(IAS Planner) : Job Profile of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
Recruitment & Training :
Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) is one of the eight organized Group 'A' services in the Ministry of Railways. Earlier called Officers of the Superior Revenue Establishment of the Traffic, Transportation and Commercial Department of Indian Railways, IRTS in its present form was reconstituted in 1967. There are two modes of recruitment to IRTS Group ‘A’ :
i. 50% through direct recruitment through the Combined Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC.
ii. 50% through promotion from Group B officers of Operating and Commercial departments of the Zonal Railways.
As of 1 April 2014, the sanctioned strength of IRTS was 781. After selection, the direct-recruit IRTS robationers undergo general foundation training at one of the training academies, that is, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA)/ National Academy of Direct Taxes(NADT), Nagpur/ RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration, Bhopal/ Dr.Marri Chann Reddy Human Resource Development Institute, Hyderabad. Following this they go for the Railway Foundation Course at National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara.
Further specialized training for the probationers is imparted at the Indian Railway Institute of Transportation Management (IRITM) at Lucknow. While based at IRITM, the probationers, apart from extensive classroom input, make study and field trips to various railway activity centres and other Centralized Training Institutes of Indian Railways, workshops and organizations across the length and breadth of the country. The training also includes a parliamentary attachment, visits to important railway project sites, ports and short stints at other Civil Service academies and one of the reputed management institutes in India.
IRTS officers in the middle- and senior-level management undergo training in diverse areas including commercial management, operations management, logistics, public-private partnerships etc.
Role and Function :
An IRTS officer coordinates the production and sale of transportation output and manages the customer interface of railways. There are two main streams of Traffic Department, Operations and Commercial, where these officers are posted. Immediately after the training, the officers are designated as Assistant Operations Manager or Assistant Commercial Manager and posted to one of the divisions of Indian Railways.
The role of an IRTS officer in the operating department is that of ensuring smooth and fast transportation of freight and passengers. He or she ensures optimum utilization of assets maximizing output with least inputs. This is achieved by coordinating with the service departments looking after various assets of railways like track, wagons, engines, signals, etc. He/she then combines the outputs of the various departments maintaining the assets - rolling stock and fixed infrastructure to produce a service output - passenger or freight.
In the commercial department, an IRTS officer is connected with sales, pricing, marketing and service elements of the passenger business and freight business. The information technology requirement of passenger ticketing is also managed by an IRTS officer in the zonal headquarters. The role changes depending on where an officer is placed in the organization - in the division , the zone or the railway board . In addition, an IRTS officer also has the opportunity to serve in other Ministries under the Central Staffing Scheme and in PSUs.
At the Railway Board level, the traffic department is headed by Member(Traffic), who is a secretary level officer. He is assisted by Additional Members/ Advisors who are of the rank of HAG+/HAG officer. At present, there are additional member(s)/advisor(s), each for the commercial, traffic, computerization and information systems, tourism and catering wings of the traffic department. Within each wing, there are directorates which are headed by an Executive Director, a SAG rank officer. Some of the directorates are traffic, commercial(rates), planning, coaching, passenger marketing, statistics and economics (under Financial commissioner), freight marketing, public grievances, computerization and information systems, tourism and catering.
At the zonal level, the operating a commercial departments are headed by IRTS officers - Chief Operations Manager(COM) and Chief Commercial Manager(CCM). They are of the rank of HAG/SAG officer. COM is normally assisted by a team of SAG rank officers, viz., Chief Freight Transportation Manager(CFTM), Chief Passenger Transportation Manager(CPTM) and Chief Traffic Planning Manager(CPTM). Similarly, CCM is assisted by Chief Commercial Manager (Freight Marketing), Chief Commercial Manager (Passenger Marketing), Chief Commercial Managers (Passenger Services) and Chief Claims Officer. They are in turn assisted by Deputysecretary/Director
grade officers -Dy COM, Dy CCM, Dy CCO.
At the divisional level, the operating and commercial departments are headed by IRTS officers - Senior Divisional Operations Manager (Sr. DOM) and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Sr. DCM). In a large division, Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM would be supervising over 2000 employees. They are linchpins interacting with customers on a day to day basis and zonal headquarters. Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM are cadre posts in the SG/JAG of IRTS. Each Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM is assisted by DOM/DCM/Assistant Operations Manager (AOM)/Assistant Commercial Manager(ACM)of the rank of undersecretary(JTS). An IRTS direct recruit officer's first posting would be as an AOM or ACM in the division.