From now on, promotion and career progression of top officers of the Indian Railways will depend on how much money they have helped the national transporter make and how much physical assets they helped create during a year.
Bringing in a private sector-like appraisal system for the first time for senior government officials, the Railway Ministry under Suresh Prabhu last week issued formal orders to make a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) part of the Annual Performance Appraisal Reports or APARs of General Managers, Divisional Railway Managers and departmental heads in zonal railways. They will now be weighed against a scale of 100 marks, which means now a senior railway officer’s performance will be quantifiable, instead of a subjective assessment done by his or her superiors.
The KPIs for the officers have been set against five broad categories of performance linked directly to the health of Indian Railways. These categories are: operational and financial performance, capacity enhancement, capacity utilisation, asset reliability, and manpower training and upgrade.
Under financial/operation performance, how much freight has been carried by a zone and how many passengers it has handled will carry maximum weightage — 10 marks each.
The Railway Ministry has been methodical in devising the system. As part of the process, zonal and, in turn, divisional units were asked targets for the year, which they themselves furnished after much deliberations. Now, each General Manager, DRM and departmental head will be judged against his/her own targets.