Railways Will Not Merge 8400 Officers Into Single Cadre; But Stops All Hiring For These Posts
In December 2019, the Cabinet (Railways) decided to set up a Management service association for Railways, which would constitute about 8400 serving Railway officers from different cadres, all in senior positions.
However, due to concerns regarding missing out on a natural career progression, the Railway Ministry has now drafted a new plan, as per which appointments for this Association might be extended only to generals and ex-cadre posts.
The new plan is currently under discussion. Until then, here is everything you need to know about the ‘alleged’ new (undergoing discussion) plan.
New Plan Devised for IRMS
The Railway Ministry, headed by Piyush Goyal has put in a new plan, discussing and reconsidering to initially merge about 8,400 Group A serving officers of Indian Railways, from 8 different cadres into a common seniority list of officers.
This idea, drafted in Dec 2019 was with a view of forming an association called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).
While the initial plan of setting up the IRMS is still very much active, the decision to merge serving officers is thoroughly being reconsidered and maybe shall be stripped off.
In its place, a new plan has been devised, as per which a panel might decide appointing all general or “ex-cadre” posts, for which an official from any department can be posted, like Chairman, Railway Board, etc.
Apart from these posts, General Managers, Additional General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers will fall under this category too.
Why is the Initial Plan Carved Off?
The initial proposal was strongly discredited by Indian Railways’ officials from departments like Traffic, Personnel and Accounts.
These officials are hired through the UPSC Civil Services examination, which due to its examination pattern, make these officials older in age as compared to their Engineering Services counterparts.
This reduces the opportunities for these civil services officers to bag top positions, as they often do not have enough tenure left for service or are past the eligible age.
So, the initial idea of merging all officers from different cadres turned out to be of resistance from these (Civil services) officers, as they feared that their promotion would be at a disadvantage with a common seniority list as compared to the ES candidates.
Thus, the Railway Board decided to appoint all its 650-odd general posts or ex-cadre posts, for a panel selection, according to the ‘alleged; new proposal.
Under New Proposal, Serving Officers Get Additional Opportunity
While the new proposal proposes the serving officials to continue getting promotions within their respective departments, as a part of natural career progression, it also allows these officers to compete for ex-cadre positions whenever eligible and go through the process of selection, shall they opt for it.
In such a case, the proposal reads out that such officials shall continue to perform their respective specialized jobs in their departments but will be termed IRMS officers.
This is done so that no officer misses out on the opportunity of career progression.
Whatever turns out to be the fate of this new proposal, we shall keep updated.