Government servants/ employees: India (statistics)

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Number of government employees in India, 1957-2014, and the biggest employers among ministries; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 26, 2015

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


2000-2014: Numbers and salary bill

The Times of India

Number of central government employees(not including Defence personnel) in lakh, and the wage bill of the government in crore rupees

Jan 17 2015

1,571 nursery seats for spl kids

Shreya Roychowdhury

As per the Directorate of Education’s records, there are at least 229 schools in Delhi that are capable of teaching students with some form of disability or the other. In the schools that have disclosed this information to DoE, there are over 1,571 nursery seats for children under the ‘special needs’ category—some schools are exclusively for disabled children, the rest are mainstream ones. The DoE has uploaded data on seats, category of disability the schools can handle and fees—which it collected from schools last year—on its website for applicants to use as reference.

Both the National Progressive Schools’ Conference and the Action Committee for Unaided Recognized Private schools have mentioned children with special needs in their suggested guidelines.

While few schools have mentioned disabled children in their nursery admission policy to begin with, even at those that have, reservation for this category has been implemented differently. At some, seats for this group are outside the 25% EWS-DG (economically weaker section-disadvantaged groups) category. At Springdales, Pusa Road, for instance, there are three seats for disabled candidates that aren’t part of the 25% EWS quota. “We normally get many applications from this group every year, over 50,” says principal Ameeta Mulla Wattal.

Some schools have carved a 3% reservation out of the 25% EWS-DG one as children with special needs (or CWSN) form one of the “disadvantaged groups”; this was recommended in the Action Committee guidelines as well.

Lawyer-activist Khagesh Jha, however, points out that “the Kendriya Vidyalayas had done the same thing but that guideline was quashed by the high court.” “Schools seem very confused on reserving of seats,” says Jha.

Number of central employees: Estimates

2014> 18: a reduction

Pradeep Thakur, 10% quota's fine, but govt cutting jobs too, January 19, 2019: The Times of India

Total Central Government Employes- A status report, 2013> 17
From: Pradeep Thakur, 10% quota's fine, but govt cutting jobs too, January 19, 2019: The Times of India

Government jobs are shrinking. The lure of 10% additional quota in employment, offered by the Centre through a constitutional amendment, will have little meaning with the strength of the central government, which is the biggest employer in the country, having decreased by over 75,000 since 2014.

The number of central staff, as per actuals declared in the Union Budget for 2018-19, came down by 75,231 as compared to the strength on March 1, 2014. In every year's budget, the government declares the estimated strength of the establishment for the current year with actuals provided for the previous year and a projection for the next year.

According to the 2018-19 budget + , the actual strength of the establishment, including the railways and excluding the defence services, was 32.52 lakh across 55 central ministries and departments. This was a reduction of 75,231 compared to 33.3 lakh employees as on March 1, 2014. Like the promise made every year, the strength projected for 2018-19 is over 35 lakh, an increase of 2.50 lakh. In the last four years, the government has been projecting hiring of additional manpower of around 2 lakh every year. The actual strength of the central staff has, however, been declining.

A major reason for the depletion could be the preference to hire employees through contractors, particularly support staff like peons and drivers. Posts have not been filled up for several years to replace retiring employees, rather, in many cases people have been re-employed after superannuation as consultants. The railways is the biggest loser with its manpower remaining at the level of 2010 as on March 1, 2018. A major trimming (of 23,000) happened in 2017 when it was down to 13.08 lakh employees from 13.31 lakh in 2016. The government did not make any projection to increase the strength of rail staff in the last budget.

So, where is the projected additional manpower of over 2.50 lakh coming from? According to government estimates, the increase is likely to occur mostly in the police forces (central paramilitary) from 10.24 lakh to 11.25 lakh, an increase of over a lakh. The direct tax department is estimated to grow from 45,000 employees to 80,000. The indirect tax department - customs and central excise, is estimated to grow from 54,000 to 93,000. The list includes other departments like I&B and the foreign ministry among others.


The Times of India, November 20, 2015

Expenditure on the employees of the departments of Defence (civil), Posts, External Affairs and Commerce and Industry, 2011 and 2014; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 20, 2015

No. of govt employees? Nobody knows

Exactly how many employees does the Central government have? The report of the Sev enth Pay Commission seems to suggest that nobody is quite sure.The report validated data on personnel received from the various ministries by comparing it with the data from two sources, the expenditure budget of the finance ministry and a census of government employees prepared by the labour ministry's Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET). It found glaring inconsistencies in the two in some ministries. The most startling difference, the report points out is in the case of the civil employees of the defence ministry.

While the expenditure budget puts their number at just under 34,500, the DGET places it at nearly 3.8 lakh and the data obtained by the commission at almost 4 lakh. There are also huge differ ences in the figures for the postal department, the foreign ministry and the commerce ministry (see graphic).

In general, the commission found that the DGET data was closer to the numbers obtained by the commission though dated, while the expenditure budget numbers were substantially different. The report, therefore, calls for standardization of data on an IT platform to ensure its integ rity and availability of consistent data.

The same chapter in the report makes an interesting comparison with the strength of the federal government in the United States to point out that while the US has 668 federal employees per lakh of its population, India has only 139 per lakh, thereby bringing into question the notion that we have an outsized government.

It also makes the point that like in the US, federal government employment in India (excluding the Railways and Posts) is concentrated in a few departments, only more so.

In the US, the defence department accounts for about 34% of the federal personnel and the departments of veteran affairs, homeland security and the treasury between them another 29%.In India, the home ministry accounts for 55%, defence civilians 22% and revenue 5%.

The foreign ministry had the highest per capita expenditure on pay and allowances for personnel at Rs 34.95 lakh in 2012-13, while the home ministry's figure was a mere Rs 2.97 lakh.

One obvious reason was that Group A officers form a much higher proportion of MEA personnel than in most other departments barring some like space, civil aviation, IT and renewable energy . The allowances for postings abroad would clearly be another factor.


Pradeep Thakur Police, I-T & customs to get lion's share of manpower Mar 02 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi)

Number of central government employees in 2015 and 2016
figures for 2017, 18 are only estimates.
The Times of India

As of March 2016, the central government had 32.84 lakh staff across 55 departments and ministries, including 13.31 lakh in railways, but excluding defence forces.

Police forces (central paramilitary and Delhi Police) strength: 10.07 lakh

The income tax department, the agency involved in the drive against black money post-demonetisation: existing strength of 46,000.

Customs and excise department, which implement the ambitious goods and services tax regime current strength: 50,600+ . Railways, the single largest employer (13.31 lakh) other than defence.

MEA/ foreign ministry employees: 9,294 in 2016.

The I&B ministry sanctioned strength: 4,012.

The cabinet secretariat: 921 in March 2017.

Retirements due between 2015-2025

The Times of India, November 21, 2015

Percentage of Government of India personnel in various age groups; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, November 21, 2015

Several depts face surge in retirements in 10 yrs

Surojit Gupta

The age profile of government servants analysed by the Seventh Pay Commission shows that several government departments will face a surge in the number of employees retiring in ten years. The panel reviewed data for all ministriesdepartments of employees in the 50-60 years age bracket. Of 33.02 lakh employees -as on January 1, 2014 -9.48 lakh, (about 29% of personnel) were between 50 and 60.

This is contrary to the perception that the government is bloated and there's need to do away with departments that have outlived their utility . The government, officials said, must take note of this and do succession planning for smooth functioning of these departments.

The data shows an unusually large percentage of personnel in the 50-60 years age group in certain ministriesdepartments.

In the textile ministry it is as high as 75%, 64% in coal, 62% in urban development, 60% in petroleum and natural gas, 57% in science and technology, 56% in heavy industry, 52% in new and renewable energy, 51% in AYUSH and 50% in power.

“This is a ready pointer to the number of retirements that would take place in the next 10 years,“ the Seventh Pay Commission report said. Officials said either departments that face high retirements should be merged or an action plan be put in place to ensure smooth transition.

“The commission notes that losing experienced, high-level personnel entails unquantifiable costs as new recruits will require training and on the job skills.

“At the same time it presents ministries, departments the opportunity to align their personnel re quirement with their current and future challenges,“ the report said.

Personnel in the 20-30 years and 30-40 years brackets is substantial among personnel in the home ministry .Larger departments such as the railways, posts and Indian audit & accounts department have larger percentages in the 20-30 years group compared to other ministries.

The commission noted a discernible pattern in comparatively smaller departments. A review of all ministriesde par tments with persons in positions (PIP) less than 500 was undertaken.

The findings pointed to the fact that in most of these ministries departments the percentage of personnel between 20 and 30 was significantly lower than in the larger departments.



Vacancies in the government in 2017; The Times of India, April 17, 2017

See graphic':

Vacancies in the government in 2017

2017: 4.2 lakh posts vacant in central govt

`Over 4.2 lakh posts vacant in central govt'|Jul 21 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi)

Over 4.2 lakh posts are vacant in various central government departments, minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday . Out of the total sanctioned strength of 36,49,468, the number of vacant posts in various ministries and departments is 4,20,547, he said.

The minister said this number is according to the annual report on pay and allowances of central government civilian employees (2015-16) as on March 1, 2015.


Govts sit on 24 lakh vacancies amid debate over job drought, August 5, 2018: The Times of India

In time of a raging debate over jobless growth, nearly 24 lakh posts are lying vacant with the central and state governments, data compiled from answers to various questions in Parliament show.

A Rajya Sabha question answered on February 8 shows that the largest chunk is the over 10 lakh vacant positions for teachers in elementary (9 lakh) and secondary schools (1.1 lakh).

Apart from the vacancies in the centrally sponsored Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which provides assistance to states and Union territories to maintain the desired pupilteacher ratio under right to education norms, the bulk of these vacancies are in the domain of the states and Union territory administrations. Police forces have the second-largest share of the 2 million-plus vacancies.

A Lok Sabha question answered on March 27 quoting figures from the Bureau of Police Research & Development stated that there are 4.4 lakh vacancies in civil and district armed police. The same source showed that an additional 90,000-odd positions vacant in state armed police, taking the total vacancy in police forces to 5.4 lakh across the country.

Law and order being a state subject, these positions are primarily under the state governments.

2.5 lakh vacancies in non-gazetted rly posts

Incidentally, among major economies, India has one of the lowest police-to-population ratios. This is often held to be a major factor in larger law-and-justice issues like pendency of cases and lower conviction rates because of slapdash investigations done by overburdened police. It is not surprising that the judiciary, with crores of pending cases, is also running well below full strength. A Lok Sabha question answered on July 18 points at over 5,800 vacancies in courts.

Answers to Rajya Sabha questions on March 14 and 19 and a Lok Sabha question on April 4 showed that there are over 1.2 lakh vacant positions in the defence services and paramilitary forces. Over 61,000 of these are in paramilitary forces while the aggregate figure for the three defence forces is over 62,000.

Then there are 2.5 lakh vacant posts among non-gazetted staff in the railways, the answer to a Rajya Sabha question on March 16 revealed. It, however, stated that two notifications have been issued in February to fill more than 89,000 of these vacancies.


Swati Mathur, Nearly 7L govt posts vacant: Minister in LS, July 4, 2019: The Times of India

Close to seven lakh posts were lying vacant in government department and ministries till March 2018, with the highest number of vacancies, about 2.6 lakh, in the railways alone, labour and employment minister Santosh Gangwar told Lok Sabha.

While latest figures for the financial year ending March 2019 were not supplied to Parliament, and no reasons cited for the same, Gangwar said filling up vacancies remained the government’s priority, along with generating employment and improving employability. He was responding to a question in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Deepak Baij and BJP MP Darshana Jardosh.

Baij and Jardosh had sought the government’s response on the number of vacancies in government departments and the steps taken to fill them.

2.6 lakh posts in railways lying vacant, says Gangwar

In response, Gangwar said filling up vacancies was a continuous process. He also said it was the responsibility of states and UTs to ensure that vacancies in their jurisdictions were filled.

According to the department of expenditure, 6.84 lakh positions were vacant in government departments and ministries across all levels of jobs as on March 1, 2018. The data showed that against a sanctioned strength of 38.03 lakh posts, only 31.19 lakh posts were filled.

The government’s largest employer, the railways, had a sanctioned strength of 15.08 lakh. However, 2.59 lakh positions cutting across gazetted and non-gazetted categories were lying vacant. The next in terms vacancies was the defence civilian department (civilian personnel working in the defence ministry), where only 3.98 lakh positions were filled against a sanctioned strength of 5.85 lakh positions, leaving 1.87 lakh positions vacant.

Another government department generating high employment, home affairs, which oversees appointments in the paramilitary forces and Delhi Police, had 72,365 vacancies against a sanctioned strength of 10.21 lakh positions, with only 9.48 lakh positions filled.

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