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Railways to start 9-month ‘upskilling’ exercise for employees in January

Named Project Saksham, the exercise will start in January 2018 and go on till September

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi |
Updated: November 12, 2017 3:55:13 am
Railways, Upskilling exercise, Indian Railways, Railway employees, Project Saksham, To upgrade skills of around 13 lakh employees.

The Indian Railways will launch the country’s largest time-bound “upskilling” exercise for government employees to upgrade the skillsets of its 13 lakh-strong workforce with a single drive spanning nine months. Named Project Saksham, the exercise will start in January 2018 and go on till September, putting through training courses and specially designed skill-upgrade modules. Employees from the rank of a peon to the Railway Board Members and everyone in between will undergo the training.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has sent instructions to all General Managers of zones and production units to identify the training courses and formulate the plan on priority.

The launch date of the project has been tentatively scheduled to coincide with the 155th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, sources said.

“… there is a need to do a concentrated capsule of training for all employees in a short period of time to boost their productivity and efficiency,” Lohani said in his letter to the zones.

The nature of the short-duration training will range from refresher courses, with an eye on evolved global practices in the respective areas, to skills in the existing lining of functioning, sources said.

Lohani’s reasoning behind the drive is that with growing services, newer benchmarks of service delivery and higher expectations of the clientele, employees need to build skills to rise to the occasion. “Employees can and do deliver only when they have the right skills, knowledge and the mindset to deliver to the new standards of excellence that we hold from them all,” he has said in the letter.

General Managers would identify training modules, divide their workforce into small groups and communicate the entire plan to the ministry by December 31.

Each will be a five-day on-the-job training, or classroom sessions in Railway Training Centres, depending on the nature of the course. According to the directive, the reporting managers of all employees need to be actively involved in the pre-training and post-training process to ensure that the newly learned skills can be easily integrated into the regular jobs.

Groups of railway officers are going to Japan to train in various processes of the Shinkansen bullet train and heavy haul technologies. The Railways also sends its officers empannelled in the additional secretary grade for a short course in the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

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