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Group C Government Assistant: A Stepping Stone to Higher Positions in the Government

Group C Government Assistant

Has it always been your dream to work for the government of the country? Or even your state or union territory? Do you want to start out as early as possible after completing Class 10 only? Government sector jobs still promise maximum job security and numerous monetary benefits along with a regular salary. Group `C’ posts (with the Central Government offices, State Government offices and Union Territories’ offices) are meant for rendering clerical assistance, performing departmental supervisory tasks as well as executing operative duties. They are recruited by the Central Government of India and various State Governments through different competitive examinations conducted by SSC and various other competitive examinations conducted by the PSCs of different States.

Why become a Group C Government Assistant?

Group ‘C’ employees are recruited by the Central Government of India and various State Governments through different competitive examinations conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) of the Government of India and various other competitive examinations conducted by the Public Service Commissions (PSCs) of different States.

Group `C’ posts (with the Central Government offices, State Government offices and Union Territories’ offices) are meant for rendering clerical assistance, performing departmental supervisory tasks as well as executing operative duties in various:

  • Government Offices / Ministries / Field Organizations
  • Attached / Subordinate Offices (e.g. Central Public Works Department, Central Water Commission, Central Electricity Authority, service center of CPWD, CGHS dispensary, etc.)
  • Constitutional Bodies(e.g. Union Public Service Commission, ElectionCommission, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, National Commission for Women, etc.)
  • Statutory Bodies(e.g. Central Vigilance Commission, Central Information Commission, Central Board of Film Certification, etc.)
  • Autonomous Bodies(e.g. Indian Military Academy, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Central Silk Board etc)
  • Offices of District Judges / Sessions Judges or other courtrooms
  • Ministers and Ministerial departments
  • Government Research Institutes
  • Government organizations likeBHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), NTPC Ltd.(National Thermal Power Corporation Limited), ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), GSI (Geological Survey of India), National Surveying and Mapping Agency etc. as well as all other public sector undertakings.

As a Group C employee, you may find work as:

  • Upper / Lower division clerks
  • Stenographers
  • Assistant Officers / Private secretaries
  • Office / Works Assistants
  • Technical Assistant / Laboratory Assistant
  • Field Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Establishment / Accounts Officers
  • Technologists
  • Surveyors
  • Library & information assistants
  • Projectionists
  • Data Entry Assistant / Verifier
  • Garden overseers
  • Other similar roles

You may also work as a Group C executive in different government departments like railways, posts& telegraph, electricity board, Central Excise, irrigation departments, civil accounts service, fire department, printing and press, revenue services, defense estates, mining, etc. 

Functional Fields of Work:

You will be associated with any one of the following other cadres/fields of work depending on the operations conducted by your appointing authority or other special duty branches apart from these specific to your department such as if you are in mining or in railways or in Rajbhasha departments. Generally, remember, any employee can laterally transition to different cadres as well, after a minimum 3 years of service in any particular cadre and after clearing departmental exams, through Employment Exchange or Departmental Promotion Committees.

Ministerial Cadre

Officers / Office Superintendents / Assistants in different government directorates or ministerial offices, who prepare reports/returns, budget estimates, audit reports, handle cashing activities, communicate financial sanctions on behalf of seniors and assist seniors in all kinds of administrative activities within official premises, are part of Ministerial Cadre. These types of roles are typically clerical.

Stenographic Cadre

Responsibilities include taking live dictations from officers, or in courtrooms, typing letters, attending/transferring phone calls, and maintaining and preparing files/letters as required.

Instrumentation, Laboratory and Technical Help Cadre

Monitoring, handling, moving, arranging, testing and repairing (only minor functional problems) all technical/scientific laboratory/field equipment or instruments are taken care of by posts in this cadre. Research/laboratory/work/field assistants and mechanical/electrical / electronics helpers are part of this cadre. They usually possess specific educational experience before joining an office in this cadre.

Stores / Records

Store-cum-Record Keepers are responsible for handling classified as well non – classified official government or associated documents from time to time. They are the ones who control and manage stores including indenting, estimation, and monitoring of budget requirements, equipment, etc., processing procurement of all items in stores, scrutiny in cases of loss, theft or fire, and correspondence with senior management regarding all aspects of store and stock maintenance. They are also responsible to arrange an inspection of all stores intermittently.

Library and Information Cadre

Responsibilities include supervision, management and overall charge of Libraries. Analyses of scientific requirements and processing procurement of all library books, their accounting and proper documentation, and arrangement for annual verifications/recovery of library books are among the main duties of the trade.

Security Cadre

The security staff in Group C Class III posts is responsible for supervising the maintenance, upkeep and securing activities the official compound day and night. They ensure proper checks against the entry of unauthorized persons, no unauthorized material comes in or goes out, arrange vigilant watches, prevent grazing and illegal cutting of grass and wood etc.

Refreshment, Assistance, Maintenance Cadre

Office/field/ work assistants, attendants, canteen staff (including managers, assistant managers and coupon/counter clerks) etc. are included in this cadre. Assistants provide support for official work, carrying of files / other documents, photocopying, sending of FAX, arranging/preparing meeting rooms etc. The supervisory role includes monitoring the staff in lower ranks, keeping an account of sales, procuring food items & other commodities for sale in canteens,

Printing Cadre

Planning of work, estimating and costing, and scheduling and organizing the production/printing activities are among the most important supervisory duties of officials in this cadre. Ensuring quality control at every stage of printing and final scrutiny of printed material are others. The routine jobs include carrying out all the activities/processes pertaining to printing, ensuring proper packing of printed material, proper utilization of machines/material/ manpower, and maintenance/repair of printing machines and equipment.

Dispensing, Nursing and Care Cadre

This includes the pharmacists, staff nurses, nursing orderlies, attendants, and dressers working in any government department or service board. They supply/distribute medicines to patients, maintain records of medicines, assist dispensary doctors or medical officers, attend patient cases, all first aid jobs, supervise the nursing staff, assist in the clinical examination of patients etc. They are also responsible for periodical reports to be sent to controlling officers.

Signals and Telecommunication (S&T) Cadre

This cadre is specific to railways. Say for example a Signal Maintainer has to work indoors as well as outdoors wherever railway signaling installations are provided. The work includes normal maintenance and attendance during failure. There are different grades (I, II, III) for technicians and graduate-level officers.

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What does Group C Government Assistant do?

As a Group C employee, depending on your appointing authorities/departments, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities, primarily supervisory: –

  1. You will be ensuring quality control at every stage of work, and supervise the activities of all team members/personnel belonging to lower ranks in your cadre/section/camp/unit.
  2. You will work as an instructor and be responsible for training and guidance to personnel deployed in your section/camp/unit as well as official site selection/supervision.
  3. You will be preparing and submitting reports and returns pertaining to your section/camp/unit to senior controlling officers.
  4. You will be responsible for the maintenance of instruments, equipment and/or software used in your cadre/section/camp/unit.
  5. You will be responsible for the planning of work, estimating/costing, scheduling/organizing production, etc.
  6. You will be responsible for processing the procurement of all items in stock/store of your section/camp/unit after obtaining necessary sanctions and observing the usual formalities.
  7. You will assist seniors / Directors / Administrative Heads/ Controlling Officers of a Directorate, government unit or section within your cadre/camp/unit.

How to become a Group C Government Assistant – Eligibility Criteria

Remember, to apply for any examination you will need to register yourself on respective websites and submit your applications online. Applications by post will not be entertained for Group C jobs.

  1. You must complete your school studies at the least till the level of Secondary or Class 10 to be eligible for lower positions under Group C through examinations such as Multi Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff Examination, information for these will be available in respective SSC websites.
  2. You may study till Class 11-12 and appear for –
  • Various RRB / RRC exams
  • NTPC
  • SSC Stenographer for Grade C & D Examination
  • SSC CHSL exam
  1. After completing your ITI course or Apprenticeship in Engineering / non – engineering trades, you can appear for SSC CHSL, RRB exams, or state-level exams conducted by various State Governments. This qualification is equivalent to Class 11-12 so you can also appear for all those exams which Class 11-12 pass-outs are eligible.
  2. You can complete a Diploma course after Class 10 or after Class 11-12 (through direct 2nd-year entry), and then appear for SSC CHSL / RRB / RRC / NTPC / ALP exams or any State Level Examinations for Group C posts.
  3. After your graduation, you can appear for ‘The examination for Selection Posts’, ‘SSC CGL’, or ‘Combined Junior Hindi Translator or Pradhyapak Exam’, all conducted by SSC every year.
  4. SSC conducts Combined Higher Secondary Level (10+2) “CHSL” Examination every year. You can also apply right after completing your board exams of Class 12, even before you get the certificate for it but make sure you have the certificates before the ‘Document Verification’ phase of CHSL exam. All applications must be submitted in online mode only at the official website of SSC. You must be within 18-27 years of age for CHSL exam. However, posts in the Office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) can only be applied to if you have completed Class 11-12 with Mathematics. All degrees/ diplomas /certificates (other than programs in engineering) awarded through Open and Distance Learning mode (after Class 12) by the Universities established by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature Institutions Deemed to be Universities under Section 3 of the University Grant Commission Act 1956 and Institutions of National Importance are also recognized.
  5. SSC conducts a Combined Graduate Level Examination (CGLE) every year to fill up Group “C” posts in various Ministries / Departments / Organizations in the Government of India. You can be within 18-32 years of age for the CGL exam. However, there are sufficient age relaxation rules for different social categories except the ‘General’ category. All applications must be submitted in online mode only at the official website of SSC. For Assistant Audit Officer/ Assistant Accounts Officer, you must have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or Institute. Desirable Qualifications are Chartered Accountant or cost & Management Accountant or Company Secretary or Master in Commerce or Master in Business Studies or Master in Business Administration (Finance) or Master in Business Economics. For Junior Statistical Officer, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in any subject with at least 60% Marks in Mathematics in Class 12. It will be good for you if you also have Statistics as 1 of the subjects at the graduation level. For all other posts, a Bachelor’s degree is enough to apply.
  6. Apart from these, ministries and government departments have their own recruitment rules and boards such as Ministries of Defense, Textiles, Civil Aviation, Railways, Health & Family Welfare, Home Affairs, Human Resource Development, Department Of Science & Technology (DST) etc. You will have to check their websites regularly to keep track of employment notices when they are released.
  7. Independent institutes and universities such as NIOS, JIPMER or state universities conduct their own exams for recruitment to Group C vacancies. Besides, technical directorates, health departments, defense estates organization, and state high courts also have their own departmental rules and have separate recruiting bodies.
  8. All State Governments including Manipur, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh release respective Employment notices individually.

Remember, you must target more than one exam and try for as many departments/ministries/ organizations as possible, to clear at least one of them. Keep your options open and try for more. You should get a pass in 1 that way.

Educational Fees

To become a Group C Government Assistant in India, you need to first qualify for the relevant recruitment exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) or the respective state Public Service Commission (PSC).

The educational fees for this may vary depending on whether you prepare for the exam through coaching institutes, online courses, or self-study.

Typically, the cost of coaching classes for Group C exams can range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20,000, depending on the duration, quality, and reputation of the coaching institute.

If you choose to prepare on your own, you may need to spend money on buying study materials, reference books, mock tests, and online resources. These expenses can range from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 10,000, depending on your requirements and preferences.

Apart from these expenses, there may be additional costs associated with the application fee for the exam, travel expenses for attending the exam center, and other related expenses.

It’s important to note that the exact fees for becoming a Group C Government Assistant may vary based on the exam, state, and other factors. It’s recommended to check the official notification and guidelines for the exam to get a better understanding of the fees and other requirements.

Job Opportunities

After a pass in SSC examination, you may get a job in various departments/organizations under the Central Government. Remember, there are various levels within a Group.

The different methods of recruitment for Group C posts are:

(a) Promotion (method of recruitment from lower grade posts to higher posts in the hierarchy)

(b) Direct Recruitment (through SSC; open to all candidates, eligible as per the provisions regarding age, educational qualifications, experience etc.)

(c) Deputation (method of recruitment where officers of Central Government Departments or State/ UT Governments from outside are appointed to post(s) in Central Government for a limited period, by the end of which they will have to return to their parent cadres; maximum age is 56 years for deputation)

(d) Absorption (only in the case of officers who are on deputation from the Central / State Government, may be permanently absorbed in that post/ grade)

(e) Re-employment

(f) Short-term contract (also a form of deputation where officers from non- Government bodies e.g. universities, research institutions, public sector undertakings for teaching, research, scientific and technical post(s) can come to Central Government posts)

Some SSC CGL posts are:

  • Assistant Audit Officer
  • Income Tax Inspector (CBDT)
  • Assistant Accounts Officer
  • Inspector (Examiner) (CBEC)
  • Assistant in Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)
  • Assistant (Central Vigilance Commission)
  • Assistant in AFHQ
  • Assistant in Ministry of Railway
  • Inspector (Central Excise) (CBEC)
  • Inspector (Preventive Officer) (CBEC)
  • Assistant Enforcement Officer (AEO)
  • Sub Inspectors (CBI)
  • Assistant (Other Ministries)
  • Divisional Accountant (CAG)
  • Assistant in Intelligence Bureau
  • Assistant Section Officer (CSS)
  • Assistant in Serious Fraud Investigation Officer (SFIO)
  • Statistical Investigator
  • Inspector (Department of Posts)
  • Sub-Inspector (Central Bureau of Narcotics)
  • Inspector (Narcotics)
  • Sub Inspector in National Investigation Agency (NIA)
  • Auditor (C&AG)
  • Auditor (CGA)
  • Tax Assistant (CBEC)
  • Tax Assistant (CBDT)
  • Auditor (CGDA)
  • Accountant/ Junior Accountant (CGA & others)
  • Senior Secretariat Assistant
  • Accountant/ Junior Accountant (Offices under C&AG)
  • Compiler (Registrar General of India)

You may wonder why both Scientific Assistant and Lower Division Clerk are under Group C. Since the pay bands are many and very different, you will be recruited according to your educational qualifications and your appointing department’s requirements. Official duties are very diverse, and designations are a varied plethora of roles may come under the umbrella of Group C.

Some are given below:

Lower Selection Grade (LSG) –

  • Junior Accountant/Pharmacist
  • LSG Supervisor
  • LSG Record Officer
  • Sub Record Officer
  • Head Sorting Assistant
  • Supervisor Grade  I& II
  • Postmaster Grade-I
  • Public Relation Inspector

Higher Selection Grade (HSG) and other cadres-

  • Technical Officer
  • Stenographer
  • Laboratory Attendant
  • Tax Assistant
  • Senior Technical Assistant
  • Upper Division Clerks
  • Scientific Assistant
  • Technical Clerk
  • Junior Engineer
  • Laboratory Assistant(Civil/Mechanical/Electrical)
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Therapist
  • ECG Technician
  • Senior Secretariat Assistant
  • Medico Social Worker
  • Senior Conservation Assistant
  • Lower Division Clerk
  • Personal Assistant
  • Inquiry and Reservation Clerk
  • Technical Operator (Mechanical)

You may get work in various government departments/ministries/organizations such as:

  • Various departments like Railways, Post & Telegraph, Electricity Board, Postal Service, Civil Accounts Service, Revenue Services, The Central Services, and all the other major departments
  • Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) Administrative Offices
  • Offices of District Judges, Sessions Judges or other courtrooms
  • Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice
  • Offices of Ministers and Ministerial departments
  • Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA)
  • Central Ground Water Board
  • Zoological Survey of India, Anthropological Survey Of India, National Atlas & Thematic Mapping Organization
  • Government Research Institutes such as the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL), National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF), Central Research Institute (CRI), Central Water and Power Research Station, etc.
  • Ministry of Water Resources
  • National Archives of India, Ministry of culture
  • Directorate General Of Health Services – DGHS
  • Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)

Salary of Group C Government Assistant

The minimum entry-level basic pay for Level 3 is Rs. 21,700 per month (for Group D, which starts at Level 1, it is Rs 18000 per month), according to the 7th Pay Commission.

However, in some states such as Tripura, the minimum pay at the entry level of the pay matrix may be Rs 18,000 per month for Group-C employees.

Apart from the basic pay, employees are entitled to Night Duty Allowance, Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Transport Allowance, Compensatory Allowance, Time Related Continuity Allowance (TRCA), Special Pay, Substantive Pay, Time Scale Pay, Daily Allowance, Overtime Allowance (OTA) etc. and many more such benefits.

Group C employees may accept additional fees etc. for extra work in connection with University examinations without prior sanction but they have to submit an annual returns of such income to the government.

For retired employees, the minimum pension is usually Rs. 8,000 per month and the maximum pension is usually Rs. 1,07,450 per month.

The monthly emoluments as per the 7th Central Pay Commission in India are given below. The minimum qualification required for entry-level positions is Matriculation.  The 2nd column below is the basic pay as per the 7th CPC and the 3rd column is the approximate minimum gross salary.

Level-3Rs 21,700 Rs 31,000
Level-4Rs 25,500Rs 36,000
Level-5Rs 29,200Rs 41,000
Level-6Rs 35,400Rs 51,000
Level-7Rs 44,900Rs 63,000
Level-8Rs 47,600Rs 69,000
Level-9Rs 53,100Rs 77,000
Level-10Rs 56,100Rs 85,000

Career progression of this profession

Every public sector office /branch/undertaking has a different set of Group C roles depending on the cadres involved in its operations of it. However, the accepted progression pathway pan India is through Levels 3 to 10 for Group C employees; 10 and above for Group B.

The first promotion in any department usually comes after completing about 5/7/8 years of service, if departmental exams are cleared. Thereafter, the next promotion may again come after half a decade, if you can clear the next set of exams.

Changes in designations will be few but promotions through increments will occur within the same designation occasionally. Most employees may only make it through 2 designations but several salary increments throughout their careers. Roughly, the 1st promotion to a higher designation comes usually in 10-17 years if you do not clear the departmental exams.

If you join as Audit Officer, you may grow through roles such as Assistant Audit Officer, Senior Private Secretary, Senior Audit Officer

If you join as an Assistant in Central Vigilance Commission, you may grow through roles such as Sectional officer, Undersecretary, Deputy Secretary

If you join as a Divisional Accountant in the office of Comptroller and Auditor General, you may grow through roles such as Divisional Account Officer II, Divisional Account Officer I, Senior Divisional Account Officer

If you join as a Tax Assistant in the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, you may grow through roles such as Senior Tax Assistant, Excise Inspector, Superintendent/Appraiser

If you join as an Accountant/ Junior Accountant in the offices of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), you may grow through roles such as Senior Accountant, Assistant Accounts Officer, Principal Accounts Officer

Interestingly, there is a rule of ‘eligibility of promotees’ or ‘fixation of seniority’. Let’s say, you are in Grade X1 and your Senior is in Grade X2. If a DPC (Departmental Promotions Committee) recommends your promotion to X3 via X2 before your Senior gets promoted to X3 (which means you get 2 promotions by the time your Senior gets 1), then after reaching X3 your Senior cannot in any way take seniority over you in that higher grade since you have reached it first.

You may change your Office/ Department after you complete at least 3 years of continuous service in your cadre on a regular basis and then appear for an SSC exam again if you want. Such repeat candidates are typically known as Central Government Civilian Employees (CGCE) Applicants.

You can expect a decent future in this field as the growth prospects are encouraging. Of the total 33.02 lahks civilian workforce, 89% are in Group `C’. Out of this 89%, the Railways, Department of Posts & Telegraph, and MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) have the maximum proportions in the Group `C’ band at 99%, 96%, and 92% respectively.

The central & state government jobs are among the most coveted career outlooks, even today, for most of the youth in India despite the software and IT industry is so lucrative. In the general government sector, vacancies are rising in number and new job roles are being introduced with some of the old ones in lower ranks being discontinued due to changes in technology as well as transformed official duties.

Vacancies are rising in number, especially in railways, post& telegraph, electricity board, postal service, courtrooms, universities, civil accounts service, revenue services and mining. The year 2019 started well with Central government vacancies 140736 in number and State government vacancies 708690 in number. Specifically, vacancies in the police force are 22848 in number, in Indian Army it is 7608, in Government banks it is 87012, in railways, it is 23880, in government teaching jobs are 804 in number. If we focus on SSC only, then the vacancies are 4960 currently. If we consider all 8th, 10th, 12th pass vacancies then it is more than 20000.

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