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brazen-discrimination-in-railway-board-is-pmo-watching-

Brazen discrimination in Railway Board: Is PMO watching?

During the COVID crisis, when officers are not able to travel and present their cases to higher authorities, the Chairman Railway Board is being blamed by several officers for discrimination and departmentalism; though Railway itself is a department comprising various cadres and services. While blaming the CRB they talk facts and examples as well.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister, approved the promotion of four Mechanical officers to the grade of Additional Member, which is a post equivalent to General Managers. Yet, one officer, A K Kathpal, the Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer of ICF, has been denied the elevation on the ground that there is a Vigilance case against him.

Even as the spate of vigilance cases against ICF officers involved in making the Train 18 have reached nowhere near conclusion, just a case in the initial stage is being used as a ploy to deny promotion to a senior officer.

The rules in this matter are very clear. Unless the vigilance case has reached finality and unless the Central Vigilance Commission has recommenced departmental proceedings against an officer, he cannot be denied promotion. Further, aas per CVC guidelines any complaint within 6 months of vacancy is not to be taken cognizance of.

In  Kathpal’s case the DPC was sent to ACC in April 2020 whereas the vigilance case now cited is much earlier. His case has not even been sent to the CVC. Yet, his promotion has been withheld and the Railway Ministry is planning to send a report to the ACC that Kathpal cannot be promoted. It is a complete mockery of ACC though it is unlikely that the ACC will agree to this nefarious design since the vigilance case existed against Kathpal even when his name was sent for empanelment as an Additional Member to the ACC.

The so-called ‘ism’, if any, is clear from the fact that the same yardstick has not been applied in the case of Electrical Officers. N K Gupta, the Principal Chief Electrical Engineer of ICF was promoted to Additional Member grade even when there were two vigilance cases pending against him. D P Dash, another Electrical officer, who was the Chief Electrical Design Engineer of ICF also had two vigilance cases against him, yet he was granted the Higher Administrative Grade. Two more Electrical Officers of ICF, Amitabh Singhal and Praveen Chauhan were promoted to Senior Administrative Grade in spite of vigilance cases against them.

O P Khare, a Stores Officer, who was the Principal Chief Materials Manager of ICF was allowed to retire with full benefits even as he had a vigilance case against him. 

The ‘ism’ is also evident from his propensity to post Electrical Officers on key posts not identified for the Electrical department. Sudhir Kumar an Additional Member in Railway Board is holding three posts of Additional Members, Planning, Electrification and Transformation. Navin Kumar, another Electrical Officer is holding two posts of Establishment Branch, Executive Director Gazetted Cadre and Joint Secretary Confidential, posts which were traditionally held by Personnel department officers. Yet another Electrical Officer, P C Lochab, is occupying the Establishment post of Railway Sports Control Board.

It is being said that Kathpal’s promotion is being denied to build a precedent to deny promotion to another Mechanical officer to the post to Additional Member or Secretary Railway Board. If the ACC agrees to these manipulations of the Ministry of Railways, it will not only be demoralizing for the officers in general,  it will also violate existing rules on vigilance cases.

23 May 2020
railway-board-to-give-option-to-officers-to-opt-out-of-rms

Railway Board to give option to officers to opt-out of RMS

In an attempt to calm down unease among Indian Railways officials, Railway Board has decided to give an option to officers in the service of not opting for the unified cadre. Indian Railways’ officers see this initiative as unfair because this will merge eight distinct services which at present are divided on the basis of domain expertise.

The new service will come up as Indian Railway Management Service (RMS). There are around 8,400 Group A service officers in Indian Railways. Civil services officers from thirteen railway zones submitted a memorandums in January to the Railway Board Chairman and PMO saying the decision will negatively impact the safety of train operations and also affecting careers of 2,500 civil services officers.

The Union cabinet in December last year approved restructuring by trimming Railway Board’s strength from eight to four and unifying its eight railways services into a central service in a bid to reform the Railway Board.

15 Feb 2020
brazen-discrimination-in-railway-board-is-pmo-watching-

Brazen discrimination in Railway Board: Is PMO watching?

By IndianMandarins 23 May 2020

During the COVID crisis, when officers are not able to travel and present their cases to higher authorities, the Chairman Railway Board is being blamed by several officers for discrimination and departmentalism; though Railway itself is a department comprising various cadres and services. While blaming the CRB they talk facts and examples as well.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister, approved the promotion of four Mechanical officers to the grade of Additional Member, which is a post equivalent to General Managers. Yet, one officer, A K Kathpal, the Principal Chief Mechanical Engineer of ICF, has been denied the elevation on the ground that there is a Vigilance case against him.

Even as the spate of vigilance cases against ICF officers involved in making the Train 18 have reached nowhere near conclusion, just a case in the initial stage is being used as a ploy to deny promotion to a senior officer.

The rules in this matter are very clear. Unless the vigilance case has reached finality and unless the Central Vigilance Commission has recommenced departmental proceedings against an officer, he cannot be denied promotion. Further, aas per CVC guidelines any complaint within 6 months of vacancy is not to be taken cognizance of.

In  Kathpal’s case the DPC was sent to ACC in April 2020 whereas the vigilance case now cited is much earlier. His case has not even been sent to the CVC. Yet, his promotion has been withheld and the Railway Ministry is planning to send a report to the ACC that Kathpal cannot be promoted. It is a complete mockery of ACC though it is unlikely that the ACC will agree to this nefarious design since the vigilance case existed against Kathpal even when his name was sent for empanelment as an Additional Member to the ACC.

The so-called ‘ism’, if any, is clear from the fact that the same yardstick has not been applied in the case of Electrical Officers. N K Gupta, the Principal Chief Electrical Engineer of ICF was promoted to Additional Member grade even when there were two vigilance cases pending against him. D P Dash, another Electrical officer, who was the Chief Electrical Design Engineer of ICF also had two vigilance cases against him, yet he was granted the Higher Administrative Grade. Two more Electrical Officers of ICF, Amitabh Singhal and Praveen Chauhan were promoted to Senior Administrative Grade in spite of vigilance cases against them.

O P Khare, a Stores Officer, who was the Principal Chief Materials Manager of ICF was allowed to retire with full benefits even as he had a vigilance case against him. 

The ‘ism’ is also evident from his propensity to post Electrical Officers on key posts not identified for the Electrical department. Sudhir Kumar an Additional Member in Railway Board is holding three posts of Additional Members, Planning, Electrification and Transformation. Navin Kumar, another Electrical Officer is holding two posts of Establishment Branch, Executive Director Gazetted Cadre and Joint Secretary Confidential, posts which were traditionally held by Personnel department officers. Yet another Electrical Officer, P C Lochab, is occupying the Establishment post of Railway Sports Control Board.

It is being said that Kathpal’s promotion is being denied to build a precedent to deny promotion to another Mechanical officer to the post to Additional Member or Secretary Railway Board. If the ACC agrees to these manipulations of the Ministry of Railways, it will not only be demoralizing for the officers in general,  it will also violate existing rules on vigilance cases.

railway-board-to-give-option-to-officers-to-opt-out-of-rms

Railway Board to give option to officers to opt-out of RMS

By IndianMandarins 15 Feb 2020

In an attempt to calm down unease among Indian Railways officials, Railway Board has decided to give an option to officers in the service of not opting for the unified cadre. Indian Railways’ officers see this initiative as unfair because this will merge eight distinct services which at present are divided on the basis of domain expertise.

The new service will come up as Indian Railway Management Service (RMS). There are around 8,400 Group A service officers in Indian Railways. Civil services officers from thirteen railway zones submitted a memorandums in January to the Railway Board Chairman and PMO saying the decision will negatively impact the safety of train operations and also affecting careers of 2,500 civil services officers.

The Union cabinet in December last year approved restructuring by trimming Railway Board’s strength from eight to four and unifying its eight railways services into a central service in a bid to reform the Railway Board.

railways:-board-to-be-restructured,-various-services-will-be-merged-into-a-single-cadre

Railways: Board to be restructured, various services will be merged into a single cadre

By IndianMandarins 24 Dec 2019

The Union Cabinet, on Tuesday, approved the restructuring of the Railway Board. The Board will now have a Chairperson and four Members. Presently, Railway Board has a Chairperson and seven Members. Further, the Cabinet also decided the merger of different cadres into a single Railway Management System.

Instead 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.

Indian Railways will now have a single cadre i.e. Indian Railway Service, instead of current eight services for various departments including Engineering, Traffic, Mechanical and Electrical.


Will new CRB be from IAS or private sector? CLICK TO READ

dopt-clears-rr:-appointment-for-15-am-posts-expected-shortly

DOPT clears RR: Appointment for 15 AM posts expected shortly

By IndianMandarins 10 Dec 2019

If some top sources at DOPT are to be believed the department has cleared the Recruitment Rules (terms and norms) for 15 newly created posts of Additional Member in Railway Board. Reportedly, the approval reached Rail Bhawan last Saturday triggering speculations that Railway Board will start its bit to fill these posts.

Indianmandarins had on November 29 reported (CLICK TO READ) that Ministry of Railways had sent a proposal to the Department of Personnel & Training for its approval on Recruitment Rules (RR).

It may be mentioned that in a cadre restructuring approx 15 new posts of Additional Member (HAG+ level, same as GM) were created in March this year. of 15 newly created posts; IRAS earned 2 posts; IRSE, IRSEE & IRSME earned 03 posts each whereas IRPS, IRTS, IRSS & IRSSE earned 01 post each. In addition, approx. 5 posts of Additional Member are already lying vacant which too may filled up together with newly created posts.

Senior officers belonging to eight different services may stay hopeful for career progression which was hanging in balance since April this year.

crb-appointment:-pmo-keeps-a-tab-on-maneuvering

CRB Appointment: PMO keeps a tab on maneuvering

By IndianMandarins 08 Nov 2019

Maneuvering in Indian bureaucracy sometimes provides more spice than the real politic. Appointment of the next CRB and efforts to get extension to the outgoing CRB Vinod Kumar Yadav (IRSEE:1980) appear to have set the stage for a new drama unfolding. The matter has gathered importance also because this time only a couple of senior officials have the eligibility to become Chairman of Railway Board. If some top sources are to be believed, PMO too is silently watching the matter.

Indianmandarins has reliably learnt that vigilance department has started its attempt to explore avenues which may go against East Central Railway, GM, L C Trivedi (IRSME:1983) who is considered to be the most eligible candidate to succeed Yadav who is retiring December this year. Trivedi has a fair career record and is considered to have competence and administrative acumen among the present lot with almost 20 months of service remaining. Senior Railways officials say that Trivedi is a close relative of former CRB and incumbent Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani and that’s enough for his opponents to join hands together.

Though extension to CRBs in recent past failed to yield desired outcome but the outgoing CRB Yadav may get an extended tenure. Reportedly, Yadav is known for his fair service records and has been synergetic with the higher ups which may help him securing extension.

The other strong claimant for the top job is Vidya Bhushan (IRSME:1983), GM of East Coast Railway who has 22 months before he retires.

But what appears worth underlining is vigilance angle which is not so surprising. If some well-placed sources are to be believed Trivedi is likely to be trapped in a Vigilance case even though he did play crucial role to roll out Vande Bharat Express. 

five-member-panel-on-privatization-of-railway-stations-&-trains

Five-member panel on privatization of railway stations & trains

By IndianMandarins 11 Oct 2019

Railways ministry has constituted a five-member committee in the chairmanship of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to look into the matter of privatization of railway stations and trains on various routes. The committee has to look into the matter of developing 50 stations across the country as world class besides handing over 150 trains to private operators for better service.

Other members in the group included chairman of Railway Board, finance commissioner, finance and urban development secretaries and member of railway board besides some other members. The committee has been asked to complete its work and submit its report in one year.

Proposal to constitute such a committee was given to the railways ministry by NITI Aayog only. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had written a letter to Railway Board chairman Vinod Yadav in this regard in which dissatisfaction was expressed over the development of stations and suggestions were given to take some measures.

kashinath-takes-over-as-member-(s&t)-railway-board

Kashinath takes over as Member (S&T) Railway Board

By IndianMandarins 17 Apr 2019

N Kashinath (IRSSE:1980), on Tuesday, took over as Member (Signal &Telecom) Railway Board. Prior to this, he served (Since August 2018) Railway Board as DG (Signal & Telecom). 

who-will-succeed-lohani-as-next-crb;-chaubey-or-agrawal?

Who will succeed Lohani as next CRB; Chaubey or Agrawal?

By IndianMandarins 21 Dec 2018

As usual the top echelons of power would not open their cards relating to the next Railway Board Chairman or relating to the fate of outgoing CRB Ashwani Lohani retiring this month but several theories have been doing rounds.

 

As the story goes most of the senior-members of Railway Board are left with less than a year to retire which is considered mandatory for the top job. Among vocal claimants are Ghanshyam Singh (Member, Traction) retiring in May 2019; S N Agrawal (Member, Staff) retiring in June 2019 whereas A K Prasad (Financial Commissioner) and Girish Pillai (Member, Traffic) will be retiring in March and July 2019 respectively.

 

The remaining two, Member (Engineering) Vishwesh Choubey (IRSE:1980) and Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agrawal (IRSME:1980), have residual service of more than a year. But seniority issue appeared to have become the bone of contention.

 

As per the laid down norm, seniority is decided by a GM panel which places Vishwesh Chaubey, who joined Railway Board after Rajesh Agarwal, senior to Agarwal.  He has thus said to have emerged as the most prospective and plausible claimant to become Chairman of Railway Board.

 

But all would depend on the mood swings of the NaMo administration. It is to be seen whether it goes for extension/re-appointment of Lohani beyond 31 December 2018.

 

Recently, both IB and RAW chiefs were given six months extension.  So, everyone is seen guessing. Indianmandarins has learnt that Lohani would be drafted for some special assignment under Ministry of Civil Aviation before his retirement. 

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