First Meeting of Railways ‘Kayakalp’ – the Innovative Council of Indian Railways, held

In yet another endeavour to boost railway infrastructure, the first meeting of the innovative railway council ‘Kayakalp’, formed by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, on Wednesday, decided to take on board all the stakeholders. The Council is headed by industrialist Ratan Tata, who in his first address at the meeting said the innovative body would work in close cooperation with everybody concerned

Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at the first meeting of Kayakalp council, in New Delhi on May 13, 2015. Also seen the Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata
Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at the first meeting of Kayakalp council, in New Delhi on May 13, 2015. Also seen the Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata

New Delhi: The first meeting of ‘Kayakalp’. The innovative council of Indian Railways was held today. This Council is headed by noted Industrialist Shri Ratan Tata. The other members of ‘Kayakalp’ Council include Shri S.G.Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), Shri M.Raghaviah, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR). Ms. Ragini Yechury, Executive Director (Industrial Relations), Railway Board and Dr. Madhukar Sinha, Executive Director (Innovation), Railway Board. Dr. Sinha will work as Secretary for the council. The Railway Board Members were also present on this occasion.

This Council has been setup by the Railway Minister in accordance with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for Innovation, Technology Development and Manufacturing. The Railway Budget 2015-16 speech has mentioned that every dynamic and thriving organization needs to innovate and re-invent its practices and hence the council has been setup for the purpose of business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in Railways.

Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Indian Railways, on one hand, has to fulfill its social obligation of providing affordable travel facilities to the public in different parts of the country while on the other hand, has to work as a commercial organisation earning profit. There is a need to balance these two requirements and function in a manner so that best services could be provided to the people at affordable prices and the Railways emerge as an effective engine of growth for the country’s economy. He said that while it is necessary to formulate a future roadmap for expansion and growth of Indian Railways, but at the same time it is necessary to understand and address present challenges which could not be overlooked. The Railway Minister pointed out that Indian Railways has a huge dedicated manpower which is its inherent strength. We all have to work collectively to make Indian Railways as No. 1 Railway in the world, so that it can serve people and nation in the best possible manner.

The Minister of State Shri Manoj Kumar Sinha hoped that the Council would give useful suggestions for improvement and innovation.

In his address, Chairman, Railway Board Shri A.K.Mital said that the Railway Board will work in close cooperation with the Council. He said that Indian Railways in its 160 years of existence has grown substantially in all aspects but it further needs to undertake more technological upgradation to improve services. Ratan Tata said that the Council would work in close cooperation with everybody concerned and be on the same page for the betterment of Indian Railway and it would not be in conflict with anybody as there is shared objective of making Railway better. He said it will be useful to showcase improvements even in small increments in various aspects like equipments, processes, procedures, consumer acceptance etc. Ratan Tata understood to have suggested an incentive-driven mechanism for employees resolving through innovative ideas problems faced by the public transporter.

“Tata favoured the idea of instituting a system for giving suitable reward to those for coming out with solution to problems,” said a Council member, who attended the meet. The Council was unanimous that railways should encourage its employees to come up with innovative ideas as suggested by Tata to address specific problems and also reward the innovator adequately, he said.

“He said it will be useful to showcase improvements even in small increments in various aspects like equipments processes, procedures, consumer acceptance etc,” the release said. It was decided to collect various data concerning railways of other countries like China, France, Germany and UK to fix a target for Indian Railways, the Council member said.

Also present in the meeting were S G Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railway Federation (AIRF), M Raghaviah, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Railways (NFIR), Ragni Yechury, Executive Director (Industrial Relations), Railway Board and Madukar Sinha, Executive Director (Innovation), Railway Board.

In their addresses, Railway Employees’ Union Representatives Shri S.G. Mishra and Shri M. Raghaviah thanked the Railway Minister for reposing faith in the employees’ federations in undertaking the important job of the Council. They affirmed that the entire workforce of the Indian Railways would extend its cooperation in this endeavour.

Thereafter, the Kayakalp discussed the approach towards its future work.

The council discussed various issues related to the Terms of Reference of the Council, proposal to institute a reward to provide technical solution to problems peculiar to the Railways and approach towards identifying global benchmarks relevant to the Railways regarding Operations and Maintenance of Railways.

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