The IRPS comes under the group A gazette services. It is one of the central services under the ministry of railways, Government of India. As the name suggests, the IRPS officers are concerned with the management of human resources of the railway department.
The cadre of IRPS came into being in late 1976. So the IRPS cadre is duly considered one of the latest entries into the list of civil services.
The IRPS cadre is very small in itself, consisting of a small number of officers, around 400 in its official service group. The posting to IRPS cadre is offered to candidates who have successfully cleared all three rounds of UPSC civil service examination, namely the prelims, mains, and the interview round. Based on the final order of merit and ranking, officers are inducted into the IRPS cadre. Here we discuss the training offered to IRPS officers, their career progression, various postings they enjoy, and their respective pay scales.
Training offered to selected candidates
Probationary officers selected after successful completion of the CSE process are inducted directly into the training curriculum of the IRPS cadre. The comprehensive training concludes after intensive 93-week training. The fifteen-week training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for administration ends at 15 weeks at Mussourie. The details of the specialized training are explained here under:
- High level training for officers is carried over a series of back to back sessions at various places beginning with the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) located at Vadodara. This is then followed up again with a specialized training curriculum back at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussourie. This is then carried over to National Academy for Direct Taxes (NADT) at Nagpur. This session of combined training gives way to a new set of training curriculums.
- Inducts are taken on fieldwork to premier management institutions and establishments. Here they are provided in-house officer training on managing human resources and personnel through live sessions and interactive engagements.
- Applying this knowledge with respect to the HR coordination of Indian railways is the next step of the training process. Inducts are assigned to significant and performing divisions of the Indian railways for field training and on-job specific training.
The IRPS officers serve in various positions in the personnel department of the railway division. They serve in multiple roles under the railway board commission, under the guidelines of the establishment directorate of railways division. They are also posted in various divisions at the zonal and divisional levels. Apart from these roles, they serve as functionaries in workshop units and railway production wings. They are assigned various roles such as deputy general manager, divisional and additional divisional general manager, general manager, etc.
At the supreme level of the ministry of railways, member staff is the highest level of posting offered. He is further assisted by junior cadre officers, namely the director-general of personnel for Indian Railways. He is also assisted by two other serving officers, the additional member of staff and the additional member for industrial relations. In the specific ranking, both the latter officers serve under the designation of additional secretary to the government. Below this performing level come the strata of principal executive directors, directors, and joint directors. There are also deputy directors assigned in the same strata who serve as part of the railway board. There are 16 zonal railway divisions headed by a single principal chief personnel officer (PCPO). The Indian railways have major establishments in the form of production units and factories, which are all headed by the PCPO.
Roles and Responsibilities of IRPS officers
Managing personnel and human resources recruited to the Indian Railways, apart from tendering and leveraging collaborative industrial relations, are some of the primary tasks of an IRPS officer. Apart from this, settling court matters, handling claims, and customer settlements/ dues are some of the other roles performed by IRPS officers. The important responsibilities of IRPS officers are listed below:
- Recruitment, induction, and training personnel into the Railway departments.
- Identifying personnel vacancies in various departments.
- Handling promotions and allotting seniority to cadres based on performance appraisals and seniority factors.
- Conducting surveys on possible transfers and posting for the current financial year.
- Handling the payments section of personnel, sorting out, and assessing their wages and perks. Allocating grade pays according to respective grades.
- Encouraging employee interactions and communications with the railway board members.
- Participation in industrial relations development and establishment of an efficient automated grievance redressal mechanism that is fully operative and well administered.
- Overseeing the correct implementation of labor laws and ensuring the welfare activities of workers and employees of Indian Railways.
- Legal regulations regarding work enforcements of railway employees.
- Handling and looking after pension regulations issue of pension disbursal to retired employees.
- Civil welfare activities of employees such as establishment and governing infrastructure and essentials of residential colonies and quarters. Ensuring facilities to them, such as canteen stores, societies, recreation centers, access to education, hospitals, and cultural/ religious institutions.
- Upholding the cultural ethos of people and engaging them in various socio-cultural events as part of the department functionary. To engage personnel in sports and health welfare schemes and activities.
Indian Railway Personnel Service Ranks and Salaries
According to the grades and ranks of IRPS officers, they serve in different positions at various points in their careers. A list of pay scales with their corresponding grade ranks are listed below for quick reference:
|Grade or role of IRPS officer||Respective Basic Pay scales in INR||Designation of officers in commercial operations||Designation of officers in operational roles|
|Junior time scale officer||Between 8000 and 13500||Serves as Assistant personnel officer||No other specifications|
|Selection time senior scale officer||Between 10000 and 15200||Serves as Divisional personnel officer||Serves as Senior personnel officer|
|Junior administrative grade officer||Between 12000 and 16500||Serves as Senior Divisional personnel officer||Serves as Deputy chief personnel officer|
|Selection grade officer||Between 14300 and 18300|
|Senior administrative grade officer||Between 18400 and 22400||Serves as Chief personnel officer||Serves as Executive director|
|Higher administrative grade officer||Between 22400 and 24500||Serves as Coordinating chief personnel officer||Serves as Additional member of the board|
|Higher grade officers||Fixed pay of 26000||No other specifications||Member staff of the board|
The career progression of an IRPS officer travels through various designations over a career journey spanning many miles and years. Some significant designations are listed here under:
- When posted in railway divisions, they serve in various roles such as assistant personnel officer, divisional personnel officer, senior division personnel officer, etc.
- When posted in zonal wings of railway departments, they serve in the roles of assistant personnel officer, senior personnel officer, and deputy chief personnel officer.
- The chief personnel officer is officially the in-charge or head of the zonal headquarters he is assigned to.
- A principal HOD officially heads a zonal railway unit.
- They can also be transferred and posted to general roles such as additional divisional railway manager, divisional railway manager, chairman of the railway board, and general manager in higher administrative roles.
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