As you might have known by now that, IES 2015 written result has been declared. Congratulations to those who made it to the interview. Now the battle is really intense. You may have won the war but a slight injury in this battle can bring down your glory of victory. A slight mishap here will prove to be dissatisfaction for whole of the life. So, be ready for the next stage. You have almost two months to prepare and I will be helping you along this journey.
As a part of interview guidance programme, I will help you out in all aspects of interview preparations. I am in contact with many of my friends to get them to write something for you. Meanwhile I will also try to update you on HR and current affairs portion.
I have started a chat room on my blog for discussion related to interview. You can join chat room on the left hand side panel or https://tlk.io/ies2015interview also.
In this article we will talk about workload of IES officers in Indian Railways and responsibilities on their shoulders. I am quite young to this organization but still I will try my best to project an honest picture of inside working.
Govt jobs in India are one of most secure jobs in the world. This makes it a scarce resource here, especially for middle class of this country. There are all sorts of government jobs from group D to group A, from psu to state govt. to central govt. Getting Group A job in central government is the dream of youth of this country. Moreover, after seventh pay commission, the scramble for central government jobs will reach its peak. Today, engineers are ever more in numbers which is actually good for this country, if they really are engineers. But the tragedy is very few of us get become engineers in real life. Have you seen ‘Prison Break’, he is the real engineer, we are just engineering graduates. A railway is the place where you get group A job as well as do some engineering.
How is the image of government jobs in our society? On one hand we want it for security and on other hand we despise it for its stagnancy. Actually, both of them are true. Nobody can remove you from service and you get promotion automatically over the time. This brings in a lot of complacency in government workers including some officers. It is said that government job is not a place for research and innovation but I beg to differ, you can say that there is no incentive but there are lot of opportunities. Government may not give you anything special for doing things brilliantly but you will enjoy just for the sheer pleasure of doing it. In government service, everyone is looking for his entitlements by the virtue of post he holds. If you want to learn in Railways, be ready to visit difficult places, be ready to stay awake at night, be ready to accept rebuke of seniors. You have to be ready to face chaos and dirt of platforms and stations. You will have to deal with corrupt and lazy staff. In fact, Infrastructure at Jamalpur is still the same built by British. You will find yourself in the midst of people learning modern technology in a heritage infrastructure. Being an engineer in Railways is not the bed of roses, it is like a crown of thrones.
As I have said in my previous articles that Railways will provide you diversity of work which no other job India will offer but workload is equally high. In state govt department people procrastinate their work endlessly but in railways you can’t do so beyond a certain point. Off all govt engineering jobs, work culture in railways is relatively better. Again it doesn’t mean that there is no politics, or corruption or leg-pulling, but in lesser proportions. Moreover if you get good zone, then these problems will even be lessened. Part of the problem is that govt servants work under negative perception in the eyes of public, of being corrupt and inefficient. It is not easy to totally change this image but the initiative will have to be taken form top.
For officers, work- hours have not been defined in IR. It means that you are on duty 24*7, being on duty doesn’t mean always doing work, it means being responsible all the time. If anything happens, DRM directly scolds junior scale officers which you will be after joining. Hence all the facilities, all the staff and all the resources are to be used for execution of you duty. Apart from train running, you will be establishment head of your office which means you will be managing their leaves, passes, transfers, etc. Workload is greater when there is some derailment or accident. You will be present at site without food or water for hours. I don’t want scare you but upshot of all this is that workload is directly proportional to responsibility and in IR you will have lot of responsibility. As a junior and senior scale officers , your working will be more engineering oriented which will include lot of inspections but as you move up the ladder you will be doing less and less inspection and more management work. At the level of DRM and GM , you can’t even imagine their diversity and nature of work. Work load is greater in open line organization; in research, deputation and construction organization work load is cyclic and variable. Research wing of IR is RDSO; it also provides standardization and specification for IR. If you are research oriented then you will be able to contribute maximum here.
As an officer you can learn lot and create some new assets for IR but nobody will ask you to do so. You will have to take your own initiative, but first there is lot to learn before you can actually do something different. As I said there will no incentive for you to work harder, but your own engineering instinct will propel you, if it is there. There are only few who retain their shine even in government jobs, it is because they don’t expect much and work for their own satisfaction.
All those aspirants who want to join IR, you should, but don’t try to be sophisticated. Learn to be a leader. It is really important at your level. You will be head of lot of staff whose experience might be greater that your age. They have seen the railways more than you may have seen the world. So how will you deal with them? Showing arrogance is not the way, being too polite is also not recommended. Ability to handle people will take to far , just knowing technical stuff is not enough. Infact , your communication skills will be tested when you join Railways and travel without ticket, and TTE gives you seat as well as respect.
My name is Himanshu Aggarwal, a 2013 batch pass out from BITS Pilani-Pilani campus.
My CGPA is 8.19
From Aug 2014 to Mar 2015, I was working in BARC Mumbai as a trainee scientific officer
The campus life ended and from the well-known fact of low package of civil companies, I also got a low package from the college placements. Being ineligible to give the paper in 2013 and a Gate 2013 rank of 668, I was left with choice of taking the risk of spending a year preparing for the paper or take the job. It took a week to decide and finally I took the challenge and decided to stay at home for the next year. I also had coaching in IES Master during my college training for 6 months in CRRI Delhi. A 9 AM to 5 PM research at CRRI and 5:15 PM to 10 PM class at coaching were the worst days of my life though I liked the coaching part because I could just relax and repeat what I have done in my college(yes my college studies did help me).
Dropping was somewhat easy as I was shortlisted in some PSU’s such as SAIL, so I thought that I will probably sail in at least one opf the PSU and carry on my study for IES but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Regular rejection made me serious towards GATE 2014 in October end and I started preparing for GATE 2014 + IES 2014 from the starting of November with main focus on making short notes for both and remembering for GATE only for the initial 2 months.
GATE paper went well but the result was not up to the mark with a GATE rank of 302 and still PSU’s like RITES rejecting me on the basis of my age. No job in hand and less chances of getting a job on this rank started haunting me and it was this time I became serious like anything for IES.
From the day of GATE 2014 result up till April end, I completed syllabus for IES 2014(I did it partially before GATE 2014) and in May I did 2 conventional papers every day from 9 AM to 12 noon and 2 PM to 5 PM and used the time in-between to check the papers (I had ample amount of papers with solutions that I got from IES Master during coaching) and 1 hour or less for GS portion(this was a big mistake to prepare for GS only in May and June and I paid for it by getting 27 marks out of 100 in GK portion).
For the last 10 days, I only revised (crammed) my short notes with last 2 days only for enjoyment and relaxing. Just 20 days before the paper I gave BARC interview which I scored really well with 748 marks (I got the white slip, yippee) that provided me with the boost that I had the ability to crack IES and I have a job
The day of exam: At least I cannot say that I was not nervous at the time of paper but on the surface you look calm and ready to drop bombs (lyrics credit: Eminem) (I thought of the same song just before the paper was about to start). The first day of the paper was the worst part for me because of no preparation. The portion I knew got completed in an hour, the other hour was to prevent making blind shots, so I started looking at the expressions of invigilator and nearby fellows. The next day with two objective papers went well and so did the conventional part. I was happy as I almost did 360 to 370 marks paper in the conventional.
The next 2 days went on discussing the objective part in which I was getting almost 300 marks. Now was the time when I thought that I have got a job and this is time to relax and July was complete fun for me. In Aug, I joined BARC with an intention of enjoying the hard-to-get hostel life again to the full. My time at BARC was full of fun. The days went on and I was at home and returning from a religious trip with family and got the news of the shortlist and found myself in that list for which I was pretty sure. I filled up the DAF and started consulting other BARC fellows and college seniors in IES about the strategy for the interview. My interview date was 19 Jan in Delhi and I thought of giving SSC mains paper on 18th Jan in Jaipur so that I could check whether I still remember the technical part or not.
The day arrived and I was there. My panel was Smt. ALKA SIROHI. The documents part was completed and I was the last in the morning session in that panel. While sitting there I got to know about the book of made easy in which questions of various interview panels are discussed. Shiver went through my spine for a while but after 10 minutes came the time when I thought: ab karke kya kar lunga, ye sab moh maya hai. For me, the clock was getting dead slow as I was eagerly waiting for all this to end. After some time, it was my turn and I was called to sit outside the room interview was going. At that time, I spent time looking at the birds wandering here and there in front of me. I entered the room and there were 3 experts along with the head. My interview was small in length but it was nice so now I was somewhat sure of selection.
Again my enjoyment started in BARC. I gave GATE 2015 paper with some of my BARC friends just for the sake that I don’t feel that I have wasted my money in filling the GATE 2015 form and also that we got free ride on Uber. GATE 2015 results were a complete dilemma as I got a rank of 101 when I did nothing to prepare for GATE and a rank of 302 when I prepared a lot which taught me that luck also plays some role. Again I was at home when the final results of IES 2014 came out. I received a phone call from my BARC friend (GSB) saying: bhai tumne paper phod diya hai chauthi rank aai hai tumhari and for a while I didn’t even knew how to react. Then there were more and more phone calls and celebrations started. May be I am able to write this just because I succeeded but at last I want to convey that if you have passion for anything, go for it. May be you come out unsuccessful but at least you won’t regret saying” yaar try to karna chahiye tha” and it will be worth a try (If you are serious).
In this article we will look at the work profile of Electronics Engineer in Indian Railways. As a part of ongoing series, this is the second installment of work profiles of engineers recruited through IES in Indian Railways.
There is Signaling and telecommunication department in Indian Railways where you will be posted as ASTE after your joining. S&T and department plays vital role in safe running of trains in Indian Railways. There was a time when police men on horses used to give signal for the running of trains. Now we have moved a great deal ahead in terms of providing a reliable and safe method of working for the movements of trains. Have you ever wondered while looking at the signal adjacent to railway line? If you have then it would be even more interesting to actually understand the working of signals. To an outsider, railways signals present quite a challenge to decipher but after joining Railways you will be talking in terms of outer, home, starter and advanced starter.
Let’s Look at organization of this department before proceeding ahead.
Open Line:-Your first posting will be as an Assistant Divisional Signal and Telecom Engineer. Typically a fresh recruit is placed here, to give him the first-hand knowledge of working of Indian Railways. Your responsibilities will be numerous; the primary one will be to ensure proper working of signal in your sub-division. Basically, in 150-200km stretch even if one signal fail, you will be held responsible. After signals there are lot of other devices and equipment’s such as axle counters, point machines, track circuits, block instruments, RRI, PRI etc. If any of this malfunction, the movements of train will come to standstill. This will be also your responsibility to maintain or get it replaced on time. In Railways you will find those technologies which are difficult to find elsewhere. Telecommunications system of IR is one of the most vital assets, I can’t describe them here in detail but they can broadly be classified as administrative and operational. Administrative system consists of Communication amongst Area Control Office, Divisional Offices, Zonal Offices, Railway Board office etc. Operational system consist of Control Communication Hot lines for train operation ,Magneto phone communication for L/C ,Block phone commn,Pagers for train crew etc. In addition, the telecommunications play a vital role in the areas of passenger amenities and disaster management. There is more in terms of technology than you can think of, if you are interested in it.
You will have sub-ordinates working under your jurisdiction but you will be executive head in Sub-division. As you move in ladder, natures of responsibilities shift along with jurisdictional area.
Construction:- It is the construction wing of IR responsible for creation of new assets. After projects are sanctioned, you will be the executive head from Railways. You will have to check and inspect work done by contractors, issue them guidelines, punish them etc. In this department you technical skills are put to test, how much skill you have being an IES. You will have to propose solutions to any problem arising out of technical difficulties.
RDSO:- This is the research wing of Railways. If you have the aptitude for research you can take posting here for your work. If you really can contribute through your research then RDSO will provide you the opportunity to do so. One of the examples can be Anti Collision Device developed by Konkan Railways. Actually, there is lot of research you can do for IR. Can you develop a new signaling system which can improve the line capacity without compromising on safety and speed? The challenge is upto you to take. Development of high speed trains needs a very reliable and safe signaling system. There are lots of other area where technologies can be integrated for which electronics engineer are necessary.
Deputation: – There are various Psu working under ministry of railways, you can go to one of these if you so wish. Also, you can go to Railway Board, New Delhi to work on different policy matters for whole of Railways. You will also be able to visit foreign countries for training in technical matters but not so early in the career. After five years, you can take leave for higher studies from foreign universities.
Words of advice-You must keep in mind that after all you will be working in a Government Organization. It will not be free from malaise of a typical ‘sarkari naukari’. You can’t expect the work environment like Google or Microsoft because of obvious reasons. If Railways become more professional over the years, it will be the one of best place for engineers even edging top MNC’s. IES is the place for those who are interested in engineering and technology and I have always stressed that interest in technical matters is key requisite for successful career in IES. So, I wish you all the luck for your future ahead.
Words of Caution– Although I work in railways, i have written this article from my own experience of this department, as an outsider. I may have missed something or made error while describing work profile. I would welcome further suggestion for improvement in this article.
In this article we will be looking at the profile of a Civil Engineer in Indian Railways recruited through IES. It is necessary to understand the working of an organization before joining it. So, in this series, we will be looking at work profile of engineers in details starting with civil engineering. I will not discuss perks and allowances here, it will covered in the another article.
Railway is one of the best places for a civil engineer to be. It provides immense diversity of work which you can only think of in other organizations. Broadly there are four types of work profile which an engineer can access in IR (Indian Railway).
1. Open Line/P.Way – This is the core work which you will be doing in IR. This work consist of day to day maintenance of assets of IR which includes tracks, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and all other civil engineering assets that you can think of. It doesn’t mean that you physically have to do this work. There is whole army of people below you to command, it is up to you how you manage your subordinates. Out of all four engineering branches, Civil has the most of the resources of IR in terms of men, material and land. Typically you will start your career in this department of IR; also most of the facilities are here only. You will be establishment head of all the persons working below you. Apart from schedule work, you will deal with lot of other stuff too.
2. Construction- It is the construction wing of IR responsible for creation of new assets. After projects are sanctioned, you will be the executive head from Railways. You will have to check and inspect work done by contractors, issue them guidelines, punish them etc. In this department your technical skills are put to test, how much skill you have being an IES. You will have to propose solutions to many problems arising out technical difficulties such as slope failure, caving of tunnels, retaining wall failure, bridge foundation stability, erection of girders at critical locations, etc. Your subordinates will expect a lot from you, be ready to live up to their expectations.
3. RDSO- This is the research wing of Railways. If you have the aptitude for research you can take posting here for your work. If you really can contribute through your research then RDSO will provide you the opportunity to do so.
4. Deputation – There are various Psu working under ministry of railways, you can go to one of these if you so wish. Also, you can go to Railway Board, New Delhi to work on different policy matters for whole of Railways. You will also be able to visit foreign countries for training in technical matters but don’t expect it so early in the career.
Organizational Structure of Civil Engineering in Indian Railways
At Board Level
At Zonal Level
3. At Divisional Level
Duties and Responsibilities in First Posting
Typically, a civil engineer through IES will be placed as the assistant divisional engineer in one of the sub-divisions of his allotted zone. Following are his duties:-
1) GENERAL DUTIES-responsible for the maintenance and safety of all Track and Building Works in his jurisdiction
2) ESSENTIAL DUTIES : Inspection and maintenance of track and all structures ,Preparation of plans and estimates execution and measurement of works including track works, Verification of stores held by stockholders, Submission of proposals for inclusion in the track renewal programme revenue budget and the works
3) KNOWLEDGE OF RULES AND REGULATION – To observe the rules and procedures laid in the General and Subsidiary Rules, The Indian Railways Permanent Way Manual, The Indian Railway Works Manual ,The Indian Railway Bridge Manual, the Engineering Code and other codes, orders etc.
4) CO-ORDINATION WITH OFFICIAL OF OTHER DEPARTMENT: To co-operate effectively with officers and staff of other departments in matters that warrant co-ordination.
5) INSPECTION BY HIGHER OFFICIALS- to accompany inspection of Chief Engineer, General Manager, CRS etc.
6) INSPECTION OF ADEN- To conduct inspection in his jurisdiction as per the Schedules laid down by the Administration from time to time and also maintains the records of the results of his inspection and ensure compliance of the same.
7) INSPECTION OF PERMANENT-WAY– Push Trolley / Motor Trolley Inspection, Fast Train Inspection, Inspection of Level Crossings, Checking of curves, Checking of Points and Crossings, Monsoon Patrolling, Track on Bridges, Scrutiny of Registers during Inspection, Inspections of Track .
8) EXECUTION OF WORKS- To ensure that all works are carried out according to plans and specifications laid down. Important works used to be set out personally by AEN
9) ACTION IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES – In the case of an accident to proceed to the site by the quickest available means. On the way he ascertains the requirements of materials and men at site and arrange for the same.
Suppose you are sitting in front of UPSC board for interview and the first question which is asked is “Why do you want to join IES?” and you reply “Sir, I want to serve the society.” This answer is vague as well as unimpressive; it will show your lack of imagination and information. You don’t know how you will get to serve society being IES. So, in this article we will discuss this question in depth so that you are well aware of scope and limitations of social service in IES. We will also compare IES with respect to civil services.
First, let us look at the term IES, does this term mean anything? Aspirants and coaching institute refer the term ‘IES’ as Indian Engineering Services but UPSC does not. It uses ESE i.e Engineering Services Exam which sounds so dull and boring; at least IES sounds and looks fancy enough to motivate us during preparation. IES is not a service like IAS/IPS; it is a combined entrance exam for recruiting engineers for different departments of government. According to your rank and preference, the service is allotted which you can finally call as ‘service’. So if someone ask you “What is your service?” don’t reply that “I am an IES officer”, it will not convey any meaning, it just means that you got some rank in an entrance exam. Recently released Bibek Debroy committee report uses the term IES for Indian Engineering Services, so we will use the same term for the similar context. Moreover I would like to appeal to UPSC to official use IES for our beloved engineers.
Now lets us look at social service thing which is so called basis of your preparation. You can serve the society in myriad number of ways depending on your ability and opportunity given to you. First ask yourself how do you want to serve this society? Basically there can be two ways of doing it- Directly or Indirectly. According to me, of all the government jobs, IAS and IPS are the only two services which deal directly with people, rest all the services work indirectly. In fact, IAS has the maximum opportunity as District magistrate to work directly for the people. But this is not the end of story, there is crucial difference in working directly for the society and bringing about change in the lives of people. You can be a writer and yet impact the lives of ordinary citizens. All of us can’t become IAS, because our abilities and potentialities differ at the end of day. Don’t you think that it better to be good engineer than bad administrator? Will you be happier bringing a real change in lives of people working for them indirectly or making innovative technologies for improvement in course of their lives directly? This is for you to decide. All I want to say is if you really want to serve the society first decide how you can put your ability to the best use for the service of citizens of this country. There are multiple challenges facing our nation, the question is which challenge do you want to take?
In IES, you are an engineer first, officer later. After you get posted in your respective departments you will have to look for challenges facing the nation which you can solve through your work. I work in railways, so let me give you an example of how you can impact lives of people working in railways. Railways tagline is ‘Lifeline of the nation’ which means a lot of people of this nation earn their livelihood directly or indirectly because of railways. Just have look at those areas where railway lines are missing and you will notice the disparity between developments of the area vis-a vis where railway lines have been existing.
Suppose you are a good electronics engineer then do some research to avoid collision of trains while improving line capacity? If you are a good mechanical engineer, then design coaches and locos for high speed trains. IF you are a good electrical engineer then do some research in OHE, TRD, TRS, etc. If you are good civil engineer then there is lot to give to railways. In terms of engineering, there is much to learn and improve, and this is what engineers do.
Let’s us take a case study to understand this topic more clearly. There is a remote district in North-East India which is mainly inhabited by tribal communities. There is only road connectivity to the capital of the state. Insurgents group run extortion gangs in the area. People have been cut-off from mainstream development process. They have not seen outside world or travel much due lack of rail transport. In rainy seasons, roads get damaged and all movement halts. Now imagine a situation when this district is connected via rail network to the rest of the country. It would really change lives of people. If by all means, it gets high speed network, then all is left to imagination. You had just worked as an engineer for railways which is now changing about lives of people. They can now find employment, tourist attractions will increase, sporting talent will grow, and insurgency may also lessen. In the same district, NHAI, BSNL, CPWD, will send their IES officers to improve existing infrastructure. I have just given you an example of how an IES can serve society.
Now the question is do you really want to serve society? Helping people is not an easy task, it means to suffer, even to put your life at risk. Only those who have inner appeal can do this. Being an IES, you may not get recognition that you deserve because in current framework of society, engineers are valued below politicians and bureaucrats. People may not even come to know about your efforts, just ask yourself how much do you know about Railways apart from booking tickets. You know well enough the state of research and development in India, inspite of being a crucible of talent we lack in producing world-class research. Japan developed bullet train in 60’s and we still don’t have a single network of high speed trains. Just look at the history of Railway Ministry and you will know why it is so. Ministry of Railways has always been used as a bargain for stitching political alliance but it has always proved to be bad deal for the people of this country.
Returning to the original question, I would say that being IES is one of the best ways of being an engineer in India, serving people is upto you. It matters a lot on how you look at your job. Just do your job honestly, somewhere it will definitely bring smiles on the faces of people and you would have served the society.
If you are preparing for IES and wish to join Railways, this article is important for you. If you are preparing for civil services, then also have look. For all those who have willingly or unwillingly come into Railways, Bibek Debroy Committee’s recommendations for restructuring of Railway Services promises new changes which may completely overhaul the existing organisational structure.
This panel suggested various reforms for Indian Railways but here we will look only at human resource management chapter of this report. If implemented, whatever little bit you know about Railways services is going to change. So, have a look at this article to know how IR will take shape if these recommendations are implemented.
What is the Problem? IR is a complex, multi-departmental, and operational organization spread across the country, with approximately 1.3 million employees. There are about 400 different categories of Group ‘C’ employees and 10 Group ‘A’ services, of which 8 are organized Group ‘A’ services. The main problem in IR is Departmentalism. The term “departmentalism”, as being used here, refers to the negative aspects of functional specialization in IR.
Let me explain in simple words. There are so many officers in IR and so many departments that one department doesn’t work in harmony with others. They promote their department’s interest over the interest of organisation.
In light of this basic issue and lot of others which i will not detail here. This panel proposed following recommendations.
What has been Proposed?
IR should consolidate and merge the existing eight organized Group ‘A’ services into two services i.e. the Indian Railway Technical Service (IRTechS) comprising the existing five technical services (IRSE, IRSSE, IRSEE, IRSME and IRSS) and the Indian Railway Logistics Service (IRLogS), comprising the three non-technical services (IRAS, IRPS and IRTS).
Indian Railway Technical Service (IRTechS):
Direct recruitment of officers to IRTechS should continue to be from the Indian Engineering Services (IES) examination conducted by UPSC, as is being done currently. Thereafter, once that new system of entry is in place, the recruitment of a few officers through the Special Class Railway Apprentices route should be discontinued, as the raison d’être for it is no longervalid. Candidates belonging to the existing engineering streams (electrical, mechanical, S&T, civil etc) who are eligible for any of the Railway engineering services and who appear, qualify and obtain preference based on their merit should be recruited to the common single IRTechS. Alternatively, the option of conducting a separate Railway engineering exam by the UPSC has also been suggested to us. However, this Committee is of the view that holding a separate exam for IRTechS may not be desirable as it may lead to dilution in the quality of candidates selected and would also entail extra expenditure on the exchequer.
Indian Railways Logistics Service ( IRLogS)
Direct recruitment of officers to IRLogS should continue to be from the Indian Civil Services Exam (ICES) conducted by UPSC, as is being done currently. As in the case of IRTechS, this Committee is of the view that holding a separate exam for IRLogS may not be desirable. A similar procedure as recommended for IRTechS should be followed in the case of Group ‘B’ officers inducted into Group ‘A’. Promotion of Group ‘C’ officials to Group ‘B’ posts of the accounts, personnel, commercial and operations departments should continue to be done through the existing procedure, except that for promotion to Group ‘A’ IRLogS, there will be a common seniority list drawn up of all Group ‘B’ officers belonging to different departments.
Fixation of inter se seniority: Determination of inter-se seniority of officers belonging to various cadres recruited from different channels has always been a contentious issue in IR. With the merger and consolidation of the existing eight organized Group ‘A’ services into two services at lower levels and three services at middle management levels, a credible manner for evolving a merged seniority list of the various batches will have to be adopted. In the first instance,this will include drawing up common seniority list for IRLogS and IRTechS within the two sub-groups, and then a combined seniority list of officers belonging to both these sub-groups. More importantly, the combined seniority lists will be required not only for fresh recruits, but also for those already in service with long years already spent in the IR system. While this Committee admittedly does not possess the expertise to work out the common inter se seniority of Group ‘A’ officers of the two services (IRLogS & IRTechS), and this should ideally be worked out in detailed consultation with UPSC and domain experts, we do wish to underline that a credible and equitable methodology for the purpose is a sine qua non for the proposed restructuring . Unless a satisfactory formulation is evolved and executed, recommendations on restructuring of Group ‘A’ services in Railways will essentially remain a non-starter.
Lateral entry:This Committee found that although there are some IR officers who proceed on deputation to other Ministries in the Central Government under the Central Staffing Scheme, this number is quite small and is largely restricted to deputation at Deputy Secretary/Director level posts,with the exception of a few at the JS level. This Committee observed that performance of IR officers on deputation has been largely of high standards, and that these officers have also been enriched by such exposure and experience. However, this Committee notes that there is virtually no deputation of officers of All India Services/Other Central Group ‘A’ services to IR. Consequently, IR suffers from inbreeding and is deprived of the benefit of services of officers with a wider set of competencies and varied experience. As such, this Committee is of the view that lateral movement of officers, both from outside to IR and from IR to outside, should be encouraged, without adversely impacting delivery of Railway services. The lateral entry/movement should be permitted both in non-technical and technical departments, respectively based on the Central Staffing Scheme pattern. This Committee further feels that in order to enhance the acceptability of such a proposition: (a) The number of posts to which deputations (lateral entry from outside) are to be permitted must be clearly identified, based on a rational criteria; (b) Inflow of talent from outside, such as chartered accountants, cost accountants, bankers, financial management experts in financial management posts, personnel from CPWD,research assistants from leading labs and universities (IITs etc.), scientists from Government labs etc. (to join RDSO and training institutions)on deputation should be encouraged; (c) A system of balancing has to be devised so as to ensure that career advancement of Railway officers is not adversely impacted. This can be done by ensuring a net outflow of Railway officers (i.e. number of Railway officers on deputation minus number of other services officers coming on deputation to Railways) is retained at present levels; (d) Deputation of officers well conversant with Finance, PPP, resource mobilization etc. in other wings of the Government,can be effected through the Central Staffing Scheme. These could be to general management and financial management posts in the Railway Board, technical posts in RDSO, as faculty to NAIR and other training institutions.
I will end this article with following quote said by Paul Theroux, The Imperial Way, 1983.
India is a vast and complex place. The phones seldom work, the mail is unreliable, the electricity is liable to sudden stoppages. There are numerous natural disasters and there are 800 million people. It is almost inconceivable that the country is stillviable……Towards the end of my Indian journey I decided that India runs primarilybecause of the railway……It is impossible to imagine India without the railway, or tothink what could possibly replace it
In this article i present to you the experience of working in Indian Railways of an IES officer from electrical engineering. We met at foundation course about which i have already detailed here. At NAIR, i requested him to write an article for IES aspirants from electrical engineering, which would give them insights of life in Indian Railways.This article has been written by Deep Karan Singh. He has detailed about his journey so far , after joining railways on 15th December 2014. He has tried to portray a balance picture of working in his department. I hope this article helps you in giving inside look of the system where you dream to be.
My initial experience of working in Indian Railways
It was 28th of February of 2014. The final result of the Engineering Services Exam-2013 was out and I had secured AIR-22. Having a look at the number of vacancies in IRSEE, I was sure to get Railways if my medical goes well. The medical schedule was out by the end of March. Till that year, Medical exam was conducted by Railways at its hospitals. I was called to Mumbai in April for the medical exam even though it was not among the three choices I had given. The medical result was out by October and the offer of appointment was issued on 31st of October. I received it two days later with a First Class Duty Pass mentioning Nasik as the place of reporting. The Chuk-Chuk Gaadi was calling me and asking me to help it serve the public. The joining was on 15th of December and ten days prior to it, I received a welcome letter from the CTI (Centralized Training Institute) at which I had to report i.e. Indian Railways Institute of Electrical Engineering, Nasik (IRIEEN).
I reached Nasik on 14th of December. The CTI bus was on duty to receive the about-to-join Probationary Officers (POs) from the station and take them to the institute. The CTI is at a distance of 4 kms from the station and is situated on the outskirts of the main city. It is spread over a vast area equipped with all facilities except the Khajana i.e. ATM (Any Time Money). There is the main building, the two hostels for the POs and senior officers, the ORH (Officer Rest House), the health unit and almost all the sporting facilities. I heard that Railways gives huge importance to sports and had observed it first hand. The culture of sports is imbibed in Railway Officers from the start. The institute has a very big ground, swimming pool, gymnasium, badminton court, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court, etc. It also has a recreation room where indoor sports like snooker, carrom, table tennis are available and a reading room. There is a big library in the main building where all the books related to Electrical Department of Indian Railways and also other books of general nature are available. The hostel area also has a mess to cater to the diverse tastes of the Officers who had come from all over the country.
After a week of the joining, which was for the joining formalities, the first part of our training i.e. Phase-1 was started. It was a eight-week classroom program in which the POs were exposed to various facets of Electrical Department of Indian Railways. The classes at IRIEEN were conducted from Monday to Friday. A total of seven tests were conducted to evaluate the POs in the latter half of the program. The tests were not of serious nature and all the officers pass them easily but these should not be taken for granted. The POs also went for practical training to Mumbai during the course but the real field training was yet to come.
Parties, functions and get-togethers are a regular affair in the Indian Railways. We were lucky to witness the 25th anniversary of service of 1987 batch of IRSEE in Indian Railways. Senior officers interacted and shared their experience with the new POs. All of them told very nice things and future prospects in Indian Railways and we were delighted to hear such unprecedented experiences. A cultural program was conducted during our stay in which all the POs performed and brought out their hidden talents. On the occasion of Republic Day, the Director of IRIEEN unfurled the Tiranga and the National Anthem was sung. Refreshment was also distributed to all the officers.
After the conclusion of Phase-1 on 13th of February, all the POs were sent for field training for 8 days to different places in groups of 4-5 and were told to report on 26th of February for Group ‘A’ Foundation Course at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) in Vadodara.
First Field Training
There was 8 working days gap between the completion of Phase-1 at IRIEEN and the start of the Foundation Course at NAIR. All the POs were allotted field training for this period to different places. I, along with three more POs, went to Bilaspur. We were given an assignment which also included foot plating. We went to Korba from Bilaspur, travelled in the locomotive of a goods train and learned new things from the inspector who was travelling with us to facilitate out training. Different types of signals, warning boards were coming enroute our journey and the inspector was clearing all our doubts. It was an unprecedented experience and we learned a lot of new things. At Korba, we went to coal mines of Coal India Ltd and observed the things which were relevant to us. It was a life changing experience and I knew more better experiences are yet to come.
NAIR is the alma mater of all Railway Officers and POs from various services of the Railways reported to attend the ten-week program. The POs were from IRSEE,IRSE,IRSSE,IRSME,IRAS,IRPS. The probationers from different services were made room partners for better inter-departmental interaction. Morning PT was conducted at the academy to inculcate the virtues of being fit. The other side of the PT was the penalty of losing a CL for missing four PTs. Here also the EXAM monster was not ready to leave few of the POs (including me) who did not want to study. A total of 13 exams were conducted during the course covering all the departments of Indian Railways like Commercial, Law, Operations, Stores, Electrical, Civil, etc. The exams were finished a week before the completion of the course which was to bring down the curtains on 1st of May.
A one-week study tour was also organized during the Foundation Program and I was one of the lucky ones to go to Chandigarh, Shimla and Amritsar. The toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla was thoroughly enjoyed by all the POs and the visit to Attari-Wagah border filled the Railway Officers with national pride.
After NAIR, all IRSEE probationers will be going for field training in groups of 5 to 6. The Railways are spread all over the country with its presence increasing in the North East and giving an ample amount of opportunity for the newly recruited Officers to visit new places and learn the nuances of Railway working. The POs will also be visiting the Production Units of Railways like RCF, ICF, CLW, DLW, etc. All the POs are scheduled to meet at various CTIs for appreciation courses and training review at Nasik.
The Phase-2 will be conducted at Nasik at the end of the one and half year of training, followed by the posting exam and passing out parade.
There have been talks going around in the Railway corridors that the POs will be sent for training abroad, probably to Japan and Australia, but nothing has been finalized yet.
This is my four and half months of experience in Indian Railways and I hope that some nice things are in store for me.
In this article we will look at General Studies portion of IES General Ability Paper. This section contains 60 questions which are of multiple choice types. First of all we will analyze the paper from the point of view of diversity of questions and their difficulty of question. We will also look at the difficulty level of questions in different sections. Analyzing this year’s paper will gives us new perspective in our preparation. We can analyze the current trend and accordingly orient our studies.
While doing this exercise, I faced difficulty in breaking up question in their different topics. Sometimes they were too close, and sometimes they were a mix from two topics. In deciding the difficulty level of questions I have taken the average knowledge level as the basis point for my consideration.
From above figure it is clear that once again Geography and, Environment and Biodiversity are the major fishing ground for UPSC. No of questions from polity has decreased and history questions have shown rise this time. There has been no question from economics which has become sort of neglected topic in this exam. Current affairs have shown a jump. Science and Technology has gained prominence and most of the question from this section were difficult to deal with. Questions from life sciences has decreased a bit.
47% of the total question were easy doable in this paper which should have been done by every serious aspirant in this exam. 33% of the question fell in moderate category i.e an average student who has done hard work in GS should grab these marks. So, 80% of total question were in your hands this time. Now rest 20% question were for those students who studied GS round the year.The current affairs have been asked from Nov 2013 for paper conducted in June 2014.This paper, it seems was neither too hard nor too difficult for an average student.
Now we will analyze topic wise difficulty
Note-The figure on the chart represents number of the questions not the percentage.
These figures below are self explanatory. Out of total number of question from a particular topic,it show their relative difficulty.
This was just a brief analysis of general studies paper. If i have made any mistakes please let me know about it in the comments.
Thanks and Good Bye.
Hi All, In this section I am going to talk about the most dynamic subject of IES syllabus and which is the toughest to decode as well. This has given pain to almost every aspirant because of its seemingly ‘never-ending syllabus’ which is also seen by many covering ‘everything under the Sun’. I also used to see it like this as well. But with the benefit of hindsight I can say that this is the most interesting, useful and practical part of the syllabus. One gets to learn about how our or any country is run (Polity), how is our Mother Earth like (Geography & Environment), how our body or life on earth functions (Science and Biology), how our past was created (History) and many more useful things. So one should enjoy reading and learning this part of syllabus. Although at this time so close to your examinations you might not share my viewpoint but probably you will also feel the same after some time. One thing you all should be clear about this paper is that barring few (Only those who are preparing for Civils which can be counted on fingers), all the aspirants share same anxiety about this paper and this remain relatively low scoring for almost everyone. So need not worry too much about this paper rather One should try to score average to remain afloat if one does not have much time. As scoring average is very critical in all papers and scoring extraordinary in one to two paper is the key for scoring good ranks in these super-competitive examinations. Now in this article I will try to simplify this paper and will make some recommendations which are all up to you to follow. Analysis of Paper Take a look on the pattern of questions which are being asked in last 2 yrs – Now the interesting thing about this analysis is that for the last 2 years only 5 sections of GS have carried 50 questions each time. These sections are Polity, Modern History, Geography, Biology and Environment. So one at least can place these 5 sections on the top priority and can finish with a good score in this section. I am going to refer these 5 sections as J5 (Jaroori 5) in remaining article for convenience. Another conclusion which can be drawn is that these all sections are very loosely related to current events and largely static in nature. So one need not worry too much if one has not followed Newspaper throughout the year. One can still hope for an average score. Ideal Preparation of GS One should start preparation of GS at the same time when one starts preparing technical subjects. Because these are new subjects and these require some time to sink of their own to become well understood by aspirants. The nature of questions asked in the J5 and in other sections is very basic and very fundamental. These questions are like the primary questions one face in approaching these 5 subjects. The depth of understanding required to answer these is not much compared to Civils. So one need not compare one’s study with that of Civils aspirant on GS front. The strategy for long term can be summarized as – One should first read the notes/books of J5 within first month as the length is not much and it will also provide enough time to sink and upgrade. Preferably one should read the good notes (Made Easy Class notes can be one option) if one can get them. One should follow a good newspaper preferably The Hindu or Indian Express. There is always issue about the sources of study because of large number of sources are required if one prepares on his own. And there can be hardly any good compilation of all sources available. And please avoid Guidebooks carrying everything under them. They all carry too much of nonsense as well as errors. And they will only make you frighten the GS more and more. Sources of Study – Polity – 12th Class NCERT (Indian Constitution at Work) Modern History – 12th Class Old NCERT of Modern History Geography – Notes + Selective reading of NCERT + Physical and Political Maps of India and World Environment – Reading of Environment Chapter from Science NCERT from Class 6th-12th + Internet for National Parks, Endangered and Critically Endangered Flora and Fauna, Conservation initiatives, Treaties, Pollution etc. Biology – Science NCERT Biology chapters from Class 8th- Class 10th. Other – Reading of Newspaper + Internet Tips for the exam Polity – This should be everyone’s stronghold as this is the most static and predictable part. It carries around 10 question every year. You can refer Made Easy class notes or some other notes as well as NCERT book. One should practice questions of this topic as UPSC can make easy questions quite tricky in this part. Modern History – Since last 2 years there have been only 3-4 questions from this section but it can gain its lost prominence any time. So better prepare it thoroughly as it is interesting to read as well. There is going to be high probability that once studied you score good marks in this section. Geography – This is emerging as the favorite section with 10-15 questions coming from this section. The syllabus here include India’s physical features (Mountains, Plateaus, Coasts, Rivers, Lakes) , Other significant physical feature on world map, political map of the world and India, Climate and Vegetation zones etc. One needs to have selective reading of NCERT chapters of 11th and 12th class for these to cover. Biology – This is a section which is seen by many as the easiest to score if properly completed. It can have 10-20 questions. The questions are very fundamental in nature and one can easily score very well with reading of chapters of Biology from chapters (these can be covered in 1-2 days) of Science NCERT from Class 8th – 10th. Environment – This section with its increasing importance in real life is also emerging significantly in Competitive Exams as well. This is quite loosely bounded subject and for now it demands internet based study. It can have 8-10 questions in the exam. One should complete environment related chapters from atleast 8th -10th class science NCERTs (These are very basic in nature so will be the nature of questions in the exam; One can complete all of them in 3-4 hours if required). Apart from them one should use internet to cover other things which I have mentioned in the table. I am sharing some pages which I found on internet. These can be highly useful for the aspirants so do read these – I am sharing some pages which I found on internet for this year aspirants as I know they have very less time to search themselves. Next year aspirants should prepare on these lines. These can be highly useful for the aspirants so do read these – Don’t read these article in much detail if you have issue of time. Don’t give more than 15 minutes to any article. Food Chain – http://mrunal.org/2013/02/food-chain-food-web-trophic-levels-biotic-potential-bio-magnification-ignou-download.html Conservation Sites – http://mrunal.org/2012/05/insitu-exsitu.html Different Species – http://mrunal.org/2012/03/enb-biodiversity-meaning-and-types-of.html Threatened Species – http://mrunal.org/2012/11/enb-iucn-red-list-cites-meaning-working-mock-csat.html Climate Change – http://mrunal.org/2012/09/climate-change-kyoto-protocol-carbon-trading.html Ozone and IPCC – http://mrunal.org/2014/04/ozone-layer-protection-cfc-ban-montreal-protocol.html Western Ghats – http://mrunal.org/2013/02/enb-western-ghats-physical-geography-biodiversity-overview-part-1-of-4.html GM Crops – http://mrunal.org/2012/08/sci-gm-crop.html Emerging Threats – http://mrunal.org/2013/02/enb-western-ghats-threats-to-biodiversity-monoculture-plantation-exotic-species-sacred-groves-part-2-of-4.html Forest Survey – http://mrunal.org/2014/08/forest-survey-2013-resourcesat-mangroves-agroforestry-urban-forestry-ranking.html Now this is it from my side for the time being. I might add to this article later. I tried to unravel the mystery of GS but I know it was the hardest of all. I hope it helps. For all your queries post your doubts in the comments and I will try to respond positively. For more visit – http://www.deepakjhalani27.wordpress.com