Railway Board takes new avatar

Leaner board with four members; V.K. Yadav Chairman and new CEO

Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav has become the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Railways with Central government clearing the restructuring of the Board. Mr. Yadav, in his second year as the chairman, will continue to be in the post in addition to being the CEO with the Appointments Committee of the Union Cabinet releasing orders to this effect on Wednesday.

Four other members of the restructured Railway Board are — Pradeep Kumar as Member – Infrastructure, P.C Sharma as Member – Traction and Rolling Stock, P.S Mishra as Member – Operations and Business Development and Manjula Rangarajan as Member – Finance.

Rajesh Tiwari, who was earlier Railway Board Member for Traction, has been redesignated as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for Safety and he will succeed Mr. P.C. Sharma when the latter retires this month-end, the order said. Three posts of Member – Staff, Member – Engineering and Member – Materials Management have been surrendered while a new Director-General for Human Resources (HR) has been created.

All the Group 1 railway services dealing with traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecom, accounts, personnel and so on, will now merge into a single management cadre of IRMS or the Indian Railways Management Service with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) scheduled to conduct a separate examination from next year, top railway sources said on Thursday.

Recruitments for the top cadre of officers has been frozen this year and a Group of Ministers led by Home Minister Amit Shah and another committee of secretaries led by the Cabinet Secretary are looking into the cadre restructuring exercise and service records of the existing officers, they explained.

Eminent economist Bibek Debroy’s committee of 2015 and the earlier committees including those of nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar and economist Rakesh Mohan, which studied the functioning of the Indian Railways, had endorsed these reforms, it was pointed out. A massive multi-skilling and re-skilling of the second level technical cadre and other personnel is also on the anvil, they added.

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