Promotion and Service in Indian Railways

Are promotions slow in IES ?

On paper according to railway policy and central govt. Policy your promotions are time bound i.e. the pay grade will be given to you timely, e.g. when you get JG(Junior Grade), SS(Senior Scale), JAG(Junior Administrative Grade), Selection Grade,SAG(Senior Administrative Grade), HAG(Higher Administrative grade)…etc. will all depend on your no. of years of service since joining (and also your annual performance report APR, which is awarded liberally by your senior unless you have punched him right on face!!!).

But your promotion from one post to higher post i.e. from Den(Divisional Engineer) to Sr.Den, etc. will depend on the vacancy. And why there is a dearth of vacancies at higher post ? To understand this, you have to understand the hierarchical system in railways. We won’t go into details like railway is a 3 tier system, etc., etc. You just need to know like any other hierarchical system this is also a pyramid. Less posts at higher level. As the bigger and bigger batches are recruited every year in railways, one has to wait for the senior to move up to get into a higher chair even if he/she has qualified the grade criteria for the higher post.

This is termed as stagnation in promotion as one is sitting on the same chair like ADEN,even if he has got senior scale (SS).
The reason I said slow and quick are relative terms because we tend to compare present scenario with the previous where recruited batches were small and obviously they had got their promotions as soon as they were eligible by min. Grade criteria.

But is there something to worry?

Well you don’t have to worry from salary (and other perks) point of view because your band pay (and other perks) depends on your grade pay.
But only thing is you may get frustrated while working on same post for years..this is the only problem.

PS: A natural question arises after reading above is why recruitment is so much, that it leads to sluggish promotions?
For now I leave this for readers to think on. There is an answer to everything.

Do we really serve India in Railways?

Are we really serving India in railways? For this you have to define what do you mean by serving India. Do you think working in army, or in police, or in administrative services, or in some NGO is the only way to serve our nation.
Well my dear friend, this is the glorification services on the name of serving India. Have you ever seen any of these working without salary. If they are doing so can they sustain their lives. No they won’t be able to live a day longer to “serve India”.

In railways we are also getting paid for our services, hence like all these services, serving India. In-fact any person employed in government or privately is serving India if he/she remembers to do his/her job honestly.

But if you like me to speak like a politician, here are the facts :

  • By transporting freight of almost everything like coal, we are providing a means for the growth of country.
  • By transporting passengers (in-spite of loss in this business as a whole) we are fulfilling nations need to move.
  • By laying tracks to disconnected areas, we are connecting a world lost in our country (in-spite of negative rate of return).
  • By building bridges we are making lives easier for our fellow countrymen
  • By trying to built bullet train under new Government, we are showcasing our advanced technological abilities.
  • We develop new station and bring out new locomotives for this big organization.
  • We handle huge volume of passengers so that they can reach their destinations safely
  • We are managing one of the biggest rail networks of the world and we are proud of it.

The list is endless by which one can prove railways is serving India (but not free, because there is nothing like free service).

IRSE 2012

6 Replies to “Promotion and Service in Indian Railways”

    1. Dear Prakash,

      As its an all india service Posting locations can be anywhere in India where railway tracks are laid, however allocation of zone (zonal railway) depends on your upsc rank and the vacancies in different zonal railways, better rank means better chance of getting the location you wish to get posted.
      The trend is that almost everyone try to get the railway of his/her home location.


      1. Thanks for your reply.
        Could you please share duration of year from one grade to another grade in railways ?
        Please share type of medical test in details ?


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