•Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) is a Group -A Central Service of the Government of India and the youngest of all the Group 'A' Organized Services on Indian Railways.
•It was constituted in 1976 and the first direct recruitment through the Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC, was in 1980.
•IRPS officers man the Establishment Directorate and the Personnel department of the Ministry of Railways, at Zonal railway and divisional levels including the railway production units and workshops.
•While other services in the railway are concerned with the operational or material management of the train, the Personnel Service handles the human resource aspect.
•There are two modes of recruitment to IRPS,
(i) through Civil Services Examination conducted by UPSC every year;
(ii) through promotion of Group 'B' Personnel Officers working on zonal Railways to IRPS.
•Roughly, 50% posts are meant for Direct Recruitment and 50% posts are filled through promotion from Group 'B' Cadre.
•IRPS probationers are required to undergo a 93 week training programme (including Civil Services foundation course of 15 weeks) before induction into service.
•The training programme includes training at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR)/Vadodara, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration (LBSNAA)/ Mussorie, National Academy for Direct Taxes (NADT)/ Nagpur and other specialized training institutes like at reputed management institutes are HR & Personnel Management.
•The officers also undergo field training on zonal railways, divisions, construction organizations and manufacturing units of the Indian Railways.
Allocation of zonal railways to officers
•Direct Recruit IRPS officers are allocated to Zonal Railways on the basis of their ranks, preference and availability of vacancy in their category in terms of provision of Cadre Allocation Policy.
•Officers recruited under promotional quota are encadred on their respective railway.
The IRPS service cater to the human resources and personnel management Railways. The functions of the IRPS officers are given below:
•Personnel Management: manpower planning, recruitment, training, seniority, promotions, transfer, posting, reservation, payments, wages, salary and final settlement.
•Industrial Relations: maintaining cordial industrial relations, workers’ participation in management, welfare activities and grievance redressal.
•Legal and court matters: legal work, implementation of labour laws and hours of employment regulation.
Posts of IRPS officers
Specific Features of IRPS
•IRPS officers are responsible for the service, as well as personal issues of the employees,
•IRPS officer works in close coordination with all other departments in the railways by functioning as consultant and advisor.
•They can reach upto the apex level of the Ministry of Railways as Member Staff, who is ex-officio Secretary to Government of India.
•This service offers a good personal life as they don’t have to deal with day to day operation of the Railways
•They also get all the perks of Indian Railways like Bangalows, personal assistant etc.
•They also have ample deputation opportunities within and outside Indian Railways