Cabinet approves restructuring of Railway Board

Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal brief the media on cabinet decisions at PIB conference hall

Aimed at bringing total reforms in the functioning of the Indian Railways, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the complete restructuring of the Railway Board by reducing its strength from current eight to five members including the chairman and merging its different cadres into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS).

Removing the current system of Railway Board Members for Traffic, Rolling Stock, Traction and Engineering, the newly constituted Board will have Members for Operation, Business Development, Human Resources, Infrastructure and Finance, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Terming the decision as a major reform introduced by the NDA government, Goyal said that unification of services will end "departmentalism, promote the smooth functioning of railways expedite decision making".  

The chairman will also serve as the chief executive officer and will also be responsible for human resources management.

There will be some independent members, who will be appointed by the government.

Instead of current eight Group A services including Engineering, Personnel, Accounts, Traffic, Mechanical and Electrical, Indian Railways will have only one cadre unified Group A Services— Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS). Similarly, Indian Railways Medical Service (IRMS) will be called as Indian Railways Health Service (IRHS).

The Cabinet also decided to provide secretary grade to general managers, heading Railway Zones.

The Railways will also now have just two departments— Railway Protection Force and Medical Service Department— with all its other departments coming under one Railway Management System.

Several committees including latest one was the Bibek Debroy Committee on Indian Railways in 2015 had suggested the restructuring of the Railway Board to end turf war among different departments.

1. Railway board have 5 members including Chairman

2. Board chairman will also be Chief Executive Officer and handle human resources management.

3.Govt to appoint independent directors to the board.

4.Unification of existing 8 group A services into one- Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS).

5.USPC to recruit IRMS from 2021.

6. General managers' posts in zones to be upgraded to Secretary ranks. 

7. Future recruitment will be engineers and non engineer as per requirement.

8. New post Director General for Human Resources management created.

9. Unification different services will be made by the Railway Ministry within one year period.

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