All new officers joining Indian Railways will hold MBA degrees in specialisations of their choice, as per a fresh manpower upgrade move finalised by the national transporter. This would be the first-of-its-kind move for any railway system in the world.
The National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) in Vadodara has prepared the new curriculum along with Gujarat-based Maharaja Siyajirao University (MSU). The university will anchor the 78-week training and help impart the MBA degree. This is being termed as a precursor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of setting up Rail Universities.
A salient feature of the arrangement is that private players can get their recruits to take the course on their own expense.
The idea behind the plan, apart from setting new benchmark of skills for its officers, is to provide an opportunity to private players to get the same training as railwaymen. At present, there is a huge knowledge-and-skills gap in railway training as far as the private sector is concerned. As a result, retired railway officials are in demand in joint venture entities doing railway work, engineering firms as well as companies associated with various supply chains. This course is meant to bridge that gap.
“The tenure of our training remains the same. It gets an upgrade with this,” said Pradeep Kumar, Railway Board member staff, who is spearheading execution of the idea.
New recruits of three Group A services, Indian Railway Stores Service, Personnel Service and Accounts Service, who start training next month in Vadodara, will be the first batch to follow the new curriculum. As per discussions with the senior management of MSU, the final goal is to get recruits of all the nine services, including Traffic, Mechanical, and Engineering, on board.
The course structure of the MBA programme has been prepared keeping in mind the core training of railway officers and rigours of a professional MBA programme.
The course ends with industry training in subjects each recruit specialises in.
The first Rail University will also come up by upgrading NAIR. Discussions in this regard are on between Rail Bhawan and NITI Aayog.