Performance, Not Seniority, To Now Be The Sole Criterion For Promotion To Key Railway Posts

by Arun Kumar Das - Nov 16, 2020 12:45 PM +05:30 IST
Performance, Not Seniority, To Now Be The Sole Criterion For Promotion To Key Railway Posts
Indian Railways prunes services.
Snapshot
  • It is a bold act to decide that seniority will no longer be the eligibility for promotion to key posts at Divisional, Zonal and Board levels.

    The posts of DRM, GM and Board Members are crucial in railway functioning, as these officials are expected to make a turnaround in the public behemoth, which is passing through a hard time.

Discarding the age-old practice of seniority as a major criterion for promotion to higher posts, Indian Railways will now focus on performance, for selection to key positions such as Divisional Railway Managers, General Managers and Board Members.

In a reform-driven initiative, the Railways will fill up key posts with senior officers who are performers, as the national transporter has amended the selection procedure to have the best persons with proven track records on the job, said a senior Railway Ministry official aware of the development.

The proposal to set up a selection panel has been sent to the Group of Secretaries who would forward it to the Group of Ministers with its recommendations for final approval.

Once it gets the approval, the proposal would be implemented with right earnestness, having a far-reaching effect on railway functioning, officials said.

It is a bold act to decide that seniority would no longer be the eligibility for promotion to key posts at Divisional, Zonal and Board levels.

The posts of DRM, GM and Board Members are crucial in railway functioning, as these officials are expected to make a turnaround in the public behemoth, which is passing through a hard time because of various reasons.

While passenger revenue has hit an all-time low due to less train operations, freight operations is somehow steady.

According to data, passenger earnings have decreased by over Rs 30,000 crore as of now, as compared to the corresponding period last year.

There is a need for an innovative approach to boost loadings as well as streamline passenger sector to soften the Covid-19 impact.

Railways has already decided to merge the eight rail services into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS) for which preparatory measures are under way.

Though this decision was not received well by the civil services in the Indian Railways, especially the Traffic, Personnel and Accounts services, nevertheless, for the public transporter, there is no going back.

According to Railways, many aspects of management are still being worked out and the best feasible decision in the interest of the Indian Railways would be taken.

In 2019, the Cabinet had decided that an IRMS will be set up so as to put an end to the “departmentalism” and the “culture of silos” in the Indian Railways.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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