General Principles for determing the seniority of various categories of persons employed in Central Services.
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension
(Karmik, Lok Shikayat Tatha Pensions Mantralaya)
(Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi-1
the 7 February, 1986.
Sub: General Principles for determing the seniority of various categories of persons employed in Central Services.
As the Ministry of Finance etc. are aware, the General Principles for determination of seniority in the Central Services are contained in the Annexure to Ministry of Home Affairs O.M. No. 9/11/55-RPS dated 22nd December 1959. According to Paragraph-6 of the said Annexure, the relative seniority of direct recruits and promotees shall be determined according to rotation of vacancies between the direct recruits and the promotees, which will be based on the quota of vacancies reserved for direct recruitment and promotion respectively in the Recruitment Rules. In the Explanatory Memorandum to these Principles, it has been stated that a roster is required to be maintained based on the reservation of vacancies for direct recruitment and promotion in the Recruitment Rules. Thus where appointment to a grade is to be made 50% by direct recruitment and 50% by promotion from a lower grade, the inter-se-seniority of direct recruits and promotees is determined on 1:1 basis.
2. While the above mentioned principle was working satisfactorily in cases where direct recruitment and promotion kept pace with each other and recruitment could also be made to the full extent of the quotas as prescribed, in cases where there was delay in direct recruitment or promotion, or where enough number of direct recruits or promotees did not become available, there was difficulty in determining seniority. In such cases, the practice followed at present is that the slots meant for direct recruits or promotees, which could not be filled up, were left vacant, and when direct recruits or promotees became available through later examinations or selections, such persons occupied the vacant slots, thereby became senior to persons who were already working in the grade on regular basis. In some cases, where there was short-fall in direct recruitment in two or more consecutive years, this resulted in direct recruits of later years taking seniority over some of the promotees with fairly long years of regular service already to their credit. This matter had also come up for consideration in various Court Cases both before the High Courts and the Supreme Court and in several cases the relevant judgement had brought out the inappropriateness of direct recruits of later years becoming senior to promotees with long years of service.
3. This matter, which was also discussed in the National Council has been engaging the attention of the Government for quite some time and it has been decided that in future, while the principle of rotation of quotas will still be followed for determining the inter-se seniority of direct recruits and promotees, the present practice of keeping vacant slots for being filled up by direct recruits of later years, thereby giving them unitended seniority over promotees who are already in position, would be dispensed with. Thus, if adequate number of direct recruits do not become available in any particular year, rotation of quotas for purpose of determining seniority would take place only to the extent of the available direct recruits and the promotees. In other words, to the extent direct recruits are not available, the promotees will be benched together at the bottom of the seniority list, below the last position upto which it is possible to determine seniority on the basis of rotation of quotas with reference to the actual number of direct recruits who become available. The unfilled direct recruitment quota vacancies would, however, be carried forward and added to the corresponding direct recruitment vacancies of the next year (and to subsequent years where necessary) for taking action for direct recruitment for the total number according to the usual practice. Thereafter, in that year while seniority will be determined between direct recruits and promotees, to the extent of the number of vacancies for direct recruits and promotees as determined according to the quota for that year, the additional direct recruits selected against the carried forward vacancies of the previous year would be placed en-bloc below the last promotee (or direct recruit as the case may be) in the seniority list based on the rotation of vacancies for that year. The same principle holds good in determining seniority in the event of carry forward, if any, of direct recruitment or promotion quota vacancies (as the case may be) in the subsequent years.
Where the Recruitment Rules provide 50% of the vacancies in a grade to be filled by promotion and the remaining 50% by direct recruitment, and assuming there are 10 vacancies in the grade arising in each of the years 1986 and 1987 and that 2 vacancies intended for direct recruitment remained unfilled during 1986 and they could be filled during 1987, the seniority position of the promotees and direct recruits of these two years will be as under:
4. In order to help the appointing authorities in determining the number of vacancies to be filled during a year under each of the methods of recruitment prescribed, a Vacancy Register giving a running account of the vacancies arising and being filled from year to year may be maintained in the proforma enclosed.
5. With a view to curbing any tendency of under-reporting/suppressing the vacancies to be notified to the concerned authorities for direct recruitment, it is clarified that promotees will be treated as regular only to the extent to which direct recruitment vacancies are reported to the recruiting authorities on the basis of the quotas prescribed in the relevant recruitment rules. Excess promotees, if any, exceeding the share falling to the promotion quota based on the corresponding figure, notified for direct recruitment would be treated only as ad-hoc promotees.
6. The General Principles of seniority issued on 22nd December, 1959 referred to above, may be deemed to have been modified to that extent.
7. These orders shall take effect from 1st March 1986. Seniority already determined in accordance with the existing principles on the date of issue of these orders will not be reopened. In respect of vacancies for which recruitment action has already been taken, on the date of issue of these orders either by way of direct recruitment or promotion, seniority will continue to be determined in accordance with the principle in force prior to the issue of this O.M.
8. Ministry of Finance etc. are requested to bring these instructions to the notice of all the Attached/Subordinate Offices under them to whom the General Principles of Seniority contained in O.M. dated 22.12.1959 are applicable within 2 week as these orders will be effective from the next month.
Joint Secretary to the Govt. of India