Following answer has been given on Quora By Sourabh Anand IES 2013 rank 3
If you’re looking for long-term –
1. Job satisfaction.
2. Genuine opportunity to serve the nation.
3. To be part of such a large system which people from outside wonders how it works.
4. There is no field of Engineering or Management which get untouched providing you an opportunity to excel in the field of your liking and competency
5. Respect in the society and friend circle. You can help in getting emergency quota.
6. Support of very large fraternity and network of Railway man ready to support you and your family in adverse situation.
7. You and your family feel homely and safe in any part of the country in Railway area.
8. You have an opportunity for higher studies like a post graduation/PhD in India or abroad.
9. Even though you are tied with one organization for the entire 30-38 years of active career still you can find your boss and place of posting changing almost every two years.
Detailed Answer –
Let’s compare Railways Services for Electronics Engineers (IRSSE) to the core service of ECE i.e ITS (Indian Telecommunication Services) in order to get an idea why Railways are preferred –
1. Locations: IRSSE training is at IRISET, Hyderabad. After training, posting for IRSSE is mostly in divisional HQs. Yes, some divisions are in small places (cities & at the very least, district HQs). Zonal HQs are mostly located in big cities.
2.Nature of job: Most key posts in DoT are manned by the IAS and CSS. ITS officers will handle all the technical work, but most administrative posts will be held by the IAS (Even the Secy and Joint Secy DoT are from IAS). IRSSE has its fair share of Admin posts as well, as there is no IAS to throw a spanner in the works. Post of Member Signaling hasn’t been sanctioned yet, but Addl Member post has been upgraded to Special Secretary GoI status. Also, deputation opportunities are aplenty for the IRSSE. In railway PSUs, even 1994 or ’95 batch officers are being posted as GMs.
3.Working days: ITS has 5 working days. IRSSE has 6 (and it is 24X7 work). But then, even the IAS/IPS work 6 days a week, and are on duty 24*7! It only indicates the greater responsibility and powers held by them. Same holds true for IRSSE. And this is mostly in divisions, where you are dealing with direct train ops. If that’s too hectic, you have the option of joining Zonal HQs, where most of the work is administrative in nature and 5-day weeks are a reality.
4. Reputation: Reputation is more or less the same I suppose.
5.Facilities: Now comes the good part. Railway Officers’ Enclaves are the envy of all services (including IAS/IPS!). All divisions and HQ have good officers’ clubs, which have swimming pools, pool tables, AC gyms, mini theaters etc. Parties are held every 2 weeks or so. Most divisions and zonal hqrs (yes, even the big metros) have bungalows for officers in SAG and above. JAG and SG officers don’t get bungalows only in a handful of cities, but you get large apartments (3 or 4BHK, >2000sqft) in prime locations in cities. ITS and other central services have to make-do with the ramshackle CPWD quarters under the CGPRA (which are mostly occupied). You will get HRA, but that is mostly insufficient to get good accommodation. Also, you will have lots of servant under you in IRSSE (not less than 2 or 3). You can never dream of free servants in ITS. And to mention of rail passes, officers in SAG and above also get saloons (2 BR, with kitchen and attendant) for official travel within the zone! SAG officers will have to share one, and HAG officers get individual ones.
Also, during training you will get pretty good rooms at IRISET, Hyderabad and RSC, Baroda. Both institutes have excellent clubs for officers.
6.Future prospects: It is a well-known fact that the ITS has become top-heavy with severe stagnation in JAG and above. ITS association’s demand for cadre review has also been shot-down many times by the IAS. 1987 batch of IRSSE already empaneled as Joint Secretary to Govt of India, as compared to 1982 batch of ITS.2000 batch of ITS is yet to get JAG, as compared to 2008 batch of IRSSE already in JAG on ad hoc basis. Promotions in railways are definitely faster than ITS. You can paint the rest of the picture yourself.
JAG = Junior Administrative Grade
SG = Selection Grade
SAG = Senior Administrative Grade
HAG = Higher Administrative Grade
Experiences of (2010 batch IES officer) about Railway Services (It was posted in 2012 on Orkut)
(Although it does not directly answer the question, it tells you a lot about facilities provided by Railways. So, I think it’s worth reading.)
“I worked in NTPC for more than a year, and I’m in railways for the last 7 months.
My salary in NTPC was 46k in hand. Right now my salary here is approx 30k in hand. After posting it will be around 40-42k in hand.
But still I do not regret joining railways due to the following reasons –
1) Staff : Officer ratio matters a lot when u talk of power. In NTPC, it must have been around 1:5 or 1:10. We were more officers than staff and this is generally the case when NTPC is recruiting 700-800 engineers every year.
In railways this ratio is around 800:1 in your first posting.
2) In NTPC, there were more than 30 guys at my rank in my plant. In railway I will be the only one in my sub-division (maybe a traffic officer as well if posting is in goods traffic dominating area). Thats a huge difference!
3) In NTPC, I didn’t have any authority of my own. The contractors will always go to the manager/DGM for petite matters and I used to feel humiliated as to what my role in the company was.
This is not the case in railway. You get to decide what is to be done in your jurisdiction. Sr DENs are virtually non-approachable to contractors. And this gives you the power!! There goes a saying that”AEN ke section me patta bhi usse puchche bina nahi hilta” [Roughly translates to – In the section of AEN (Assistant Engineer), he is final authority] I think this explains a lot.
4)There is not much difference in responsibility in PSU with the promotion. In NTPC manager level guy was doing almost the same thing as I was. Apart from signing of some documents. And both of us had to report to DGM directly. It is not so in railways. Responsibility and power increases with every promotion.
5) Salary wise comparison shouldn’t be there. As IAS/IPS get the same salary as IES guys. So virtually you are comparing PSU and IAS on salary grounds!
6)DRMs and GM are authorized to use beacon. This is for those who are fascinated by it. But of course, everybody can’t reach there and it takes 25yrs to become DRM. But there is no chance in PSU.
7) A railway SAG officer (18-22yrs) becomes GM when he is on deputation in a PSU. It will take you much longer in a PSU in ntpc it was minimum 26-27 yrs and that too there was no surety just like DRM post in railway. But in railway you will get SAG 100% before 22-23yrs.
8) Housing facilities have much difference. To know the actual difference you can visit any railway colony and ask for the bungalows there. You will get the difference. AEN bungalow in first posting can be up to 3 acres in area at some locations. Generally it is around1.5-2 acres!
My father recently got a bungalow in coal India ltd at DGM level after working for 23 yrs! compare this.
9)There are other add ons. Like authority to use the national emblem. Even on your visiting card. There is same format for this for IAS/IPS guys as well. So you get value anywhere by showing this. For eg, I don’t have to pay any toll taxes on any toll bridge of roadways. I have tried it most where and succeeded. Only exception was gurgaon toll bridge!! These small things make you feel powerful.
So, I feel that railways is much better than any PSU.
I have not worked else where so can’t compare other services with PSU.