SECUNDERABAD: Shri M. Umashankar Kumar, IRSSE has relinquished charge as Chief Public Relations Officer, South Central Railway on Promotion. He has joined in his new assignment as General Manager, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), Secunderabad today i.e., 31st December, 2018 on deputation.
Shri M.Umashankar Kumar, who belongs to the 1997 batch of Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers is a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from College of Engineering, Osmania University, Hyderabad. He has undergone a professional training programme in Public Private Partnership from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He has also completed Advanced Management program in Public Policy Management from the prestigious Indian School of Business.
His remarkable stint of 4 years as the Head of Public Relations Department of South Central Railway has seen many a high point in terms of showcasing the Zone’s image amongst the public. Acting on the evolving priority of the New Digital and Social Media as the channel for Communication, Shri Umashankar Kumar has been instrumental in positioning South Central Railway in the front, in being the most active on Twitter and Facebook on Indian Railways. The zone also made his mark on various other avenues of Social Media including the Instagram, YouTube & the Website.
His pro-active inclination towards disseminating news and information on the Railways in the Print and Electronic Media and continuous interaction has enabled SCR succeed in building a trustworthy rapport with the public. Shri Umashankar Kumar’s Transformational qualities brought in a sea change in the working culture of Public Relations Department on the Zone. The handling of any crisis/disaster management situation was on the basis of a continuous 24×7 approach in terms of news sharing and flow so as to reach out to the rail users and other sections of public with clarity and on time. One of the most positive of his achievements is the concept of SCR issuing Press Releases in Telugu to the media, which enormously enhanced the coverage of rail news in the regional media, thereby benefitting the public.
The strategy drawn to optimize news reach to the public and create more public awareness on various issues, was core to the plans of Shri Umashankar Kumar as CPRO for SCR. An extensive multi pronged publicity campaign undertaken to highlight the extensive arrangements made by Railways during Godavari and Krishna Pushkarams, came in for huge appreciation, since the pre publicity and the day to day news on rail arrangements came very handy for pilgrims to utilize train services. His innovative approach to publicize the Railways positively, led to the production of several video films on SCR’s Achievements, Performance and Progress. The unique and creative concept of producing crisp on spot videos on a continuous basis to highlight specific initiatives of public benefit undertaken by SCR for use in Digital and Social media has been very successful. Yet another of his achievement on the creative front is the publication of SCR’s Coffee Table Book – A Treasure Trove of Rail Heritage meant for capturing the history of Railways in the region.
Shri Umashankar Kumar played a prime role in the ‘Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat’ cleanliness campaign on the zone, ensuring massive publicity across all media including the social media. He was instrumental in involving various institutions, eminent personalities and Non Governmental Organizations in the Swachhta campaign and in utilizing innovative publicity options to drive home the message, including the use of mobile Digital Theatre. One of his biggest contributions is the planning and execution of DIGIPAY Railway Station concept on SCR, for the first time on Indian Railways enabling provide all services on the Digital Gateway at important Railway stations.
Shri Umashankar Kumar is credited with several technology innovations on the Railways, which include the introduction of the rail user-friendly Mobile apps, HYLITES and TADAAST on SCR recently. He is also the brain behind the introduction of web based passenger information system and has been involved in the field trials of Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on Secunderabad – Wadi Section of SCR.
He played a key role in organizing several Human Resource (HR) related initiatives on SCR including the organizing of the first ever Mega Skill Development cum Job Mela – Mana Kosam, involving over 22,000 candidates, 110 companies and Job offers over 5000. He also took active part in the success of Passport Mela – Mee Kosam exclusively for Railway families and Overseas Tour for SCR Employees to far east countries. His coordination and close liaison with the International School of Business (ISB) came to the fore in SCR conducting Leadership workshops at the ISB for over 150 Railway Officers till date.
Setting the norms for office aesthetics, he undertook entire renovation of the Public Relations Office of SCR to match the best in terms of corporate ambience and set the benchmark for other Railway Offices to emulate. During his tenure as CPRO, the Public Relations Department of SCR earned several accolades and recognition, including the 1st Prize for SCR’s Pavilion at the All India Railway Exhibition held at Bhopal in April, 2018.
He is a recipient of the highest honour, the Minister of Railways Award in 2011 for his outstanding contribution in completion of throughput enhancement works on SCR in record time.