New Delhi: A committee of secretaries has been constituted to look into the modalities of the merger of the eight railway services, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said.
He also said posts could be created at the senior levels to ensure that the merger doesn’t hamper anyone’s career.
Speaking about the committee of secretaries formed last week, Yadav said it is being headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. Its members include Yadav, the secretaries of the departments of personnel and training, expenditure, and law.
The committee will be studying the modalities and then report to the Group of Ministers (GoM), which will take a final call on how to go about with the merger.
In December last year, the Narendra Modi government had approved the merger of eight existing rail services into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS), saying the move “will end the culture of working in ‘silos’ and mark the beginning of a new and unified railway with a coherent vision for the future”.
However, anticipating that the move would lead to some resentment and it will take time to look into the modalities, the government has set a timeline of one year to implement the merger.
To ensure that nobody’s career growth is hindered by the move, Yadav said, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) could ensure that posts are created at the senior levels.
“We will ensure that no officer is pulled down due to the merger,” he said.
“We will also revamp the selection process to posts entirely… The appointment will be strictly on merit and experience, and not on the basis of service, etc.,” he added.
“The modalities will also not be fixed up without discussions… Drafts of these modalities will be discussed before they are implemented.”
‘No service will be disadvantaged’
The decision to merge the eight services had sparked massive outrage, with officers from three of the old services — Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) and Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) — calling the decision arbitrary, unfair and demotivating.
The officers of these three services, who are selected through the Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC, as opposed to the Indian Engineering Service Exam, fear that after the merger of the eight services engineers will be allowed to man managerial posts, while they will not be able to man posts meant for engineers.
Additionally, since civil servants join the service at a later age of 26-27 (as opposed to engineering service officers who join at 23-24), they fear the engineering service officers will climb up the hierarchical ladder faster, and will serve for a longer time.
“It is these very concerns that are being addressed by the committee of secretaries,” Yadav said, adding, “No service will be disadvantaged.”