New Delhi: In a major policy change, young officers of the Indian Railways will now have to spend first 10 years of their service in the field before being eligible to be posted at the headquarters, the Railway Board has said.
Currently, even new officers could be posted at the headquarters.
Sources said the decision has been taken to ensure that officers have enough experience at the field-level before making their way to cushy posts in the HQ.
“In order to ensure adequate exposure of field working to Direct Recruit Group ‘A’ Railway officers, it has been decided that for the initial 10 years of their service, directly recruited Group ‘A’ Railway Officers shall normally be posted in field and shall not be posted in the headquarters,” the order issued by the Railway Board said.
Notably, addressing a meeting after a derailment in Andhra Pradesh recently, Railway Board Chairman A K Lahoti had asked general managers and divisional railway managers from across India to go to the accident sites themselves and seek solutions.
“Field postings are strenuous and demanding and is more productive for railways. It also readies young officers for challenges that they might encounter and help in their decision-making,” the officials said explaining the idea behind the decision.
Another officer said it has been felt that decision makers in the national transporter have increasingly become detached from realities on the ground.
“Initial postings on the field will make them equipped with ground realities. Also, they will learn how to live in rural areas where often even the basic amenities are missing,’ he said.
The Railway Board order issued February 21 also stated that an officer could be posted in the headquarters (HQ) only in case of exceptional compelling reasons with the approval of the general manager concerned.
The group-A officers of Railways run the entire machinery, right from train running to policy formulation to technical aspects to revenue collections. These officers are recruited through the highest recruitment body – Union Public Service Commission.
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