Indian Railways Alert: PM Modi nominates Amit Shah headed six-member panel to merge eight Group A services

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Indian Railways Alert: In a bid to merge eight Group A services in the Indian Railways, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has nominated a six-member panel. The six-member panel will be headed by the Home Minister Amit Shah. After nomination, the Modi Government moved one step further after the cabinet approval for the same in December 2019. As per the Modi Government, the merger of eight Group A Indian Railway services will end departmentalism, promote smooth working culture and expedite decision making.
The six-member panel for the merger of eight Group A railways services will be headed by Amit Shah and the rest five members of the panel include Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Civil Aviation and Urban Development Minister Hardeep Puri and Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
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The panel will work out modalities for the unification of the services in consultation with the DoPT (Department of Personnel and Training). The panel will put a mechanism in place ensuring fairness to all service holders. After the merger, eight Group A Indian Railway services will be called Indian Railway Management Service. Currently, the Indian Railways is organised into departments such as traffic, civil, mechanical, electrical, signal & telecom, stores, personnel, and accounts. These departments are vertically separated and are each headed by a secretary-level officer (member) in the Railway Board.
The Indian Railways Group A officers are from the three services, which are recruited through the Union Public Service Commission’s civil services exam — the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) and the Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS). Those belonging to the technical services, although also recruited by the UPSC, appear for the Indian Engineering Services (IES) Exam.
Eight Group A railway services that will be merged are Indian Railway Traffic Service, Indian Railways Accounts Service, Indian Railways Personnel Service, Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers, Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers and Indian Railway Stores Services.
With all the services having highly specialised roles and varying eligibility criteria, it remains to be seen how the government will actually implement the merger.

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