New Delhi: 13th May, 2015 – The first meeting of the ‘Kayakalp” Council was held today. This Council is headed by noted Industrialist Shri Ratan Tata. The other members of the ‘Kayakalp’ Council include Shri Shiva Gopal Mishra, General Secretary, All India Railway Federation(AIRF), Shri M. Raghaviah, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Railways(NFIR). Ms. Ragni Yechury, Executive Director(Industrial Relations), Railway Board and Dr. Madukar Sinha, Executive Director (Innovation), Railway Board. Shri Sinha will work as Secretary for the council. The Railway Board Members were also present on this occasion.

This Kayakalp 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 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. We need to balance these two requirements and function in a manner so that best services could be provided to the people at affordable price and the Railways emerge as an effective engine of growth for 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 we need to understand and address present challenges which cannot be overlooked. The Railway Minister pointed out that Indian Railways has a huge dedicated manpower which is its inherent strength. We all have to collectively work 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 also wished 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 ‘Kayakalp’ 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.

Shri Ratan Tata in his address 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 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.

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

Later, the Kayakalp Council discussed the following issues:-

  • 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 Indian Railways regarding Operations and Maintenance of Railways.

Detailed report of the said meeting will follow.