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Data Indicates Greater Percentage of Vacancies Among Low-Ranking Positions Across Ministries/Departments of GoI


Latest available data on the number of vacancies across the various Ministries & Departments of the Government of India (GoI) indicates greater number of vacancies in low-ranking Group B(NG) and Group C positions while the situation is better for Group A posts.

In India, government jobs continue to be a preferred option for those seeking employment.

Job security, financial security, societal status, perks, facilities, etc. are among the various reasons that make government jobs a sought-after option. The promise of employment by filling up the vacant posts in the government continues to be among the major assurances given by political parties during elections. 

The government of India and of respective states have their presence across different sectors, and their involvement is a key enabler for the functioning and progress of the country. Thus, there is a need for hiring qualified human resources at various levels to facilitate the functioning of the government.

Based on the requirements of various government departments, the number of posts is determined by the government. The filling of these vacancies is a continuous process. So, how many government jobs are sanctioned in various ministries/departments of the Government of India (GoI)? How many of these posts are vacant? Here is an analysis.  

Data Methodology

Annual Report of the Department of Expenditure (DoE) provides departments wise information on the sanctioned posts & vacancies. The latest such information is available as of 01 March 2021. This same information was referred to by GoI in its response to a question in Lok Sabha on 29 March 2023. 

Since the government has also referred to the status as on 01 March 2021, in its latest response, the information as of that date can be inferred as the latest available information. The information relates only to Central government departments and undertakings. 

72% of the Vacant Posts are in Railways, Defence (civilian) & Home 

As per the response provided in Lok Sabha, the total number of vacancies available across the 78 Ministries or departments are around 9.79 lakhs.  Out of these, the greatest number of vacancies are in the Railways, which has 2.93 lakh posts to be filled. This is 30% of the total vacancies. The next highest number of vacant posts is related to the civilian posts under the Ministry of Defence. It accounts for 27% of the total vacant posts. Around 1.43 lakh posts are vacant in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Most of these are related to the Central Armed Police Forces. 

These three ministries/departments make up about 72% of the total vacant posts. 

Among the other ministries/departments, Posts and Revenue have 9% & 8% of the total vacant positions. These five make up 89% of the total vacant positions. The rest of the 11% of vacant positions are spread across 73 Ministries/departments. 

Science & Technology, Commerce, Mines have more than 50% of their sanctioned posts vacant 

While the Ministry of Railways has the highest number of vacant posts, it ought to be noted that it also has the highest number of Sanctioned posts. In fact, the above-mentioned vacant posts in Railways are about 19.4% of the total sanctioned posts for that Ministry. Out of the 15.14 lakh Sanctioned positions in Railways, 12.2 lakhs are already filled up. In the case of Home Affairs, about 13% of the sanctioned posts are vacant. 

In terms of the share of Vacancies out to the total positions sanctioned for that particular Ministry/department, Science & Technology tops the list. 69% of the 12,442 sanctioned posts are vacant.  There are three other Ministries where more than half of the sanctioned positions are vacant. These are – Commerce, Mines and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying. A total of 19 Ministries have vacancies between 40-50% of the sanctioned posts. Only two Ministries – Health & Family Welfare and Telecommunication have vacancies at less than 10% of the sanctioned posts. 

Among the departments with a large number of sanctioned posts, the Department of Defence has a higher vacancy rate. Out of the 6.46 lakh civilian posts sanctioned for Defence, about 3.81 lakhs are filled. Around 2.64 lakhs i.e., nearly 41% of the posts are vacant. Around 44% of the 1.79 lakh sanctioned posts in the Ministry of Revenue are yet to be filled.   As indicated earlier, the Ministry of Telecommunication has the least vacancy percentage. Only 167 positions i.e., 4.7% of the total 3.38 thousand positions needed to be filled as of 01 March 2021. 

32% of the positions sanctioned under Group B (NG) are vacant 

The sanctioned posts are categorised into 4 groups based on the status of the position. These are – A, B(G), B(NG) and C. Group A positions are high-ranking positions. As per the data available as on 01 March 2021, there were 1.33 lakh sanctioned Group A jobs across various ministries & Departments. Out of them, 1.09 lakh positions were filled up. This group of jobs has the least vacancy percentage with about 18% of the posts vacant. 

Group B is further classified into two categories – Gazetted (G) and Non-Gazetted (NG). Around 1.16 lakhs Group B(G) status positions are sanctioned, out of which 22.5% i.e., 2.63 lakhs are yet to be filled. The highest percentage of vacancy is in Group B(NG) posts where 32% of the 2.87 lakh posts are yet to be filled. 

The highest share of sanctioned positions comes under Group C.  There are around 34.98 lakh sanctioned positions under this Group across the 78 Ministries/Departments. Out of them, around 26.6 lakh posts are filled up as on 01 March 2021. A total of 23.9% i.e., 8.36 lakh posts are yet to be filled. 

80% of Group C posts under Science & Technology are vacant 

The proportion of posts vacant in a particular department varies by Job Group. There is generally lower vacancy among the higher groups across critical ministries/departments. In fact, in a few of the ministries, the number of positions filled up is higher than the sanctioned number. Like in the case of Group A jobs in the Prime Minister’s office. There are 86 persons in Position as against the sanctioned strength of 61. A similar case is that of another key department – the Cabinet Secretariat. There are 55 persons in position as against the 51 Group B(G) sanctioned positions. It ought to be noted that both these departments are critical for the functioning of the government and are the fulcrum for the various ministries & departments of the GoI. On the other hand, about 38% of the Group C of sanctioned positions in PMO are filled up. 

Across Ministries & Departments, lower vacancies are observed across Group A and Group B (G), which are high-ranking positions. In fact, in the Ministry of Telecommunications, 1122 persons are in position as against 987 sanctioned positions under Group A. In contrast to the general trend observed, Telecommunication also has a higher proportion of positions filled up even in Group C. A total of 1004 persons are in position against the 996 sanctioned posts. As highlighted earlier, Telecommunication has the least vacancy rate.

Many departments have significant vacancies under Group C. In the case of Science & Technology, only 20% of the 7948 positions of Group C are filled. In the case of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, only about 36% of the positions under Group C are filled up. In the case of the Ministry of Mines, only 40% of the positions under Group C are filled.  

Higher Vacancies among lower-ranking positions

The trends of filling up the positions vary across the Ministries & departments. The general trend is that the vacancy is lower among the high-ranking posts and in ministries that are important. However, this trend is not applicable across all ministries. Gazetted positions across a few of the ministries do have a higher vacancy. The importance of the particular department seems to be an influential factor. Another general trend is that higher vacancies are found among Group C positions. The situation gets compounded when the importance of a Ministry is considered, like in the case of Science & Technology, where-in only about 20% of the Group C positions are filled up. Even across Ministries with a higher number of sanctioned positions like Railways, Defence, etc., higher vacancies are among Group C or Non-gazetted positions under Group B. As indicated earlier, the information is as on 01 March 2021. Over the past two years, the government has filled up a few of these vacancies. The latest factual position will only be known when such data is released by the government.

Featured Image: Vacant Posts in Central Government 


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