If you are interested in foreign postings and want to work like an Ambassador of India someday, Assistant in MEA ( Ministry of External Affairs ) is the post you should keep at No.1 in your preference list. It is just another Assistant post if you consider other factors but it is more competitive than them due to some differences. One thing, there are very few posts of Assistant MEA offered into SSC CGL and many students compete for that and so this post is generally filled up very fast and on high ranks. Second thing, foreign postings. In this post, you would get posting in Delhi for 3 years and then 3 years in foreign if you are Assistant (General) and 6 years in foreign if you are Assistant (Cypher). While in foreign, you would get some extra perks apart from your salary. Let’s know more about that and other things in detail. Read on.
Salary and perks of Assistant MEA (General and Cypher)
Salary has been revised effective from 1/1/2016 in 7th pay commission. According to which the starting basic salary of Assistant MEA (General and Cypher) would be 44,900 Rs in 7th pay commission. DA (Dearness Allowance) would be 0% from 1/1/2016 but it would be revised from July-2016 and so on. Apart form DA you’d also get HRA ( Housing Rent Allowance ) and TA ( Travelling Allowance ) which are different for various class of cities. You would also get TA/DA in this post while on tour. Keep watching this space to know more about Salary and other benefits of Assistant MEA (General and Cypher) in 7th pay commission.
Other than these regular benefits, while you are on foreign postings, you would get some other allowances. You will get US $1800 to US $2000 as a Foreign Allowance and US $ 400- US $600 as other allowances such as heating or cold allowance. These allowances are before 7th pay commission, they may change or improve in 7th pay commission. Your child would get to study in good school / colleges of the country you are posted at and you and your family members would also get very nice medical facilities. All these things would be at the cost of the government of India. Don’t think too much about allowances as expenses would also be high in foreign countries. Yet, you would be able to save more in comparison with Delhi posting and that too with a better life style than Delhi. You would also get fully furnished 3 BHK house with all the facilities while on foreign postings.
Work profile of Assistant MEA (General and Cypher)
As an Assistant in MEA, mostly you would deal with files if you are general assistant. Your work would be of desk nature and you would work in day shift only. If you are selected as an assistant (cypher), then you would work into coding – decoding of confidential messages. You would also learn some highly confidential and secure communication coding languages. In the cypher post, you would also have to work in shifts as you would have to deal with different countries and different time zones.
Promotion opportunities for Assistant MEA
Promotion wise Assistant MEA post is very good if you clear the departmental exam in time. You would get your first promotion in around 6-8 years. With first promotion, you would become Administrative Officer (A.O.). The second promotion in this post is of Under Secretary which is a Group – A, IFS level post. You may get a second promotion in around 8 years. After this promotion, you would be allotted batch year by UPSC and you would become an IFS officer. Next promotions in this post are Deputy Secretary, in around 8 years, Director, in around 5-6 years, Joint Secretary, in around 4-5 years. In small countries, Director is posted as a Head of the Mission (Consulate General of India). As a Joint Secretary, you may become an Ambassador of India.
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Where to put Assistant MEA (General and Cypher) in your preference list if you are a male candidate
It totally depends on you if you are interested in foreign postings or not. If you are interested, it should be No.1 or No.2 in your preference list. Also, note that if you are not on foreign posting, you would get posting in Delhi. Only if you can manage posting in RPO ( Regional Passport Office ) in your hometown or other place, you would go outside Delhi.
Where to put Assistant MEA (General and Cypher) in your preference list if you are a female candidate
Same goes for girls. If you want to go for foreign postings or ready to live in Delhi then this post should be in top 3 of your list. You may also get a home posting in RPO, but there are many ifs and buts, so think about that before deciding on the final list.
Conclusion of Assistant MEA (General and Cypher) job profile
This is the only post in SSC CGL where you can get foreign posting but otherwise you would be in Delhi. Good and respected job you can get by clearing SSC CGL. Also, in foreign countries you can get postings in good countries but you can also get postings in hard countries like Afghanistan, Kuwait. A list of some cities for posting of Assistant MEA is as below.
A+: New York, Toronto, Washington DC, Wellington, Geneva, etc.
A: London, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, Tokyo, Berlin, etc.
B: Shikago, Warshaw, Zurich, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Vienna, Munich, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Stockholm, Moscow, etc.
C: Thimpu, Kuwait, Manila, Bangkok, Hawana, etc.
HARD-C: Kabul, Damascus, Kandhar, Mazar-e-Sarif, etc.( posting for 1.5 to 2 years )
This is it for now.
Best wishes for the bright future.