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Governance

Restructuring of Railway Board

  • 27 Dec 2019
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Union Cabinet has approved restructuring of the Railway Board.

  • The number of Railway Board members will be reduced to five from existing eight.
  • The eight railway services will be integrated into a central service called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS). All employees at the management level will come into the Railways through one service — the IRMS.
    • The Indian Railways is organised into service departments such as traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical, signal & telecom, stores, personnel, and accounts.
  • This is in line with the recommendations of numerous committees, notably Rakesh Mohan (2001) and the Bibek Debroy panel (2015).

Railway Board

  • The Railway Board was constituted in 1905 as the chief administrative and executive body to assist the Minister of Railways.
  • It consists of a Chairman and seven members from different service departments such as traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical and signal & telecom.

Restructured Board

  • 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 Directorate General - Human Resources (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 the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
  • The Railways will also upgrade the 27 General Managers (GMs) working at zonal levels to secretary level grade – highest in the government of India.

Objective

  • The integration of service departments will cut the clutter in decision making and organise the working of the Railway Board and its zones along more commercial lines. This will also end departmentalism.
    • The lack of coordination between the maintenance and traffic staff is said to have played a role in the Khatauli rail mishap near Muzaffarnagar in August 2017.
  • It will streamline railway operations and provide flexibility the way Railways deploy people. It is a step towards corporatisation.
    • Corporatisation refers to the restructuring or transformation of a state-owned asset or organization into a corporation.

Source: TH

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