Kumar, an officer belonging to 1976 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME) (Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination 1971), took charge as Railway Board Chairman today.
The Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had cleared Mr Kumar’s name for the post of Railway Board Chairman and a formal order to this effect was today signed by Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Prior to this, he had been holding additional charge of Chairman, Railway Board since July 1, 2013, besides his regular posting as Member (Mechanical) Railway Board and ex.Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
However, Mr Kumar will still hold the charge of Member Mechanical (MM) for some time till the permanent posting is made.
The final selection of the CRB witnessed intense lobbying and infighting among the aspirants in Railways. There were several representations from aspirants to the Railway Minister and finally the ACC took the decision on the basis of recommendations of Mr Kharge after getting CVC clearance.
Kumar joined Railway Board as Member (Mechanical) on 1st May 2013. Prior to this, he was General Manager, South East Central Railway (SECR) (Headquarter: Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh) from 9th November 2011 to 30th April 2013.
Kumar has been in charge of maintenance of a variety of locomotives, coaches and wagons over a career of more than 35 years both in workshops and open line. He has several innovations to his credit in the area of locomotive and coaching maintenance. He has displayed great leadership qualities and managerial skills which has enabled him to deliver results in crisis situations and has won several awards and accolades for meritorious performance during his three and a half decade long career.
As General Manager, SECR, Kumar managed the heaviest freight operation in the country. As Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Central he successfully managed maintenance and operation of all trains and infrastructure over Mumbai Division.
Kumar has contributed significantly in various policy formulation at Railway Board Level while working as Advisor (CC) and Additional Member Production unit during his earlier stints at Railway Board. He has attended advanced management and training programmes abroad.
Kumar is an outstanding athlete and excellent player of Badminton. Kumar has featured on national geographic channel in the serial “Seven Mega Cities of the World” and holds a record of longest Live TV interview by a Railway Officer on national TV channel.
Currently, the Railway Board has several vacant posts to be filled up on priority. Importantly, the posts of Member Mechanical, Member Staff and Financial Commissioner are lying vacant for months and a decision has to be taken by the authorities. Besides the above, nine posts of General Managers are also vacant and approx.20 DRM posts on various Railway Divisions are due for replacement.