The Principal Secretary in India denotes a government official of high seniority and is commonly found in the State governments in India. Principal Secretaries are the administrative heads of the all the departments of a state government such as Home, Finance, Revenue and Commerce etc.
Usually, in the Indian state governments a Principal Secretary ranks above a secretary but below the rank of Chief Secretary. While each state has only a single Chief Secretary, some senior officials may hold the rank of Chief Secretary and are designated as Additional Chief Secretaries or Special Chief Secretaries. Principal Secretaries are commonly drawn from the Indian Administrative Service and usually hold (but not always) the "above supertime scale" payscale.
In north eastern states and also some other states like Karnataka, usually Secretary in State Government i.e. equivalent to Joint Secretary to Government of India is appointed as and holds the post of Principal Secretary in State Government.
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