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Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS)

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: About IRMS ans Railway Board- composition and functions.

Context: Cabinet has approved the merger of its eight services into one — the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS).

The decision to merge the services is to ensure that officers put railways first instead of their service which had become the case under the present system.

This is in line with the recommendations of numerous committees, notably Rakesh Mohan (2001) and the Bibek Debroy panel (2015).


  1. Railway Board composition: The Chairman along with four members responsible for infrastructure, operations and business development, rolling stock and finance respectively will form the Railway Board. 
  2. Roles and functions: The Chairman shall be the cadre controlling officer responsible for Human Resources (HR) with assistance from a DG (HR).
  3. The Board will also have some independent non-executive members, who will be highly distinguished professionals with deep knowledge and 30 years of experience including at the top levels in industry, finance, economics and management fields. The independent members will help Railway Board in setting a strategic direction.


Now, just like aspirants to the Union Public Service Commission, candidates aspiring to get into railways will have to appear for their prelims after which they will indicate their preference for IRMS under five specialities — four of them engineering specialities for ‘technical’ operations comprising of civil, mechanical, telecom and electrical, and one ‘non-technical’ speciality which will recruit officers for accounts, personnel and traffic.

Sources: the Hindu.