a bearing on the issues raised therein.
  • Identify and examine the issues involved in the court case and record a note.
  • Assisting in the formulation and monitoring implementation of policies concerning subjects.


css pr

Promotion in CSS is pretty fast. Reason being there is no direct recruitment at upper functionary i.e. Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary.

Current Sanctioned strength of CSS Cadre

Assistant Section officer – 6677

Section Officer – 3200+

Under Secretary – 1800+

Deputy Secretary/Director- 750+

So, the promotion of Assistant section officer to section officer (4800) takes 5 years and there is a departmental exam for that conducted by UPSC.

Section officer (4800) get promoted to Section officer (5400) after 4 years of further service.

Section Officer (5400) to Under Secretary Promotions are also fast due to large strength of Under Secretary Cadre and no direct recruitment in this cadre. So it takes minimum 4 years and maximum 6 years for SO (5400) to become US (6600)

Most, Important point here which you must note that in CSS the promotion from Section Officer (5400) to Under Secretary (6600) increases your grade pay and hence subsequent benefits associated with it. While in Inspector posts i.e. Examiner, ITI, and AEO the 3rd promotion scenario is explained in below example:

                        ITO (GP 5400)                               to                          ACIT (GP 5400)

Pay Band 2 (9300-34800) & Grade Pay 5400 --> Pay Band 3 (15600-39100) & Grade Pay 5400

So, in terms of white money Under-secretary will be earning more than ACIT (5400) with added feature of fast promotion. This is theoretical scenario, in practical you need to be in good books of your senior to get ACR in your favor for timely promotion. There is a rumor going on that CSS promotion will get slow for upcoming batches. SSCtube analysis for this rumor is mention below:

  • The average age of under secretary is 45 in CSS.
  • 600 vacant position at Section Officer level.
  • A significant attrition rate.
  • Each promotion has an average period of 5 years hence large no retirement at each level is going to happen.
  • So, the promotion rate will remain same until the average age of under secretary comes down below 40.


मुझे दिल्ली से दूसरे स्टेट में तो ट्रांसफर नही किया जाएगा ??

Transfers are there in CSS but ministry to ministry, City remains same i.e. DELHI only ministry changes. However, some ministries have offices outside Delhi but very less strength allocated for those offices.

CSS Officers also go for deputation in various locations of India

Ministries where ASO's eligible for transfers.

mini   Characterstics of some Ministries MHA - Powerful Defence - Time bound (closed at 5.30 PM, Jt. Secretary permission required to do overtime) Commerce - Lot to Learn Tribal - Best to try other avenues like UPSC


ऊपर का कुछ है क्या?

CSS is not a revenue generation department like CBDT, CBEC, ED, etc. So, scope of money is almost zero. But, you have heard recent case of espionage in government offices. So, a money monger can always find some way to make money in any kind of situation.

बाकी कुछ लोगो के बारे मे सुना है की चिल्लड़ के लिए थोड़ा बहुत हेर फेर करते है

जैसे इन्फ्लेटेड बिल्स, फाइल पास करने के लिए चाय पानी 


As Assistant Section Officer is working in ministry hence Social respect is attached with this post. However due to kind of work he is doing and large cadre strength there is no value of assistant in the offices. Even the upper functionary doesn’t enjoy any kind of respect in the office. Basic reason for this is large cadre strength at each level and powerful IAS officers lobby in the CSS offices. (बाबू वाली जॉब है)

Government Quarters

क्या मुझे सरकारी घर मिलेगा??

Central government employees eligible for government quarters. So, you are also eligible for the TYPE -III Quarters, but in current scenario the government quarter allotment has huge waiting list and a waiting period of 10 years will be minimum for newly recruited ASO's to move in to Government Quarters. However, an unconfirmed trick SSCtube want to share is  newly recruited ASO's can apply for Type -II quarters. You can get Type - II easily on the basis of your hierarchy (Type - II is for Grade pay 1900, 2000, 2400, 2800 )

Further some important points to be mention before winding up the description of CSS post Q - UPSC Aspirant - क्या मुझे UPSC की प्रिपरेशन का टाइम मिलेगा?? A - Depends on ministry to ministry, for e.g. you will get enough time if posted in tribal ministry but if posted in MHA then you need to do overtime Q - क्या लड़किया होती है CSS में ?? A- Most of the girls appearing in CGL aspire for ASO Post. Hence, CSS has fair sex ratio among all other departments Q- Is qualifying CPT is necessary to become ASO ?? A- Yes, as mentioned in starting, securing 1st rank but getting disqualified in CPT can not make you ASO

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