Cabinet approves unification of 8 railway services to end ‘departmentalism’, smooth operation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Cabinet approves unification of 8 railway services to end ‘departmentalism’, smooth operation

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Dec 24, 2019 09:26 PM IST

The cabinet committee on economic affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved the restructuring of the powerful Railway Board, which will now have four members and a chairperson.

The Union cabinet on Tuesday announced the eight existing Group A services of the Indian Railways will be merged to form a unified central service, Indian Railway Management Service, to end “departmentalism”.

Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal during a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal during a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The cabinet committee on economic affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also approved the restructuring of the powerful Railway Board, which will now have four members and a chairperson.

“The restructuring will ensure the end of departmentalism and smooth operations,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

The government also said in a statement that the unification of services will promote “smooth working of the railways, expedite decision making, create a coherent vision for organisation and promote rational decision making”.

“Unification of services has been recommended by various committees for reforming Railways including - the Prakash Tandon Committee (1994), Rakesh Mohan Committee (2001), Sam Pitroda Committee (2012) and Bibek Debroy Committee (2015),” the Press Bureau of Information said in a statement.

The existing eight services are the Indian Railway Service of Engineers, (IRSE), Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS), Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE), Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) and Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS),

Instead of Railway Board Members for Traffic, Rolling Stock, Traction and Engineering, the newly constituted board will have five members which will include Members for Operation, Business Development, Infrastructure and Finance among others.

The railways will also now have just two departments—Railway Protection Force and Medical Service Department—with all its other departments coming under the Indian Railway Management System.

It is now proposed to create a unified Group A’ service called “Indian Railways Management Service” (IRMS) from the next recruitment cycle.

The government statement said that the creation of the new service will be done in consultation with the department of personnel and training (DoPT) and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to facilitate recruitment in the next recruitment year.

“It will enable Railways to recruit engineers/non-engineers as per need, and offer equality of opportunity to both categories in career progression. 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,” it said.

“The process shall be completed within a year.”

The committee headed by economist Debroy had said in its report that the Indian Railways’ centralised structure and departmentalisation were adversely affecting the national transporter’s work culture and narrowing its approach to department-specific goals.

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