New Delhi: Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways has taken various steps for administrative reform in the year 2019. Following are the major reforms ushered in to improve the working of RPF:-
Consequent on grant of Organized Group ‘A’ status (OGAS) to the Group ‘A’ officer cadre in Railway Protection Force (RPF), the Ministry of Railways has notified the name of the Group ‘A’ cadre mentioned above as Indian Railway Protection Force Service (IRPFS) vide letter no. 2013/E(GR)1/36/10 (Part-I) dated 30.12.2019. The nomenclature of Group ‘A’ gazetted cadre of RPF as IRPFS does not, in any way, change the name of the force (RPF). The character of the force constituted under RPF (Amendment) Act 1985 (an Act of Parliament) as a statutory Armed Force of the Union remains unchanged.
Constables having received the benefit of 1st MACP/2nd MACP will wear ribbons (V) One Stripe /Two Stripes respectively on the right upper arm of their uniform. This will boost the morale of RPF personnel who remain in the rank of Constables for substantial period as they will look forward to addition of stripes in their uniform without waiting for their promotion to the rank of Head Constables.
The rules and guidelines for functioning of RPF have been compiled as Establishment Manual and Crime Manual superseding all guidelines in force. Soft copies of these manuals have been uploaded in the RPF webpage to make them easily accessible to all RPF personnel. This will streamline the functioning of RPF.
With ever increasing threat to railway system from Left Wing Extremists, terrorist/subversive elements, it is imperative that Railway Protection Force remains better trained and prepared to face growing challenges to railway security. For this very objective, setting up of a separate Commando unit, known as CORAS (Commandos for Railway Security), was announced by Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal on 14th August 2019.
Vision of CORAS is to develop world level capabilities of specialized response for any situation pertaining to damage, disturbance, disruption of train operations, attack/hostage/hijack/disaster situations in railway areas. The training of RPF commandos includes training in physical endurance, Unarmed Combat, Latest weapons training, Disaster management, Anti Terrorist Operations among others. RPF commandos are being utilised for securing railway stations, escorting trains and railway area protection in highly vulnerable areas.
The benefits available to RPF personnel from Rail Suraksha Kalyan Nidhi were enhanced substantially during 2019. In case of death attributable to death during discharge of duty, the benefit was enhanced from lump-sum grant of Rs 5 Lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs. The vipatti sahayata was also doubled to Rs 4 lakhs for self treatment and Rs 2 lakhs for treatment of family members. Numbers of merit scholarships were enhanced from 1200 to 1500 and enhanced scholarship was started for polytechnic and post graduate courses. Education assistance to handicapped wards was also doubled to Rs 1000 per month.
Promotion to Gazetted Officers: Long pending matter of regularisation of ASCs was resolved in 2019 with regularisation of 97 ASCs in Group A against the vacancies of last 4 years. In addition, a total of 95 officers i.e. 44, 41, 03, 04 and 03 officers were promoted to the rank of ASC, DSC, Sr.DSC, DIG and IG respectively during 2019.
Promotion to Non-gazetted ranks: During the year 2019, 364 Sub Inspectors were promoted to the rank of Inspectors and 2303 Constables were promoted to the rank of Head Constables. Selection of 388 posts of Sub-Inspectors from the rank of Asstt. Sub Inspectors is presently underway and the promotion process of Asstt. inspectors from the rank of Head Constables has been set in motion.
A total of 1121 candidates (male 823 and female 298) were empanelled for recruitment to the post of Sub Inspectors in RPF, out of which initial training of 929 (male 682, female 247) Sub-inspector cadets has already started. Similarly, 8543 candidates (male 4465 and female 4078) were empanelled for recruitment as Constable in RPF, out of which initial training of 5850 (male 3350 and female 2500) constable recruits has already started. The recruitment of 798 Constables (ancillary) and 246 Constables (band) is underway.