Order of Precedence in India - UPSC Notes

The Order of Precedence is a protocol list in which the functionaries and authorities are recorded by rank and office in the Government of India. It is meant for State and Ceremonial occasions. It has no application in the day-to-day business of Government. The order is established by the President of India and is maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Important for the IAS Exam, this article will provide you with the table of precedence for Indian Polity subject preparation.

Order of Precedence is an important topic in the Indian Polity subject. To prepare for similar topics of UPSC Mains GS 2, aspirants can check the following links:

Order of Precedence in the Republic of India

Order of Precedence
Rank Post
1 President
2 Vice-President
3 Prime Minister
4 Governors of States within their respective States
5 Former Presidents
5A Deputy Prime Minister
6
7
7A Holders of Bharat Ratna decoration
8
  • Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries accredited to India
  • Chief Ministers of States (outside their respective States)
  • Governors of States (outside their respective States)
9 Judges of Supreme Court
9A
10
  • Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
  • Deputy Chief Ministers of States
  • Deputy Speaker of  Lok Sabha
  • Members of the Planning Commission
  • Ministers of State of the Union
  • National Security Advisor
11
  • Attorney General of India
  • Cabinet Secretary
  • Lieutenant Governors within their respective Union Territories
  • Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister
12 Chiefs of Staff holding the rank of full General or equivalent rank

13 Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary accredited to India.
14
  • Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures (within their respective States.)
  • Chief Justices of High Courts (within their respective jurisdictions)
15
  • Cabinet Ministers in States (within their respective States)
  • Chief Ministers of Union Territories (within their respective Union Territories) and Chief Executive Councillor, Delhi (within their respective Union Territories)
  • Deputy Ministers of the Union
16 Officiating Chiefs of Staff holding the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank.
17
18
  • Cabinet Ministers in States (outside their respective States)
  • Chairmen and Speakers of State Legislatures (outside their respective States)
  • Chairman of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission
  • Deputy Chairmen and Deputy Speakers of State Legislatures (within their respective States)
  • Ministers of State in States (within their respective States)
  • Ministers of Union Territories and Executive Councilors, Delhi (within their respective Union Territories)
  • Speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Union Territories (within their respective Union Territories)
  • Chairman of Delhi Metropolitan Council (within their respective Union Territories)
19
  • Chief Commissioners of Union Territories not having Councils of Ministers( within their respective Union Territories)
  • Deputy Ministers in States ( within their respective States)
  • Deputy Speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Union Territories (within their respective Union Territories)
  • Deputy Chairman of metropolitan Council Delhi (within their respective Union Territories)
20
  • Deputy Chairmen and Deputy Speakers of State Legislatures (outside their respective states)
  • Ministers of State in States(outside their respective States)
  • Puisne Judges of High Courts (outside their respective jurisdictions)
21 Members of Parliament
22 Deputy Ministers in State outside their respective States
23
  • Army Commanders/ Vice-Chief of the Army Staff or equivalent in other services
  • Chief Secretaries to State Governments within their respective States
  • Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities
  • Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
  • Members, Minorities Commission
  • Members, National Commission for Scheduled Castes
  • Members, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • Officers of the rank of full General or equivalent rank
  • Secretaries to the Government of India (including officers holding this office ex-officio).
  • Secretary, Minorities Commission.
  • Secretary, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission.
  • Secretary to the President.
  • Secretary to the Prime Minister.
  • Secretary, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
  • Solicitor General
  • Vice-Chairman, Central Administrative Tribunal
24 Officers of the rank of Lieutenant General or equivalent rank.
25
  • Additional Secretaries to the Government of India.
  • Additional Solicitor General
  • Advocate Generals of States.
  • Chairman, Tariff Commission
  • Charge d’ Affairs and Acting High Commissioners a pied and ad interim
  • Chief Ministers of Union Territories and Chief Executive Councillor, Delhi (outside their respective Union Territories)
  • Chief Secretaries of State Governments (outside their respective States)
  • Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General
  • Deputy Speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Union Territories and Deputy Chairman,
  • Delhi Metropolitan Council ( outside their respective Union Territories)
  • Director, Central Bureau of Investigation
  • Director General, Border Security Force.
  • Director General, Central Reserve Police.
  • Director, Intelligence Bureau
  • Lieutenant Governors(outside their respective Union Territories)
  • Members, Central Administrative Tribunal
  • Members, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission
  • Members, Union Public Service Commission
  • Ministers of Union Territories and Executive Councillors, Delhi,(outside their respective Union)
  • Territories.
  • Principal Staff Officers of the Armed Forces of the rank of Major General or equivalent rank
  • Speakers of Legislative Assemblies in Union Territories and Chairman of Delhi, Metropolitan Council, outside their respective Union Territories
26 Joint Secretaries to the Government of India and officers of equivalent rank Officers of the rank of Major-General or equivalent rank

UPSC Previous Years Questions Related to Table of Precedence

UPSC Prelims 2000

1. Consider the following functionaries:

  1. Cabinet Secretary
  2. Chief Election Commissioner
  3. Union Cabinet Minister
  4. Chief Justice of India

Their correct sequence in the Order of Precedence is:

A. 3, 4, 2, 1

B. 4, 3, 1, 2

C. 4, 3, 2, 1

D. 3, 4, 1, 2

Answer: C

UPSC Prelims 2003

2. As per Indian Protocol, who among the following ranks highest in the order of precedence? 

  1. Deputy Prime Minister
  2. Former President
  3. Governor of a State within his state
  4. Speaker of Lok Sabha

Answers: C

UPSC Prelims 2004

3. Which one of the following is the correct sequence in the descending order of precedence in the warrant of the procedure?

  1. Attorney General of India—Judges of the Supreme Court –Members of Parliament—Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha
  2. Judges of the Supreme Court—Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha—Attorney General of India—Members of Parliament
  3. Attorney General of India Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha—Judges of the Supreme Court—Members of Parliament
  4. Judges of the Supreme Court—Attorney General of India—Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha—Members of Parliament

Answer: B

Quick Facts on Order of Precedence for UPSC Preparation

What does in order of precedence mean?

Order of Precedence refers to the hierarchy of the important positions in the Republic of India. It denotes the ranks of the persons as approved by the President of India.

Who holds the highest rank in the order of precedence?

The President of India holds the highest rank in the table of precedence, followed by the Vice-President and the Prime Minister respectively.

Indian Order of Precedence – Conclusion

It is good to know the table of precedence for the Civil Service as the latter is all about administration and governance.  It is considered as the toughest examination in the country conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Before you prepare for the country’s most prominent and difficult examination, it is essential to know about the basic things about the administration.  That is why polity plays an important role in the Civil Services Examination syllabus. Polity is an important topic at all the three stages of the exam. It shapes an essential piece of administration. The order of Precedence is a very basic thing of the polity.

Order of Precedence/Table of Precedence – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

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