Railway Board restructuring won’t hurt officers’ seniority, says chairman

Indian Railways
The various railway zones wanted the old system to be restored as it provided better convenience to passengers. | Representative Photo

Two days after the Union cabinet restructured the apex body of the Indian Railways by trimming its strength to half, and unifying its eight railways services into a central service called the Indian Railway Management Service, Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav said on Thursday (December 26) that all new recruits will be inducted through the UPSC civil services exams under five specialities.

The Cabinet had on Tuesday (December 24) approved the merger of its eight services into one – the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).

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Yadav said, just like aspirants to the UPSC, candidates aspiring to get into railways will have to appear for their prelims after which they will indicate their preference for IRMS under five specialities – four of them engineering specialities for technical operations comprising of civil, mechanical, telecom and electrical and one non-technical speciality which will recruit officers for accounts, personnel and traffic.

“The exact details will be worked out, but the thinking is like this – the aspirants take the prelim and then indicate their choices. They will be given an option to appear for IRMS also. We are going to send an indent specifying our recruitment for the five specialisations – four for engineers, including that of stores (department) and another for non-engineering in which anyone can come from the humanities side who will be utilised for manning the accounts, traffic and personnel service. All of them will be promoted at the same time,” said Yadav.

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He also clarified that the Chairman, Railway Board, who will also be the CEO of the national transporter, will be an officer of Indian Railway Service and not from any other service.

“Officers from Indian Railways who have experience of 35 years will only be posted as Chairman/CEO,” said Yadav, who is due for retirement by the end of this month.

He added that the decision to merge the services was to ensure that officers put railways first instead of their service which had become the case under the present system. “All officers would continue to work in their specialised services till modalities were worked out regarding cadre merger. We would ensure that not even a single officer is disadvantaged in their career progression,” said Yadav, amidst fears among officers that the merger of railway services would cost them seniority.

(With inputs from agencies)

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