CSIR CASE Section Officer/Asst. Section Officer Exam - 2023

Feel free to look at the Contents section below to navigate to whatever details you seek regarding one of the most coveted services in India – SO/ASO in CSIR


  • About CSIR
  • Recruitment & Scheme of the Examination
  • Service Conditions – Pay Scale
  • Eligibility Conditions
  • Syllabus & break up of Marks
  • Indicative Detailed Syllabus
  • Evaluation
  • Process for Arriving at Scores
  • Vacancies
  • Previous Year Questions
  • Cut Off
  • Result

About CSIR

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) established in 1942, is an Autonomous body under the aegis of Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.

It is Nation’s premier Scientific Industrial R&D Organization and has a dynamic network of 36 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 1 Innovation Complex and three units with a Pan-India presence across the country.

CSIR in pursuit of its mandate to develop and nurture S&T manpower in the country, envisages a transformed work culture with young and dynamic knowledge workforce that would facilitate and support multifarious initiatives that have been taken up in the CSIR.

For more details about CSIR, kindly refer to their website - https://www.csir.res.in/ 

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Recruitment & Scheme of the Examination

CSIR has released the notification for recruiting Section Officer and Asst. Section Officer in General, Finance and Accounts (F&A), and Store & Purchase (S&P) streams through a comprehensive selection process involving 3 steps including –

  •  Phase I

o Paper I – General Awareness and English Language and Comprehension

o Paper II – General Intelligence, Reasoning and Mental Ability

  •  Phase II

o Paper III – English/Hindi – Descriptive Paper

  • Phase III

o Interview [for Section Officer only]


o Computer Proficiency Test [for Asst. Section Officer only]

· Paper– I, Paper- II and Paper- III will be common and compulsory for all the posts.

  • All the papers will be bilingual (English & Hindi) except English Language Part of Paper – I which will be in English only.
  • Minimum threshold marks, wherever prescribed/required, will be decided by the Competent Authority.
  • Process of Selection of Section Officer [General/S&P/F&A]
  • Candidates who secure the minimum threshold marks in aggregate out of 350 marks (Paper – I and Paper – II) will be called for Paper-III (Descriptive Paper).
  • Candidates who secure the minimum threshold marks in Paper– I, Paper- II and Paper- III in aggregate out of 500 marks will be called for Interview. Interview carries 100 marks.
  • The total marks for the post of Section Officer (Gen/F&A/S&P) will be 600.
  • Final Select/Wait List will be prepared keeping in view the number of vacancies and total marks obtained by the candidates, subject to securing the minimum threshold marks.
  • Process of Selection of Assistant Section Officer [General/S&P/F&A]
  • Candidates who secure the minimum threshold marks in aggregate out of 350 marks (Paper – I and Paper – II) will be called for Paper-III (Descriptive Paper) and Computer Proficiency Test (CPT). CPT is Qualifying in nature and Marks obtained in CPT will not be counted towards final marks.
  • The total marks for the post of Assistant Section Officer (Gen/F&A/S&P) will be 500, excluding CPT.
  • Final Select/Wait List will be prepared keeping in view the number of vacancies and total marks obtained by the candidates, subject to securing the minimum threshold marks and qualifying marks in CPT.

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Service Conditions

Classification and Pay Level/ Pay Matrix

  • Section Officer [General/F&A/S&P]: Group B (Gazetted) Pay Level – 8, Cell – 1 (Rs. 47,600 –Rs. 1,51,100)
  • Assistant Section Officer [General/F&A/S&P]: Group B (Non-Gazetted) Pay Level – 7, Cell – 1 (Rs. 44,900 –1,42,400)

  • Benefits under Council Service
  • The posts carry usual allowances i.e. Dearness Allowance (DA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), Transport Allowance (TA) etc. at Central Government rates as applicable to the employees of Council at the place of posting.
  • Council employees are also eligible for accommodation of entitled type as per CSIR Residence Allotment rules depending upon availability in which case HRA will not be admissible.
  • I n addition to the emoluments indicated against each category of posts, benefits such as reimbursement of Medical expenses, Leave Travel Concession, House Building Advance etc. are available as applicable to Council employees.
  • T he posts will be governed by the New Pension System applicable w. e. f. 01.01.2004 as notified by the Government of India and adopted by CSIR vide their letter number 17/68/2001-E.II, dated 23.12.2003 and other instructions issued on the subject.
  • However, persons selected from other Government Departments/ Autonomous Bodies/ Public Sector Undertakings/ Central Universities having Pension Scheme on Govt. of India pattern will continue to be governed by the existing Pension Scheme i.e. CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021, as per rules.

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Eligibility Conditions

Age Limit – Not exceeding 33 years for both posts.

Age Relaxation permissible beyond upper age limit

  • SC/ST – 5 years
  • OBC – 3 years
  • PwBD (UR) – 10 years
  • PwBD (SC/ST) – 15 years
  • PwBD (OBC) – 13 years
  • CSIR Departmental Candidates – 5 years
  • Ex-Servicemen – 3 years after deduction of the actual military service rendered from the actual age as on the closing date
  • Essential Qualification – University Degree

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Syllabus & break up of Marks

Paper – I – General Awareness and English Language and Comprehension [Total – 150 Marks]

General Awareness [Total – 100 Marks]

  • History of Indian & Indian National Movement
  • Constitution of India, Polity, Governance, Social Justice
  • Current events of National and International importance
  • English Language & Comprehension [Total – 50 Marks]
  • Comprehension
  • Do as directed (Active-Passive; Direct-Indirect etc.)
  • Prepositions, fill in the blanks,
  • Synonyms/Antonyms
  • Sentence Correction; common errors
  • Punctuation, Idioms & Phrases etc.

Paper – II – General Intelligence, Reasoning and Mental Ability [Total Marks – 200]

Paper – III – English/Hindi – Descriptive Paper [Total Marks – 150]

  • Essay Writing – 2 Questions – Total Marks: 100
  • Precis Writing – 1 Question – Total Marks: 30
  • Letter/Application Writing – 1 Question – Total Marks: 20

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Indicative Detailed Syllabus

Paper – I – General Awareness and English Language and Comprehension [Total – 150 Marks]

  • General Awareness

  • History of India & Indian National Movement

Sources of Indian History, The Harappan Civilization, The Mauryan, The Vedic, Post Mauryan period (200 BC-300 AD), Gupta & Post - Gupta period: Society, Economy & Polity, Chronology of Events in Medieval India, North India between 750-1200, The Sultans of Delhi, The Mughal Kings, The Marathas, The Saints of Medieval India, Indian in the Eighteenth Century, Rise of the Regional Powers, economic Impact of The British, Indian Renaissance and Reform Movement, Early Uprisings Against The British, The Revolt of 1857, Nature and Causes For The Rise of National Movement, The Rise of Neo-Nationalists or Extremists, The Beginning of the Gandhian Era.

  • Constitution of India, Polity, Governance, Social Justice

  • Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
  • Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger

  • Current event of National and International importance

  • National - National Issues, Indian Economy, Indian Polity, Judiciary, Environment, Science and Technology, States, Social Schemes, Sports News, Reports, Committee and Commission, Awards and Honours, Accident and calamities, First in India. International -Important Summits & Events, International Awards, First in the world, International leadership, International Reports, International committees and recommendations, Geographical event around the world.

  • English Language & Comprehension

Comprehension, do as directed (Active-Passive; Direct-Indirect etc.), Prepositions, fill in the blanks, synonyms, antonyms, sentence correction, common errors, punctuation, idioms & phrases etc.

  • Paper – II – General Intelligence, Reasoning and Mental Ability [Total Marks – 200]

  • General Intelligence & Reasoning and Mental Ability

General Intelligence & Reasoning: It would include questions of both verbal and non-verbal type. The test will include questions on analogies, similarities and differences, space visualization, problem solving, analysis, judgement, decision making, visual memory, discriminating observation, relationship concepts, arithmetical reasoning, verbal and figure classification, arithmetical number series, non-verbal series etc. The test will also include questions designed to test the candidate’s abilities to deal with abstract ideas and symbols and their relationship, arithmetical computation and other analytical functions.

General Mental Ability: Analogy, Classification, Series, Coding-Decoding, Blood relations, Direction Sense Test, Logical Venn Diagrams, Alphabet Test, Sitting Arrangements, Mathematical Operations, Arithmetical Reasoning, Inserting the Missing Character, Number, Ranking and Time Sequence Test, Eligibility Test.

  • Arithmetical and Numerical Ability

Simplification, Decimals, Data Interpretation, Fractions, L.C.M., H.C.F., Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Average, Profit & Loss, Discount, Simple & Compound Interest, Mensuration, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Tables & Graphs etc.

  • General Science

Physics – Mechanics, heat, magnetism, Electricity, Light, sound and modern physics

Chemistry – Nature and composition of substances, atomic structure, radioactivity, isotopic isotope isotronic, chemical bond, Oxidation & Equipment, acid, ash and salt, Valency and Atomic Weight, General properties of gases, Merger, electrochemistry, thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, inducement, fuel, periodic classification of elements, Latin names and chemical symbols of elements, metallurgical treatment, metals and their compounds, non-metals and their compounds, organic chemistry, Various such as alloy, fertilizer, cement etc.

Biology - Plant diseases, plant tissue, plant genetics, cell Biology, ecology, Pollution, health and nutrition, human physiology, classification of animal kingdom, branch of zoology, chief biologist. 4. Computer/IT - Basic knowledge and fundamentals about Computer, Word Processing, Spread sheet, generation of Slides, Email etc.

  • Economic & Social Development and General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change

Economic growth and development – Basic concept and definition of economy and economics, uses and transfer of resources, distributive effects, macro and micro economic policy, micro-macro balance, distributive impact of economic policies, development versus growth, determinant of growth and development, concepts such as HPI/MPI, HDI, PQLI, GEM, GDI/GII, TAI, Green index, sustainable development, India’s ranking in the various indices.

General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change

  1. Terms like climate change, ecosystem, sustainable development, natural disaster, etc. are regularly featured in the news.
  2. Environment topics can be interlinked with core concepts of other subjects like geography, biology, botany, zoology and also the economy.
  3. Environment can also overlap with policy and governance since many government schemes are linked towards preserving the natural resources and environment, conservation of flora and fauna, and reducing pollution, etc.


  •  Ethics and Human Interface

Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships.

Human Values - lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

  •  Decision Making and Problem solving

Identify the problem, Identify the possible solutions, Select the best solution, eliminate other solutions, Make the decision.

  • Management Principles & Practices

  • Principles of management (Planning, organizing, Directing & Control etc.), Job analysis, Job description Job specification, Job design, Job change, Recruitment, Communication, Leadership, Motivation, Negotiations, Financial Management, Delegation, Working & Networking, Project Appraisal, Career Advancement, Procurement, Stores, Inventory Management, Facilities & Infrastructure Management

  • National Geography

  • Basics of India, Physical features, River systems, Climate, Minerals and Industries, Agriculture, Natural vegetation and fauna, Economic infrastructure, Human Geography

  • Paper – III – Same as mentioned in previous Head – Syllabus and break of marks

  • Paper – IV – Computer Proficiency Test [Total Marks – 100]

  • Computer Proficiency Test – Qualifying in Nature - For the posts of ASOs (Gen/F&A/S&P) only (Total Marks = 100) (Time: 01 Hour)

  • CPT will judge proficiency in Word Processing, Spread Sheet, Generation of Slides etc. Exercises will include Typing of a passage and/or other word processing exercises; preparation of spreadsheet; preparation of Power Point Presentation and related exercises which are required in the normal day to day functioning of an Office.
  • CPT will be qualifying only. Candidates are required to obtain the Minimum cut off marks in CPT.
  • For PwBD candidates, Govt. of India/Staff Selection Commission (SSC) rules on CPT shall be followed.

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Evaluation

  • Tentative Answer Keys of the Computer Based Examinations will be made available to the candidates through CSIR website, after the Examination.
  • Candidates may go through the answer key and submit online representation within the time limit and represent on payment of Rs.100/- per question, which is non-refundable.
  • Representations received through any other mode e.g. letter, application, email, etc. will not be entertained. Representation regarding the Answer keys will be scrutinized before finalizing the answer keys and the decision of the CSIR in this regard will be final.
  • There shall be no provision for re-evaluation/re-checking of the scores of any Stage of the examination. No correspondence in this regard shall be entertained.
  • Marks scored by the candidates in examinations, if conducted in multiple shifts, will be normalized by using a formula and such normalized scores will be used to determine the final merit and cut off Mark. The formula will be decided by CSIR and will be notified subsequently through CSIR website.

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Process for Arriving at Scores

The Scores of Online Examination are obtained by adopting the following procedure:

  • Number of questions answered correctly by a candidate in each objective test is considered for arriving at the Corrected Score after applying penalty for wrong answers, where applicable.
  • The Corrected Scores so obtained by a candidate are made equivalent to take care of the minor difference in difficulty level, if any, in each of the objective tests held in different sessions to arrive at the Equated Scores* [* Scores obtained by candidates on any test are equated to the base form by considering the distribution of scores of all the forms.]
  • Test-wise scores and scores on total is reported with decimal point upto two digits.


Below are the details of 2023 vacancies. No. of posts for

  • Section Officer [General/F&A/S&P]: 76 posts
  • Assistant Section Officer [General/F&A/S&P]: 368 posts

Caegory-wise break up of Vacancies

· Section Officer

· Assistant Section Officer

Preference for Posts/Cadres

Candidates will give their preference for the Posts viz. Section Officer (SO) and Assistant Section Officer (ASO) and Cadres viz. General (Gen), Finance & Accounts (F&A) and Stores & Purchase (S&P) in the Online application. “Allocation of cadre i.e. General, Finance & Accounts and Store & Purchase to the candidates from amongst select panel shall be decided by CSIR on merit cum preference”.

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Previous Year Questions

  • Last recruitment drive happened in 2013. Below are the links of Question Papers.

CSIR CASE 2013 Exam

  • Paper I Set A - Link
  • Paper II Set A - Link
  • Answer Key - Link

Video Explanation of CSIR CASE 2013 PYQs

  • H istory and Polity – Link
  • M anagement – Link
  • E conomy, Environment, and Current Affairs – Link
  • S cience and Geography – Link
  • English – Link
  • Reasoning & Mental Ability - Link

CSIR CASE SO /ASO Cut Off [For Interview]



Click here for the detailed video on previous year cut-off.

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