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Indian Railway Accounts Service

Recruitment and Training

The recruitment to the cadre is done through the Civil Services Examination which is conducted by Union Public Service Commission of India every year. The Union Public Service Commission selects top and middle level bureaucrats through this examination who work for the Government of India. This examination is conducted in three stages viz preliminary examination, Mains examination and Interview. Only a few hundred of the candidates are selected each year out of about 400 thousand aspirants who take the exam. The candidates through this examination are selected for various top level bureaucratic services for Indian Government including Indian Administrative Service.

After selection through the Civil Services Examinations of the Union Public Service Commission, the probationers of Indian Railway Accounts Service are required to undergo a two year training programme before induction into service on various railway zones.

The two year training program includes classroom training at National Academy of Direct Taxes at Nagpur, Railway Staff College Vadodara and specialised training institutes, as well as field training on zonal railways, divisions, construction organisations and manufacturing units of the Indian Railways.

Recently, Railway Board has entered into an agreement with Indian Institute of Management Calcutta for a 12 week executive general management programme as a part of regular training of IRAS probationers. The general management programme covers topics in economics, human resource management, management information systems, public policy, behavioural sciences, operations management, marketing, ethics, finance and accounting and strategic management. The training programme also includes sessions with industry experts and visits to various industries. An 8 week MDP(Management Development Programme)is also being carried out at MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE(MDI),GURGAON for IRAS Probationers from year 2010 onwards. A group of 21 probationers of the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) 2010 batch, recently called on President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and were asked by the President to work for the cause of the nation.

Role and Function

The Finance and Accounts functions are integrated with the executive at all levels in the Railways. At the apex level of policy formulation, the Financial Commissioner, Railways, assisted by Additional Member (Finance), Additional Member (Budget), Adviser (Finance) and Adviser (Accounting Reforms) in–charge of Budgeting, Expenditure, Earnings, Accounting and Accounting Development/Reforms, is there to aid and guide the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). At the Zonal level, the General Manager is aided by the Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer along with his assistants. At the Divisional level, which is only an administrative unit of a Zonal Railway, an identical arrangement exists to assist the Divisional Railway Manager in finance and accounts matters. Besides the major production units and workshops, be they manufacturing units or repair and maintenance units, have an inbuilt system of associate finance and accounts. The stores organisation, which is responsible for procurement of stores and materials worth thousands of crores of rupees, is again assisted by Finance & Accounts. In short, there is hardly any sphere of railway activity with which the Accounts and Finance organisation is not directly associated in the decision-making process. In addition, officers of the Service also occupy management posts such as Divisional Railway Managers, Additional General Managers etc.

IRAS cadre of Indian Railways is responsible for the Finance and Accounting functions of the Railways. Core functions of this cadre include maintenance of accounts of Indian Railways and Financial Advice to the executive. At the zonal level, IRAS officers are designated as Financial Advisor and Chief Account Officers while at the Division level, they are Divisional Finance Managers. Budget Management, Expenditure Control, Earnings Accountal, Financial scrutiny of various executive proposals are some of the functions performed by IRAS officers. Every expenditure in Indian Railways has to pass through Financial scrutiny. The IRAS cadre exercises substantial control over the affairs of the Indian Railways.

Officers of Indian Railway Accounts Service serve in various government ministries on deputation as Deputy Secretary/Director, Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary. They are also sent to various Public Sector undertakings on deputation to hold finance portfolios.

Service Hierarchy:

Grade Designation in Field Designation in Headquarters
Junior time scale Assistant divisional accounts officer Junior accounts officer/ Workshop Accounts Officer
Senior time scale Divisional accounts officer Deputy director
Junior administrative grade Sr. divisional accounts officer / Dy. Financial advisor & CAO Jt. Director
Selection grade Sr. divisional accounts officer / Dy. Financial advisor & CAO Director
Senior administrative grade Financial advisor & CAO Executive director
Higher administrative grade Coordinating financial advisor & CAO Additional member
Higher grade Financial Commissioner


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