Railway Board revamp will see cut in strength

Government says this would help end “departmentalism”, while ensuring smooth working of the Railways.

Updated - December 25, 2019 12:21 pm IST

Published - December 25, 2019 12:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the restructuring of the Railway Board, including reduction in the Board strength as well as merger of the different cadres into a central service called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).

The government said this would help end “departmentalism”, while ensuring smooth working of the Railways.

“The Cabinet today approved restructuring of the Railways Board along functional line. The Railway Board started in 1905, and over a period of time, it has divided the management in several silos... Now all the 8,400 employees at the management level will come into the Railways through one service — the IRMS. We are modernising the legacy that railways has carried for so many years,” Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said.

The Board now consists of eight members, including the Chairman, from different service departments such as traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical and signal & telecom. “These services will now be unified under IRMS... [the move] will “break departmentalism and silos...and will set the path of Indian Railways to a high growth trajectory. We will create an organisation that will deliver results speedily...it will be unified and agile organisation that will take quick decisions. It will work single mindedly as one not divided into departments,” the Minister added.

Illustration: Sebastian Francis

Illustration: Sebastian Francis


The Board will now consist of five members – Chairman, who will act as a CEO, along with four members responsible for infrastructure, operations and business development, rolling stock and finance. There will also be a DG (HR) under the Chairman. The Board will also have some independent members, who will be highly distinguished professionals.

“The modalities and unification of the services will be worked out by the Ministry of Railways in consultation with DoPT with the approval of ‘alternate mechanism’ to be appointed by Cabinet in order to ensure fairness and transparency. The process shall be completed within a year,” the railways said.

Mr. Goyal added that the Railways will also upgrade the 27 GMs working at zonal levels and various production and specialised units. They “.... will be given apex grade... secretary level grade – highest in the government of India. We already have 10 secretary level posts in Indian Railways, 27 more will be added.”

The restructured Board will start functioning after approval of the Board taking due care to ensure that officers are posted in the restructured Board or adjusted in the same pay and rank till their retirement.

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