Railway exam new pattern, 8 services merged to form single group
Ground Report | New Delhi: Railway exam new pattern; In December 2019, with an aim to end ‘departmentalism’ on railways, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) combined all eight railway services into one single IRMS (Indian Railway Management Service) UPSC took charge to administer the railway service test. The first UPSC test for IRMS was held in 2021. Officers were recruited through the Civil Service exam.
On February 9, 2022, the Ministry of Railways has notified that the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS) will integrate the eight existing services of the national transporter. The ministry issued a gazette notification.
‘In pursuance of the decision of the Cabinet dated 24.12.2019, a new Group ‘A’ Central Service named Indian Railway Management Service will be created,’ the notification read. In December 2019, with an aim to end ‘departmentalism’ in Railways, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the merger of eight existing Group A services into a single unified central service, IRMS.
It said that 27 posts of GMs have been upgraded to the top grade. It will be ensured that the eligible officers of all erstwhile services get the top grade post of General Manager. It has been mentioned in the approved cabinet note that only officers of IRMS will be eligible to become functional members and Chairman/CEO of the Railway Board.
The merged services are:
- Indian Railway Service of Engineers.
- Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers
- Indian Railway service of Electrical Engineers
- Indian Railway Traffic Service
- Indian Railway Stores Service
- Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers
- Indian Railway Personnel Service
- Indian Railway Accounts Services
The integration would mean that only two departments are left with the Railways, namely, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Medical Services Department (MSD). Proposed under the then Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the reforms will be done at all levels from Junior Scale to Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) Plus.
Under this, 27 General Manager (GM) posts have been upgraded to ‘Top’ grade. Promotion of eligible officers to the top grade under the erstwhile services will also be ensured. Also, only IRMS officers will be eligible to become functional members/CEOs of the Railway Board.
According to an official statement by Railways, “it is also brought to the notice of the candidates that under the provisions the number of candidates to be called for NTPC Phase 2 examination is only 10 times the sanctioned strength of posts. The rule of calling 10 times the number of posts to protect the interests of the candidates has been increased to 20 times the number of vacancies in CEN 1/2019 when shortlisting is done at all levels. It has been ensured that the meritorious candidates are not deprived of the opportunity.
“An eligible candidate will have to appear for each separate corresponding 2nd stage CBT as per his/her eligibility and option, he/she will be selected and the final appointment will be against one post only. Hence the question of depriving any deserving candidate of selection does not arise, said the ministry railways added further.
A massive outrage was witnessed and people took to social media after the Modi government approved the decision of merging 8 existing rail services into a single Indian Railways Management Service. Social media was full of posts and opinions calling the merging unfair. Cadres were also outraged at the sudden decision.
Officers from the Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS), the Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS), and the Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS), all of which are recruited through the Union Public Service Commissions’ civil services exam, have strongly opposed the merger with the technical services.
IRMS Recruitment through UPSC CSE Exam
Efforts have been made to complete the integration as soon as possible. The officers will continue to do what they are doing now. Domain knowledge will be taken into account while deciding to post. Prospective recruitment to IRMS will be done through UPSC (Civil Services) in consultation with UPSC and DoPT.
The reforms suggested by various committees from time to time including Prakash Tandon Committee (1994) have been extensively adopted. The decision of integration was taken based on the sentiments and suggestions of officials at all levels during the ‘Parivartan Seminar’ held on 07 and 08 December 2019 in New Delhi. These changes were also suggested by all the groups formed under GM during the symposium. The suggestions were unanimously agreed upon by the Railway Board.
For the restructuring of railways, 8 railway departments (IRTS, IRPS, IRAS, IRSE, IRSME, IRSEE, IRSSE and IRSS) were being merged.
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