Rashtriya Janta Dal(RJD)MP and member of Standing Committee of Railways, Manoj Kumar Jha has addressed a letter to Prime Minister Modi against the Centre’s decision to merge the eight railways services. The letter is dated 15 January and delves deep into a number of issues surrounding the merger of civil and technical railway services into a single Indian Management Service(IRMS).
The Indian Railway Traffic Service(IRTS), the Indian Railway Account Service(IRAS)and the Indian Railway Personnel Service(IRPS) do not have any physical assets and are by virtue of being civil services, neutral and impartial, Jha wrote in the letter.
Jha further added, “Merger of these services with cadres holding physical assets will erode the checks and balances of this mammoth organisation.”
It was during a surprise announcement made in December 2019, that the Narendra Modi government had declared its plan to bring about a merger of eight railways services to end departmentalism in the sector. The government underlined that such an action would lead to a comprehensive and smooth work culture and expedite decision making.
However, through his letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Manoj Jha said that such step isn’t effective in ending departmentalism because the UPSC would still be hiring people on the basis of specific domains like electrical, mechanical etc. as technical services, and finance, operations and human resource as general service. This implies that recruited officers would continue to be posted to separate departments and departments would continue to exist and this would neither put an end nor would it challenge departmentalism. He further underlined that the merger of civil services with recruits from ESE is incorrect because the recruitment rules, nature of examination, qualifications required, purpose of examination etc are all quite different. Changing the service conditions mid-way is against the principle of natural justice and the informed decision making done while applying for CSE, said Jha. The problem of departmentalism came to the forefront because for many years now, the posts of general managers in the Railways have been going to technical services. According to Jha, “The proposal for merger has been brought up without consensus and consent of non technical civil servants in particular whose representation at GM’s rank is only 3 out of 27. The government’s move has demotivated cadre officers across the country and must be reconsidered.”
Letter source – Manoj K Jha@Twitter