Mamata scraps 'Railway Chair' at IIM-Ahmedabad

Mamata scraps 'Railway Chair' at IIM-Ahmedabad

It had been a wasteful expenditure, says Railway Ministry

 Lalu Prasad lectures IIMA students in Ahmedabad in this Sept 18, 2006 file picture. AP

Discontinuing the chair, the Railway Ministry has said that it had been a “wasteful expenditure.” Though the chair had a five-year lifeline, sources in Rail Bhavan told Deccan Herald that a review had suggested that it had failed to deliver the necessary result and would therefore be scrapped.

Following an invitation by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) to discuss with its students the amazing turn around the Railways had accomplished during his tenure, Lalu set up the “railway chair” at the institution in 2006.

The chair was given the task of conducting research at the infrastructure and management of the railways, evolve new ideas to improve its profitability and to train officials.
For about Rs 13 Lakh towards salary and expenses paid to the chair, the ministry had received just one report in the last three years.

“The report had replicated the data from the ministry and there was nothing great in it,” the source said. The “turn around” of the railways during Lalu Prasad’s tenure had evoked positive responses from management institutions, with the several top notch business schools like Wharton and Harvard students lining up to hear him.

‘Management Guru’

Basking in the new found glory of ‘Management Guru’, Lalu gave lectures in many of the institutions, about his formula for success. However his successor to the ministry, Ms Banerjee, was less than impressed by the accomplishments. She had not only ordered a white paper on operational, organisational and financial performance of the ministry during Lalu’s tenure, but had also vowed to launch an enquiry into the recruitment drive that had taken place during his time. As soon as Banerjee assumed charge, she shunted out several top officials from Rail Bhavan who were considered close to Lalu.

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