Govt goes for merit instead of age to empanel top railway officers | India News

NEW DELHI: For the first time, the Centre has gone for the merit-based empanelment of top railway officers, dumping the earlier norm of seniority-based empanelment. The Cabinet Committee on Appointment (ACC) has empaneled eight general managers (GMs), who are of additional secretary level, in the railways under the newly created Indian Railway Management Services (IRMS) based on their performance and future vision.
The ACC has deferred the application of four other officers for empanelment. There were a total 132 applications for such empanelment. Earlier, there was a rule that at least one officer from the eight railway cadres must be a GM, but this has been done away with since the creation of the IRMS, a move aimed at “removing departmentalism”.
Sources said the process of empanelment officers can be a template for other services.
“So, now age is not the criteria to get empanelled for the top posts in railways. It all depends on the capability, past performance and the future vision of the eligible applicants. We have introduced the ‘psychometric measurement of emotional intelligence quotient (EQ)’ of officers — on the lines of some corporates — who apply for their empanelment for these posts,” said a railway ministry official.
The first set of empanelment has created heartburn among railway officers who have so far been elite among the eight railway services as most of the officers empanelled are from engineering services.
The railway ministry in May had notified the creation of IRMS by merging 36 top posts in the railway administration, almost a year-and-a-half after the Union cabinet had approved this proposal.
The empanelment of officers will help the government fill the posts in the Railway Board. This will also enable the railway ministry to recommend the name for appointment as CEO and Railway Board chairman or for members post.
As per the new norm, the applicants mention the top three positions they would like to be selected for and they mention the top five contributions they can make for railways in their lifetime and in a given time frame. The psychometric assessment of officers is done by using standard tools to understand the EQ.
There are five scales for assessment. The first scale is self-perception on parameters of one’s strength, weakness, development needs, goals in life, self-confidence and ambitions. The second parameter of self-expression will include assertiveness and independence of thinking. The third scale for assessment will be interpersonal qualities and the fourth will be on decision making. The last scale will be stress management of the applicant.

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