A visit to The President of India

press 2

On Sunday morning, phone rang up with good news. Our special coach from pune to delhi had been confirmed. Everyone had a sigh of relief especially the family guys having their spouse travelling with them.

It was around 4 am and we found ourselves half waking-half dreaming on the platform waiting for the arrival of Goa express. As soon as the extra coach was attached, we hopped on. Of course the family guys were given preference in selecting their berths which they used generously.

In such a long journey, there are few activities that one can resort to. To name a few, one could sleep his way throughout the journey which is my favourite. Another is bakaiti which had its own delights. Take a random topic, consider yourself master in that, curse a few well known people and voila!, you are a bakait in no time. Playing cards is prominent among all. The uncertainty of game resembles life in a way. It was a good time to settle the account of coats. Of course, you can complete the long forgotten novel, but this most of time remains an idea till you get to your seat.

The day was hot as hell. It’s a lousy room in a lousy part of a lousy town. Only that it wasn’t a lousy part of Delhi. State entry road, runs parallel to Chelmsford’s road had taken us there. Yamuna rest house is near to NDLS. The CRB was to address probationers in the afternoon. Besides IRSE, probationers from IRTS, IRAS, IRPS, IRSS and RPF had gathered there. The small rooms of rest house seemed even smaller with one washroom being shared by 6, 7 peoples!! We managed somehow by thumping doors of washrooms occasionally.

CRB’s address was as dry as the month of may. Food was good and it really took away the frowns from faces. By evening, mob scattered and took abode to various places. Some went to rest houses at Yamuna, Lajpat Nagar and Luteyn’s bridge. Some retired to Ber sarai, Katwariya sarai to their chaps who were still perspiring there to get a taste of success.

And the fortunate day came, the next day 06 May 2015, when girls were busy in straightening the plates of there ivory white saries and boys in adjusting each other’s tie-knots. Bus was waiting outside yamuna rest house.

Crossing the Rajpath, One could see the famous Dome of Viceroy’s House through the uphill road at raisina hills, flanked by secretariat building on both sides. It was nearly 12 o’clock, sun was brightly lit over the wide roads of New Delhi. Vehicles looked dancing over the roads radiating heat. Bus took right from the Dalhousie’s road and we entered a highly secured area.

The front or the east gate of Rashtrapati bhawan has a large courtyard. There stands a peculiar column ( called jaipur column) having a lotus on the top. The lotus sprouts a star.

At the base these words were inscribed…

“In thought faith

In word wisdom

In deed courage

In life service

So may India be great”

On the right, A Gulmohor tree was blooming. Red at the top with green underneath. Guards were standing in front under a small shade made of sandstone. They invariably resembled the gulmohor with their red turbans and dark green uniform. Infact, everything was of sandstone in red and yellow. Thick walls, Oversized Pillers, Cannons depicted administration and authority.

We waited for our turn to step out of the bus. The grand staircases protected by 12 giant columns received us. Durbar hall is right under the great dome. Instead of expressing luxury, It reflected austerity. The statue of Buddha in abhay mudra was situated at one end of hall looking over the throne. It was all around draped by maroon velvet drapes which gave the setting a sense of royalty. A large chandelier was suspended in the center.

We waited there for a while. Staff introduced us with our surroundings. The Durbar hall was the same place where transfer of power took place, the annals of freedom were written, the shackles of slumber were broken.

At last the Honorable President of India arrived, Dressed in impeccable black buttoned up suit, with the golden chain of his pocket watch visible. Before he came all sort of rehearsal of photography session was done. Staff was diligent, how to address him (not his majesty, but Honorable President), checked the speeches, about who had to receive and how one receive him.

Two of the probationers shared there training experiences, some facts and aspirations. During training we traveled to the corners of country, met with people of different races and culture, watched sun going down to the depth of ocean and rise again from the heights of mountains, observed peacefully the faith of devotees bathing in holy rivers, the thunder of oceans at Kanyakumari and silence in the deserts of Rajasthan. For this and all, we were indebted to railways.

The president shared his words of wisdom with us. Although, the thing with wise words is, they are easily forgotten. Let me recollect some of them.

He stated that the scope, exposure, and responsibility that career in government offer, that too at a very young age is rare. The 162 year old railway is one of the oldest railway systems in the world. Railway finances have exponentially grown from Rs. 183 crores in 1947 to Rs. 1.59 lakh crores  in 2014-15. It is the virtual lifeline of the nation and has also now joined the select club of 1 billion tonnes plus freight loading Railways.

We should serve the people of the nation by putting in their best efforts. He called upon us to uphold the high standards and dignity which has been maintained over the years.

After the photography session was over, we had tee and snacks in the banquet hall. It was long room having golden curtains against the background of brown wooden walls with the portraits of previous presidents.  It had a long long table in the middle.

Then the crowd dispersed and there began another photography session.  Everyone was crazy in clicking and saving the moment. At the great stairs, in the forecourt, by the column, cameras and probationers were everywhere.

Inspite of a piercing sun overhead, the joy couldn’t be refrained. On the right, A Gulmohor tree was smiling. Red at the top with green underneath….

IRSE 2012
IRSE 2012

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

Is it right to leave PSU and go for IES

Ganesh Pal asks this question
“I have gone through your blog and i like it…and i have got your mail id 4m there..

i have some confusion in my mind regarding IES Preparation…presently m working in NTPC 4m last 3 yrs. nd i hd done coaching in made easy of IES Preparation.   from dat tym i m very keen to be in IES but due to some circumstances  i hadn’t go through….now m in state of confusion due to some reason as my age is 30 yrs nd here i gt good package …but my posting is in worst plant of NTPC ie in Assam…
Please suggest me that at dis age or in dis package is it is right to prepare for IES-2015. ….i have well prepared notes of mine…my branch is mechanical….my college was NIT Allahabad…2009 pass-out…”


Is it right to leave PSU and go for IES after significant years of service in PSUs?
This is a question which has no pet answer only a discussion is possible. So here we are…

These are the few points which we are going to consider while we analyze the situation.

1. When you leave, at that time, you cannot expect the facilities offered by PSU and by an IES service (lets assume railways) will be at par. It can’t be same as you will be entering at junior grade (JG) level, your salary will be less, maybe only 40% of what you are getting from PSU after 7-8 years of service.
Also you might have settled in life and your expenses will be huge than a college freshers, you might be having kids..
These things you have to ask yourself. Can you manage your life in-spite of this drastic change in your professional life.

2. What are your job quality expectations? Are you not satisfied by the quality of work or is it the place of posting that bothers you?
Well if its the quality of work then Engineering services offers you a wide variety of work (like railways, CWS, Roads).
There is a work for every engineer and that to of his/her core branch.
If its because of the place of posting then there is not much respite as the service is of all India level you cannot expect to get your favorite place.

3. I have met a lot of people who has transitioned from PSUs to IES (Specially Railways). Some of them (only few actually) have opted it at the age of 30 something and from PSUs like IOCL etc. One thing for sure is the early you enter in this service the more is scope as the promotion is more or less time bound. So you cant expect to get the top positions.

4. Two versions:
If you ask to a higher officer maybe (SAG) that you have opted IES at the age of about 30 and that too leaving a shining PSU, his first reaction would be “WHY?, aisa kya dikha railways mein, yaha Promotions are slow…re-numeration is not attractive if you compare with PSUs..workload is much (well its everywhere) “.
So for them its not a right decision. But they are mostly people who doesn’t have any experience in PSUs.

And if you ask someone who has switched PSU, He would say ” workload was too much, odd duty hours, far away posting places” these type of things and also one most heard sentence “Class 1 officer ki baat hi kuch aur hai” (I do not certainly agree with it) . Well, Grass is always greener on the other side of court. Well i say, Yes its greener but only a few shades…

PS: I hope this help you in someway to makeup your mind and decide judiciously.

Ravinder Singh
(IRSE 2012 Batch)