What are the promotional aspects of an SI in CBI? What is the Direct DySP exam?

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The post of SI in CBI has become one hot cake after the recent implementation of the 7th pay commission. The salary of this post is now the highest among all the posts offered by SSC. However, the popularity of this post has risen also due to the recent introduction of a Direct DySP exam in CBI which provides a springboard to the candidates to elevate them directly to the post of DySP bypassing the tortuous 16 long years as an Inspector. This article covers everything about that in detail.

Promotions in CBI:-

A sub-inspector in CBI is promoted to the post of an Inspector within a very short span of merely 4 years. This is almost certain that you will be promoted too within this time since CBI has an acute shortage of IOs (Investigating Officers) who can investigate the cases. Since the law bars an SI from investigating a case independently, CBI has adopted this trend of promoting its sub-inspectors prematurely to meet the rising needs. To cite an example, when the Hon’ble Supreme court ordered CBI to probe the VYAPAM scam, CBI didn’t have enough investigating manpower to supply (About 150 people were needed for the task). So an entire batch of sub-inspectors was promoted almost overnight to employ towards the investigation of the VYAPAM scam. Another corroborating fact is that in CBI, no. of Inspectors is around 880 while the no. of sub-inspectors is about 450, half the strength of Inspectors. So its anybody’s guess that you are more valuable to CBI as an Inspector than you are as a Sub-Inspector. 

The next step in the ladder is the post of DySP (Deputy Superintendent of Police). Now, this is the post where there is deep stagnation in CBI. If history is any indication, it can take anywhere between 13 to 18 years to reach to the post of DySP from the post of Inspector. 16 years is the norm. Thankfully, they have introduced a Direct DySP exam which may help young guns to reach new heights in their career without going through this long path. Although this exam has some caveats and rules, it is better to have an option than to have nothing to speed up the career. Let’ have a detailed overview of this exam.


This exam is instituted by CBI to provide the talented candidates an opportunity to rise early in there career. There are some rules regarding this:

Direct DySP exam provides an impetus to the career of an SI.
  1. The maximum age of a candidate to appear in this exam is 40 years.
  2. The candidate must have been a sub-Inspector for at least 4 years in the department. No candidate can appear in this exam if he is less than 4 years old as SI.
  3. A total of 10% of the vacant seats will be filled through this exam. for eg., if there are a total of 200 seats vacant for DySP posts in a particular year, only 20 seats will be filled by this exam. Rest of the 180 seats will be filled through the traditional route of promotions.
  4. This exam will be conducted by UPSC. The frequency of this exam is at the sole discretion of CBI i.e. it will not be held every year. It will be held as and when CBI feels like it. This exam has been conducted once so far in last 3 years. 
  5. The syllabus for this exam will draw heavily from the crime manuals and CBI manuals being used in CBI procedures. The crime manuals mean the standard law statute trio namely a.) The code of Criminal Procedure b.) Indian Penal Code and c.) The Indian evidence act. Other than this, some of the subjects of the UPSC civils mains exam like GS and essay writing may also be included.  

It is my opinion that the candidates who are preparing for UPSC civils or have prepared in the past will find it easier than other candidates although the level of any exam conducted by UPSC is pretty damn high. This exam is nice to have as it has provided an alternate channel to the talented candidates who otherwise might have felt suffocation in those 15 years of stagnation from Inspector to DySP.

The next step from DySP is ASP (Additional Superintendent of Police). It takes about 7 years to reach to the level of ASP and another 6 years from ASP to SP. If you don’t qualify the Direct DySP exam, this will likely be the last stop where you will reach before you retire. On average, a government servant gets about 4 promotions in his lifetime, a maximum of 5 if he has been really lucky or if he has joined the department at an early age of 21. However, if you are one of those who have passed this exam, you will likely reach to the post of Jt. Director (IG, Inspector General of local police).

If you join the department at the ripe age of 24 as sub-Inspector and pass the direct DySP exam in your second attempt, you will become DySP when you are 30. Now you have 30 years to rise in your career before you retire. Considering an average of 7 years per promotion, you will likely end up as Joint Director in CBI. Although you cannot be made the Director of CBI as you are not an IPS.

One more thing, if you join this department through the CHSL (10+2) SSC exam at the post of LDC (lower division clerk), you have a similar opportunity to change your lines from clerical to executives by appearing in the sub-inspector exam conducted every year. once you become a sub-inspector, you are as good as a direct subinspector chosen from the SSC CGL exam and can avail of all those opportunities available to a sub-inspector.

This was all from my side on the promotions in CBI. If anything has been left out, please write so in the comments and we’ll help you out.

Thanks for reading. suggested further reading:-

  1. http://www.cbivsincometax.in/should-you-go-for-inspector-of-income-tax-or-for-sub-inspector-of-cbi/
  2. http://www.cbivsincometax.in/transfers-locations-and-postings-in-cbi/
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