ASSISTANT SECTION OFFICER (MEA) JOB PROFILE (General & Cypher)
ASSISTANT SECTION OFFICER ( MEA) JOB PROFILE (General & Cypher)
Selection to the post of Assistant Section Officer (ASO) in MEA is made through the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). This post is for the aspirants of Combined Graduate Level Exam (CGLE) conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) who want to serve in various foreign countries (abroad).
In the 6th CPC he was entitled for the Grade Pay of Rs 4,600. Now in the 7th CPC he is entitled for the Basic Pay Rs 44,900 and comes under the level 7 of the following Pay Matrix Table.
7th CPC PAY TABLE
See the current salary of Assistant Section Officer (MEA) in the following Salary Chart
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PHYSICAL DISABILITIES ALLOWED FOR ASO (MEA)
1. OH (OA, OL, OAL, BL)
3. VH (LV, B)
NOTE: Colourblind candidates can prefer this post.
JOB DESCRIPTION OF ASSISTANT SECTION OFFICER (MEA)
Assistant Section Officers in MEA also have to undergo IB (Intelligence Bureau) verification along with police verification before joining. This is the most sought after post in all ASSISTANT SECTION OFFICER posts under the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam due to its charm of foreign posting and hefty salary package. In foreign posting you’ll get US $1,800 to 2,900 (Rs 1,10,000 to 1,70,000) as foreign allowance depending on the country you are posted in, in addition to your basic pay; and US $400 to 600 as other allowances such as heating or cold allowance.
If a person is interested in a foreign posting he is given a few choices for the needed posting and he is posted according to those choices preferably. There is no compulsion from the ministry on a foreign posting. If you want you can spend your whole of the service tenure in Delhi itself also. You can get even HOME POSTING in RPO (Regional Passport Office.)
You don’t get foreign posting under 2 years of your joining generally. Foreign countries are divided under 5 categories, namely A+, A, B, C and HARD-C.
Name of some countries under different categories are hereunder:
1. A+: New York, Toronto, Washington DC, Wellington, Geneva, etc.
2. A: London, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, Tokyo, Berlin, etc.
3. B: Shikago, Warshaw, Zurich, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Vienna, Munich, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Stockholm, Moscow, etc.
4. C: Thimpu, Kuwait, Manila, Bangkok, Hawana, etc.
5. HARD-C: Kabul, Damascus, Kandhar, Mazar-e-Sarif, etc.
Assistant (General) gets foreign posting for a period of 3 years normally in one single instance, while it’s a period of 6 years for Assistant (Cypher) after which you are either back in Delhi or are transferred in another country directly from there. In HARD-C countries the posting is only for 1.5 or 2 years. You can carry your own car or bike with you when you are posted abroad, and are entitled to carry 1,500 Kg of luggage. When on a foreign posting you get elite class medical facilities for yourself and dependent family members.
Cypher Assistant is a little different from Assistant (general) because they have to do the task of coding and decoding of some highly confidential language in addition. Cypher has night shifts also and has to work for 6 days. A system of 2 days off and 2 days will be night shift, so no Saturday-Sunday like system.
NATURE OF WORK ASO (MEA)
The main job of an assistant is to assist the IFS officers in their day to day work. Assistant Section Officers do the file work and noting, drafting and communication with the head office in India. Planning and examination of documents to be signed between the nations. Filing and other works related to various MoUs to be signed by ambassadors and ministers. Coordinating between various offices of consulates as well from HQ at Home Nation Promoting friendly relations with the receiving state as also its people, including NRI/PIO.
TRAINING ASO (MEA)
Like CSS, there is no immediate training on joining. However, before you get a foreign posting you have to compulsorily undergo 30 days training as well as foreign language test. Foreign language proficiency test is mandatory to get the foreign posting.
PROMOTIONS ASO (MEA)
1. Assistant Section Officer to Administrative Officer in 5 years (If you clear the departmental exam); otherwise it may take 10-14 yrs on seniority basis.
2. Under Secretary (IFS)
3. Deputy Secretary
5. Joint Secretary 4 years.
In small countries the Director is posted as the Head of Mission (Consulate General of India). Joint Secretary is an Ambassador level post.
When you become Under Secretary you’ll get IFS Cadre and UPSC will allot you a batch year; thereafter you can call yourself IFS officer. Under Secretary is entitled to get one servant service when posted in a foreign country.
Most Assistants in MEA get 3 career promotions and retires from Deputy Director level or at the maximum Director Level.
TRANSFERS ASO (MEA)
Assistant Section Office in MEA is not strictly a only Delhi job. On need basis, you can be posted to Regional Passport Offices, but usually there is shortage of staff in Delhi, so it happens only on requirement basis. You need to have really strong political approach to shift to Regional Passport Office on your own convenience (for home state posting etc.).
For foreign posting, you have to choose 5-10 destinations from the list of 60 destinations provided to you by the ministry. However, it would be the ministry who would decide which place to allot to you. You can deny the allotted foreign destination but then such denials don’t go well with your seniors as it causes hassles in the effective functioning.
ACCOMMODATION FOR ASO (MEA)
While posted in the HQ you’ll get type-III accommodation (2 rooms + drawing room). MEA has its own quarters at Dawarka, Delhi. There is no waiting list like other ministries/departments where 6,000 or so are found to be in wait every time and takes almost 7-8 years for a govt flat to be allotted. In MEA you can get a flat to be allotted after the completion of one year in service. If one or more years of service tenure has already been completed by you in any other department, you can get a govt flat allotted straightaway on your joining of MEA.
In a foreign posting the govt provides 3 BHK fully furnished flat in which all household items are there such as refrigerator, sofa, bed, etc. If by chance you don’t get the govt accommodation in time you are entitled to get accommodation in a FIVE-STAR HOTEL with your entire family with you residing.
CHILDREN ALLOWANCE ASO (MEA)
In foreign postings your children are getting education in world’s best universities such as Cambridge, Howard, New York, American Inter-continental, etc.
Age limit in the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam of the Staff Selection Commission for this post is 20-30 years.