SSC CGL salary & Job Profile: Good money. Exciting Purpose

SSC-CGL- ASO Ministry of External Affairs Cipher

SSC CGL salary has significantly improved after 7th pay commission. As a result, Assistant Section Officer is now one of the most sought after jobs. Indeed, the pay scale and job security play crucial role in career choice. But, most of the job profiles, if not all, of SSC CGL recruits are equally exciting. It has been discussed in job profile section of this post below. Below is a thrilling short story about a real account from world war 2.

Given below is the Job detail and pro & cons of being a Cipher under Ministry of External Affairs, India.


  • Job Code in SSC – F
  • Place of Posting – New Delhi and later Abroad Postings.
  • Transfer – ASO Cypher get more Foreign posting than ASO MEA (General with Job Code E).
  • Cadre Controlling Authority – MEA.
  • Starting CGL Salary – Basic CGL salary is Rs.44900/-. Gross CGL salary is Rs.63641/- (as per DA @ 9%). CGL salary increases with increase in D.A. (To get idea about the salary of Group B employee kindly watch this video
  • The salary increases on Abroad Posting in Embassies.
  • Promotion – ASO (GP 4600) -> Section Officer (GP 4800, Gazetted) -> Under Secretary (GP 6600) -> Deputy Secretary (GP 7600) -> Director (GP 8700). Very Rare chance to get promoted to Joint Secretary (GP 10000).
  • Promotion Time – ASO –> SO (5-6 years by Departmental exam or else 8-12 years by seniority). SO -> US (7-8 years). SO after 4 years of service gets 5400 GP then after 3-4 years promoted to US. US -> DS (5-6 years).  DS -> Director (5-6 years).
  • Yearly Increment  – 3% in basic cgl salary given on 1st July if minimum service is 6 months. Employees who joined on 2nd January will have to wait for more than 1 year for the increment.

Positives –

  • Exciting work, Good salary
  • Job security
  • Charm of Foreign posting

Negatives –

  • The employees work in shifts, hence night shifts are possible.
  • You may get posted to hostile countries.
  • Possibility of promotion stagnation due to less cadre strength.
  • Developed countries have higher costs of living which impacts personal savings during foreign posting.

Job profile-

  • Assistance of the IFS officers
  • Coding and decoding in confidential language.

Let me share this thrilling story to give you a flavour of how exciting your work as Assistant Section Officer (Cipher, Ministry of External Affairs) Have you ever heard of secretive ENIGMA machines used by Germany in WORLD WAR 2? They were used by German ciphers to code & decode the secret information during the war. Germany was almost invincible for significant part of the world war 2 due to the use of these machines by her ciphers.

The tides turned in favour of Britain and her allies only when Britishers with the help of te Polish & the British ciphers, learned to decode the intercepted secret information of German origin. The access to the secret German information along with the intervention of USA then changed the direction of world war 2 in the favour of allied forces and Germany was defeated!

Isn’t it one of very few exciting job profile that comes with an opportunity to serve Nation and make good money as well?

Like every other government in the world, Indian government also requires such ciphers to protect the military/ diplomatic/commercial communication deemed important for National Security. These ciphers work under ministry of external affairs and are posted at various foreign locations.

Ciphers are recruited through the SSC CGL exam conducted for “Group B” by Staff selection Commission.

So, what are you waiting for? Good money is waiting for you. Exciting purpose is waiting for you. Prepare well for the recruitment exam. You can find all previous years’ questions and online test series for SSC-CGL examination, on: 

And yes, don’t forget: Practice makes perfect! Prepare well. Good Luck for lucrative SSC CGL salary and exciting purpose.

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