Digital Railways going Paperless! 100% transparency in all operations: Suresh Prabhu

The Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the transparency is an important tenet of this Government. Presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament today he said , Indian Railway’s mission is to ensure 100% transparency in all its operations. He said, Indian Railways has initiated the process of conducting recruitments online in 2015-16 and the process is now being replicated for all positions. Social media is also being used as a tool to bring in transparency in its day to day working. All procurement including procurement of works has moved to the e-platform.

The Minister said, Indian Railways intend to usher into a new era by switching over to paperless contract management system where not only the bids are invited online, but the entire process leading to award of a tender is also done electronically. He said a trial run has been conducted for the above and the Railways intend to roll it out on a Pan-India basis in next financial year.

The Railway Minister said, with a view to ensuring empowerment at functional level, he had delegated to the Zonal Railways all tender and estimate related powers. As a result of the decision, Indian Railways were able to ensure that the projects get sanctioned within a period of 6-8 months, a process, which earlier, used to take more than 2 years. He said, with more delegation comes greater accountability and to establish this new culture, key result areas (KRAs) have been defined for General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers. These areas clearly articulate the metrics on which the officials would be evaluated, ensuring objectivity in assessment of performance and mid-term course corrections. The Minister said, MoUs have been signed with some Zonal Railways, where quantifiable targets on performance parameters were clearly laid out. This ensured resounding commitment from these Railways in meeting their targets. He said, it will be done for all zones next year. 

The Minister said, the Railways has also revamped its internal audit systems with a view to bringing in efficiency in working practices. Specialized teams have been mandated to screen Railway operations in specific areas, to detect inefficiencies and prevent wastages. All Zonal Railways have been asked to prepare two such reports in the current year. Specialized training courses on IT-based internal audit mechanism have also been initiated to give professional teeth to the internal audit teams.