UPSC exam no more compulsory to become an IAS officer

To incorporate the expertise and excellence of the private sector professional into the government machinery, the central government led by PM Narendra Modi opened the way to the post of Joint Secretaries through lateral entry scheme.

Generally, senior bureaucrats are appointed as joint secretaries in several government departments. With the lateral entry scheme, private sector professional with prescribed experience and age can apply for the post in approved departments. There is no compulsion to sit for the UPSC exam.


As per Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT)

A Joint Secretary is the head of the wing under the charge of Secretary of the Ministry/ Department and he/she reports to Additional Secretary/ Secretary.

Joint Secretaries are at a crucial level of senior management in the Government of India. They lead policymaking as well as the implementation of various programmes and schemes of the Department.


The Lateral Entry is applicable for both private sector professions and those from state governments, Union Territories, PSUs, Autonomous bodies and others.

According to DoPT:

"The candidates from State Governments/Union Territories Administration, Central/State PSUs/Autonomous Bodies etc. set up or controlled by Central/State Governments shall be appointed on deputation (Including Short Term Contract) with the lien in the parent department. The candidates from Private Sector Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations etc., shall be appointed on contract basis."

The move appears to have drawn from a recommendation of the Shashi Tharoor-led Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.

In May 2016, it had recommended expanding the pool of applicants for the posts of ambassadors and high commissioners to beyond officers of the Indian Foreign Service and invite "eminent persons who have excelled in the field of community affairs, diaspora issues, foreign policy, area studies, literature, journalism etc".

Earlier, NITI Aayog also recommended lateral entry of professionals as joint secretaries to tackle the shortage of officers.

But way before all of this, in 2015, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recommended replacing bureaucrats with professionals and sector experts to infuse fresh energy and ideas in governance.


Any private professional with 15 years of work experience in any of the following 10 fields can apply for the post.

  • Civil aviation
  • Commerce
  • Economic affairs
  • Agriculture
  • Shipping
  • Road transport
  • Environment
  • New and renewable energy
  • Financial services
  • Revenue



The advertisement put up by the Department of Personnel and Training says:

The Government of India invites talented and motivated Indian nationals willing to contribute towards nation building to join the Government at the level of Joint Secretary.


Age: Minimum of 40 years as on July 1, 2018

Qualifications: Graduate from a recognized University/Institute. Higher qualifications would be an added advantage.

Who can apply: The following are eligible to apply:

a. Officers of any State/UT Government who are already working at an equivalent level or are eligible for appointment to an equivalent level in their cadre, with relevant experience.

b. Individuals working at comparable levels in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Autonomous Bodies, Statutory Organisations, Universities, Recognized Research Institutes with a minimum of 15 years of experience.

c. Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations with a minimum of 15 years of experience.

Duration of contract: Three years from the date of commencement, extendable up to 5 years on the basis of performance.

Salary/compensation: Selected applicants shall be placed at the beginning of the pay scale as applicable to Joint Secretary i.e. Rs.144200-218200 per month (Level 14 of Pay Matrix). In addition, they shall be eligible for all allowances and facilities etc. as applicable to the equivalent level in the Government of India.

Selection process: Shortlisted candidates will be called for a personal interaction with the Selection Committee.


The last date for receipt of applications is July 30, 2018, till 05:00 PM.

All applications may be submitted online at from June 15, 2018, to July 30, 2018, till 05:00 PM. No extension of time will be given under any circumstances. Physical applications will not be accepted.


Get the latest news & live updates related to the Education Sector at BEYOND TEACHING. Download the Beyond Teaching app for your device. Read more Education news.