Govt clears restructuring of Railway Board; Vinod Yadav appointed first CEO

The current restructuring will be a zero-cost exercise and money will be saved by surrendering posts in the board and stopping duplication of works

Topics

Indian Railways | Railway Board | government of India


Shine Jacob  | 
New Delhi 

The government on Wednesday cleared the restructuring of the Railway Board and moving into a corporate model, thereby appointing Vinod Kumar Yadav as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Board.

Yadav is currently the chairman of the Railway Board. In was in December 2019 that the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal for restructuring of the board through a leaner structure on functional lines headed by the chairman and four members — covering infrastructure, operations, and business development, rolling stock, and finance. In addition, the board will also include sectoral experts from industry, finance, economics, and management fields. Based on the decision, the chairman will be the cadre controlling officer responsible for Human resources (HR) with assistance from a director-general (HR).

In addition to the CEO, Pradeep Kumar has been appointed member, infrastructure, PC Sharma as a member (traction and Rolling Stock), PS Mishra as a member (operations and business development), and Manjula Rangarajan as a member (finance). The appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC). Earlier, the Railway services were organised into various departments like traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical, signal and telecom, stores, personnel, and accounts. These departments are vertically separated from top to bottom and are headed by secretary-level officers called as ‘Members’ in the Railway Board

In the past 25 years, various committees, formed for reforming Railways, had recommended these reforms including – the Prakash Tandon Committee (1994), Rakesh Mohan Committee (2001), Sam Pitroda Committee (2012), and Bibek Debroy Committee (2015).

The current restructuring will be a zero-cost exercise and money will be saved by surrendering posts in the board and stopping duplication of works. The Railway Board had also decided the unification of the existing eight Group A services of the Railways into a central service called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS). It is expected that at a lower level, technical staff will become multitaskers, which may promote skilling and improvement in services.

The government has lined up a massive infrastructure development plan of Rs 50 trillion to modernise the national transporter in the next 12 years – improving safety, speed, and services. This requires speedy decision making by various departments.‘Departmentalism’ in Railways which was marked by inefficiency in work, infighting over control of assets and resources, and delay in decision making, according to the government.