Like IAS, IPS, Railways To Allow Juniors, Peers To Evaluate Officials For Promotion - Eastern Mirror
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Like IAS, IPS, railways to allow juniors, peers to evaluate officials for promotion

By PTI Updated: Aug 20, 2022 8:06 pm

New Delhi, Aug 20 (PTI) Taking a cue from the Centre’s 360-degree evaluation system for senior IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers, the railways has now introduced a procedure that also allows peers and juniors to evaluate their reporting officers.

In a letter dated August 18, the Railway Board said it has decided to create a “multi-source” feedback of officers while generating their Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR).

For creating a database, a link has been enabled online in SPARROW system and will be effective from APAR 2022-2023.

“For each official, every year a link shall be sent to the reporting authority of the official and all the subordinates for whom the official is the reporting authority. The feedback submitted will be anonymously recorded in the data base of the official. There shall be no way to trace back the feedback to the superior or subordinate who has submitted it.

“All are requested to give fair remarks/gradings without any prejudice. The whole exercise will be strictly confidential,” the order stated.

A section of officials say the APAR system will not only make a difference in the work culture in the Indian Railways but will also lead to Voluntary Retirement (VRS) of some officers. Around 20,000 officials will come under the scanner for this APAR, an official said.

Sources indicate that this system could be further extended to receive feedback from non-railway persons like contractors and vendors who work with the rail officials.

The sources say that after the feedbacks are recorded, a three- or four- member committee will decide whether the officer should be promoted or not.

The officials also pointed out that while the system is in place for officers, it is not clear who will evaluate the committee members.

Many officials have also questioned the change, the latest in a slew of major deviations from its 114-year-old administrative structure at a time when the national transporter was undergoing major makeover.

Recently, the railways created an eight-cadre Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS) under which the rules for becoming a member or chairman of the General Manager Railway Board have been changed.

It was in 2015 that the Narendra Modi government introduced a 360-degree appraisal system meant to supplement the existing system of ACRs.

The Annual Confidential Report (ACR) is based on the submissions of an expert panel which would review officers’ full service records and all previous annual reports along with reports from the vigilance department.

Under the process, a panel of experts would collect views from the candidate’s colleagues both senior and junior as well as from people outside the government.

The panel would collect the views of these people described as “stakeholders” on a prescribed form. Both their feedback and the people themselves would remain anonymous.

By PTI Updated: Aug 20, 2022 8:06:41 pm
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