Administrative reforms in Indian Railways
Why Indian Railways couldn’t achieve the reforms in the line of business organization is a different question, but surely it can be discussed how best IR can be approached towards a professionally oriented service business organization.
INDIAN RAILWAYS has been attempting to reform itself with the help of many commissions and committees from time to time unabatedly. Indeed, general public and valued customers are not happy with the achievements in respect of organization culture (OC) and organization development (OD) or organizationally as expected.
Why IR couldn’t achieve the same in the line of business organization is a different question, but surely it can be discussed how best IR can be approached towards a professionally oriented service business organization for the welfare of our dear customers, IR and also our nation.
It is just an attempt how best we can think and make IR as a business oriented service organization. I shall be happy if our learned members help to comment on the following idea as they please.
Core and peripheral or supportive organization
The existing set up of IR can be divided into two activities ie, core activity (CA) and peripheral or supportive activity (PA or SA).
The core activity (CA) will deal only earning of revenue, operation of passengers and goods train, accident relief train, dealing directly with the customers, freight charges and passengers’ fare structure, budget, over all policy matter of the IR etc. Research and design organization will also be under core activity.
Peripheral or supportive activity will deal all the functions other than core activities ie, new purchase and installation of assets and projects as the core group places order, maintenance of coach and wagon, diesel loco, signal and telecommunication, electrical assets both general service and over head electrification (OHE) including elect. Loco, security, medical, material management, education, training, infrastructure (road, building, track etc), will be operated through public-private partnership.
The personnel and finance will be under core management without any individual entity. Their service shall only be consultative and advisory to the core management.
All those peripheral or supportive organizations shall enjoy their own entity like a corporate house. But they will be under the shed of core management, Ministry of Railways and Government of India which will act like a holding company. The reasons are: (a) IR is to provide service to the interest of the people of our country, (b) Subsidy may be provided by the Government of India, if required by the core management group.
Ultimately, the Indian Railways will function with the core activities under Ministry of Railways and Government of India.
The employees of core group or management will be multi disciplinary oriented in addition to their individual expertise like mechanical, electrical and other branches except security and medical, from supervisor to officer of highest level. This will help to create an environment of total organizational interest reducing the individual department’s interest.
After Junior Administrative Grade (JAG), promotional preference should be given on MBA (specialized in finance, operation, HRD, marketing and market research, strategic planning etc) qualified persons and their performance track record. The avenue of promotion after JAG should be on common seniority with cross disciplinary postings.
Personnel and finance wing shall also be under the cross disciplinary postings with others. The purpose of this system is to generate a competitive environment for culmination of organizational integrity.
This is very important factor for any top executive, particularly from principal, head of the department to the chairman of the highest decision making body to show his / her efficiency right from the planning to return of investment or benefits of the organization. Therefore, it needs very careful planning of tenure for each step of in order of hierarchy. It is suggested that minimum three years to maximum five years should be in a post as per the importance and gravity of the position.