The Minister of Railways is the head of the Ministry of Railways, and presides over the Indian Railways. The Minister has Cabinet rank in matters relating to Rail transport. The current Railway Minister is Piyush Goyal of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Railway Ministry is created through the merger of Department of Railways and Ministry of Railroads. Before independence, there was a department called “Central Railway” which looked after all Indian rail network and other railway operations. In 1947, many railways were nationalised by the British Empire as part of decolonisation process. After independence, new railway departments were created to look after each individual railway. That is why before independence there was a department called Central Railway which looks after all rail network and operations for that particular railway system.
What is the current Railway Ministry in India?
The current Railway Ministry is the Bharatiya Janata Party led ministry. The Minister of Railways is Piyush Goyal who from 24th November 2017 is the first Indian Railways Minister in BJP to complete his full term.
Since 29th May 2014, the Ministry has been headed by Mr. Suresh Prabhu as Minister of Railways, after he took over from Mr. Sadananda Gowda who served as the Prime Minister’s nominee for six months.
Differences between Ministry of Railways and Railway Ministry
The Ministry of Railways is the head department of Indian Railways. It looks after all rail transport in India. The Railway Ministry has Cabinet rank and looks after matters relating to railways.
The Railway Ministry was created through a merger of Department of Railways and Ministry of Railroads which were created before independence. The Minister of Railways is Piyush Goyal whereas the Minister of Railroads was Suresh Prabhu.
The difference between the two ministries is that while Railway Ministry looks after rail transport, the Ministry of Railways deals with all railway operations and activities including train stations, locomotives, rolling stock etc.
Evolution of Railway Ministry in India
There was a time when there was no ministry of railways. The Central Railway (CR) looked after all Indian rail network and other railway operations till 1947. This system continued till 1956, when the Department of Railways was created to look after rail network and operations for each individual railway system. It was renamed as Ministry of Railways in 1965, following which the department was split into two different departments- the Railway Board and the Ministry of Railways which came under Cabinet rank in matters relating to Rail transport. In 1967, it became the Ministry of Railways & Transport with separate departments for both railways and transport. Finally, on 18 February 2017, it became one single ministry again with CR & PR being merged into a single department under the name “Railways”.
The Railway Minister is appointed by President of India for five years term which can be extended for one more year.
Who heads the Ministry of Railways in India?
The Minister of Railways is the head of the Ministry of Railways and presides over the Indian Railways. The Minister has Cabinet rank in matters relating to Rail transport.
Functions of the railway ministry
The Railway Minister is in charge of the Ministry of Railways and hence is responsible for all rail transportation and operations.
The minister looks after rolling stock and equipment, safety, security, and traffic management.
The minister also oversees the country’s railway policy.
Finally, the minister conducts research in railways and advises on technological advancements.
Department under the railway ministry
The Ministry of Railways has nearly 18,000 employees and the department under this ministry is called the department of “Railways”. The department of “Railways” looks after all railway operations across India and it manages the Indian Railways, including traffic, locomotives, rail networks, signalling, track maintenance and safety.
This department also looks after various other activities like freight train operations, passenger trains operations, track construction and station development as well as managing research and development activities.
The Department of Railway is a part of the Ministry of Railways which comprises five other departments – Department of Personnel & Training (DOPT), Department of Defence (MoD), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Ministry of Commerce.
How to get drafted in Indian Railways?
If you want to be a part of Indian Railways, there are many different ways in which you can get drafted. These include being a member of the Railway Protection Force or joining as an apprentice.
If you are looking to become a full-time employee, you must have completed at least two years of college education and passed the railway exam conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The examination is conducted by CBSE and the result serves as your qualification to join any department of Indian Railways.
With this in mind, if you decide that becoming a clerk is what you want to do, there are three exams for which you can apply – Clerk Typist, Clerk Multi Tasking (CMT), and Clerk Accountant. These exams are conducted by CBSE and serve as qualifications for various job positions in Indian Railways.
Aspiring candidates who wish to take up these exams need not have studied any specific subject from one particular stream because they will have to give an account of their general knowledge instead.