Railway Officers Oppose Decision to Merge Services, Write to PM

Indian Railways officers oppose decision to merge technical and non-technical services, write to PM Modi.

Published28 Dec 2019, 08:25 AM IST
2 min read

The move to merge eight different railway cadres into a unified Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS) has not gone down well with non-technical railway officials. Expressing their dissent, the officials have written to PM Modi, the Cabinet Secretary, Railway Minister, Railway Board Chairman and the Department of Personnel & Training.

The bold decision to reform the Indian Railways by merging different railway services into a single railway management service was approved by the cabinet in December 2019 as this was deemed to ensure smooth working of the Indian Railways.

A section of railways officers, however, have written letters on postcards from across the country that call the decision ‘unilateral’ and that it was taken without proper representation from non-technical railway officers inducted through civil services, reported The Indian Express. The officers have also urged the government to give them the option to change their services if the merger continued.

Among the eight different Railways services, accounts, personnel and traffic cadre are selected through UPSC and these can be attempted by people from ‘non-technical’ and humanities background. Meanwhile, electrical, mechanical, engineering, stores, signalling and telecom (S&T) officers are selected through Indian Engineering Service (IES).

Non-technical officers pointed out in their letters that, recruits from UPSC have the acumen for managerial and administrative posts and that “…merging technical and non-technical services will devalue the managerial post, which acts as guidance of public funds for the public good,” reported The Indian Express.

Officials have argued that the merging would be unfair to the non-technical staff as the exam and the nature of work of the departments is very different.

A video conference held by the chairman of Railway Board held on Thursday, 26 December, to address the issue reportedly did nothing to convince the angry officials to change their stand.

“How can the CRB, in a video conference with all railway officers, claim that traffic officers do nothing? That they don’t maintain or nurture any assets. That they don’t footplate or visit accident sites, they don’t do inspections, etc. It is very partisan and demotivating,” an official told The Indian Express after attending the video conference.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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