Allaying fears of railway employees about possible hindrances in their carrier prospects due to restructuring of the Railway Board, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that different categories officers will have an equal opportunity to become a part of the Board.
"Officers will have an equal opportunity based on merit-cum-seniority to become a part of the Railway Board. Posts will not be fixed based on the officer's cadre," Goyal tweeted.
"We will have an Alternate Mechanism to ensure that the promotion and seniority of all 8,400 officers are protected," the minister added.
The Minister's assurances came following some officers raising concerns about losing seniority and facing hurdles in their career advancement after the government announced big structural reforms in the railways, merging its eight services.
Though social media, railway officers have voiced their concerns with the hashtag "No to IRMS", referring to the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS), the single services for all railways cadres approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
Separately, Railway Board chairman V K Yadav said all new recruits in railways will be inducted through the UPSC civil services exams under five specialities.
He said just like aspirants to the Union Public Service Commission, candidates aspiring to get into railways will have to appear for their prelims after which they will indicate their preference for IRMS under five specialities -- four of them engineering categories for 'technical' operations comprising of civil, mechanical, telecom and electrical, and one 'non-technical' speciality which will recruit officers for accounts, personnel and traffic.
The first batch will be recruited in 2021, while the new five-member board with merged officers will be in place by the middle of next year, officials said.
Yadav also clarified that the Chairman, Railway Board, who will also be the CEO of the national transporter, will be an officer of Indian Railway Management Service having 35 years of service and not from any other service.