Selection to the post of Postal / Sorting Assistant (PA / SA) in the Department of Post (India Post) is made through the Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL) Exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

The post of Assistant in the Department of Post (India Post) is of two types, PA and SA. Hence the advertisements mostly show PA/SA or PASA. PA = Postal Assistants; SA = Sorting Assistants

In the 6th CPC he was entitled for the Grade Pay of Rs 2,400. Now in the 7th CPC he is entitled for the Basic Pay Rs 25,500 and comes under level 4 of the following Pay Matrix Table.


See the current salary of Postal/Sorting Assistant in the following Salary Chart


Physical Disabilities allowed for the post of Postal / Sorting (PA/SA) Assistant 

  • One Leg affected (OL)
  • One Arm affected (OA)
  • One Arm One Leg affected (OAL)
  • Both Leg Affected (BL)
  • Muscular weakness and limited physical endurance (MW)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Leprosy cured
  • Dwarfism
  • Acid Attack victims
  • Blind (B)
  • Low vision (LV)
  • Hard of Hearing (HH)
  • Specific learning disability
  • Multiple disabilities from amongst disabilities mentioned above

NOTE: Colourblind candidates can prefer this post.



1. PAPO (Postal Assistant in Post Offices)
Once you get into the job you will be posted in Post Offices and had to work in counter. All of you might have visited post offices at least once to send a speed or registered article. The person who sits on the counter and helps you in booking the article is one such a Postal Assistant. The benefit of PAPO is that you can regularly come across many customers and will always be updated with the latest changes happening in the Post Office environment.

2. PASBCO (Postal Assistant in Savings Bank Control Organization)
As the name itself suggests the work will be related to monitoring the Savings Bank related work. Unlike PAPO, a PASBCO cannot work in all Post Offices. The posting will only be in Head Post Offices working in the Circle. One thing to note is that the present working procedure of PASBCO is going to change drastically in the coming days. As the Post offices are getting migrated to Core Banking Platform, the nature of working will also change in the days to come.

3. PACO/RO (Postal Assistant in Circle/Regional Offices)
Circle/Regional Offices are the administrative wing of Postal Department. PACO/RO is a separate administrative cadre and those selected are posted at Circle/Regional Offices situated in main cities within the circle (maximum 2-5 offices). The benefit of PACO/RO is that, as it is an administrative office, working days will only be 5 a week (Monday to Friday). But the working hours are more in a day (9 PM to 5.30 PM). The nature of working is also different in this cadre. The nature of work will mainly be file work and PAs will not be dealing directly with the customers.

4. PARLO (Postal Assistant in Returned Letter offices)
Mail not delivered for want of address, is re-directed to the sender if that address is there on the article. Otherwise, it is sent to the Returned Letter Office. In the Returned Letter Office, efforts are made to locate the correct address of the addressee, and if located, mail is forwarded to the addressee. When the address of the addressee cannot be located, efforts are made to locate the address of the sender by opening the letter. If located, mail is returned to sender. Mail which cannot be delivered either to the addressee or to the sender is disposed of after detention for the prescribed period. So the working will be related to this.

5. PAMMS (Postal Assistant in Mail Motor Services)
It plays an important role in intra-city transmission of mail between Mail Offices and Post Offices.

6. PAFPO (Postal Assistant in Foreign Post Organization)
Deals with the foreign articles transmitted through Post office network.

7. SARMS (Sorting Assistant in Railway Mail Service)
Work is related to sorting of mails being sent through the Post Office Network. An article booked through Post office will reach the RMS. At RMS the SA will sort the mail according to pin code or address. A SA will not be posted in Post Offices instead they will be posted in RMS (Railway Mail Service) Units available within the circle mainly situated in a Railway Station or near it. The benefit of SA is that duty will be in shifts and often has to work in night shifts also. But once you take a night shift the next day you will be free.

SAs work in shifts. Timings are 6 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm and 6 pm to 6 am. The last shift has 12 hours in it. If you take the night shift you will have to work every alternative night. Actually, after 6 pm, every one hour is calculated as 1 hour 20 minutes. So, 6 hours, from 6 pm to 12 midnight is equal to 8 hours and 12 midnight to 6 am is another 8 hours. So, in a night shift, your work profile is credited with 16 hours of work, means 2 shifts of day shift.

SAs get posted only in the railway stations with a RMS in it. So, their posting place has a better connectivity and most probably has better amenities like electricity.


TRAINING (Postal/Sorting Assistant)

Training period for the post of Postal / Sorting Assistant (PA/SA) is of 45 days. The training is held at either Baroda or Saharanpur.


PROMOTIONS (Postal/Sorting Assistant)

You becomes eligible to apply for the post of Inspector Post after 5 years of your joining. This is an internal exam in which there are 4 papers. After 5 years on the Inspector Post you are eligible to appear in the exam for Superintendent of Post.


State Allocation rules for Postal / Sorting (PA/SA) Assistant 

It is to inform that as per revised notified recruitment Rules, 2015, the appointment of all cadre of Postal Assistant against the vacancies to be filled up through direct recruitment will be through Staff Selection Commission by conducting the examination. The candidates may be allocated to various Postal Circles by this Department keeping in view the following criteria which are based on the rank of the candidates as well as availability of the vacancy befitting the category of UR/OBC/SC/ST and giving preference to women candidates over male candidates.

1. Circle in which their hometown is situated provided women candidates shall be adjusted first under this-criterion.

2. Neighboring state i.e. the states sharing boundary, in alphabetical order of the states (for women candidates only)

3. Nearest state (for women candidates only).

4. Neighboring state i.e. the states sharing boundary in alphabetical order (for male candidates).

5. State from where the candidate appeared for examination provided women candidates shall be adjusted first under this criterion.

6. Against remaining vacancies in Postal Circles (in alphabetical order) provided women candidates shall be adjusted first under this criterion.

Age Limit
In the Higher Secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL) Exam of the Staff Selection Commission for this post is 18-27 years.

NOTE-I: It being Group-C service, a central govt employees serving for 3 years continuously can take this exam up to 40 years for this post. For reserved categories add to it the usual age relaxation available to them.

NOTE-II: Typing Test is necessary for this post. Requirement of typing speed for English is 35 wpm and Hindi is 30 wpm. Typing test is qualifying in nature, means marks scored in the test are not added to the final merit.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)