Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts the Combined Graduate Level Exam (CGL) for recruiting candidates as Sub-Inspector in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) traces its origin to pre-independent India. It was formerly known as the Special Police Establishment (SPE) in 1941. SPE was formally christened as CBI in 1963. CBI comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances.

Hierarchy of officers in CBI

  • Director
  •  Special Director (SD)
  • Additional Director (AD)
  • Joint Director (JD)
  • Inspector General (IG)
  • Deputy Inspector General (DIG)
  • Superintendent (SP)
  • Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP)
  • Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP)
  • Inspector
  • Sub-Inspector


The total training period of SIs is two years. One year of training is conducted in the CBI Academy in Gaziabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP). The remaining period is spent when Officer Trainees (OTs) are attached to field offices, branches and with local police. This is an important part of the training, as it familiarize OTs with actual work milieu and responsibilities of CBI officers.

CBI is not tasked with day-to-day maintenance of law and order like state police forces. CBI investigates cases which are assigned to it either by government of a state, a high court or Supreme Court. Thus, most of the cases which CBI deals with are old, unsolved or high-profile. Assigning a case to CBI is seen by layman as a final solution to   unsolved mysteries.

In-service experience

An SI who was earlier posted at CBI’s Mumbai branch, on condition of anonymity, said, “It is an interesting job. The expectation from officers to perform is high. CBI has reputation as a premier investigation agency because of the faith citizens have in the  agency’s ability to bring culprits to books. The agency has been able to achieve this because of high standards of professionalism of its officers. ”

Over the years, CBI has been tasked with some sensational cases like the Harshad Mehta Scam of 1993, Satyam Scam, Serial Bomb Blast Case of 1993, Noida Double Murder case among others. CBI has also been part of larger initiatives like weeding out the Khalistan seperatist movement from Punjab. 

The SI said, “CBI functions through specialised divisions with branch offices in major metro cities. These sections investigate offences based on the nature of the crime like anti-corruption, economic offences, special crimes, banking scam and fraud cell.” He added, “SIs are posted in different branches. Initially they assist senior officers in investigating cases. They are later given responsibility of individual cases based on experience and past performance.”

Salaries and perks are similar to other government departments. Being part of a police organisation gives one an opportunity to work hard and be awarded illustrious honours like Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service (IPM) and President’s Police Medal (PPM). The IPM and PPM decorations are declared twice a year on the occasion of Republic day and Independence day. These are equivalent to peacetime decoration given to defence personnel like Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM).

Promotions in CBI are based on vacancies, seniority and annual performance reports. SIs can reach the rank of SP by the end of their career.
“It is a different career choice and an excellent opportunity to serve the nation”, the SI said.

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