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Published : Friday, 26 June, 2015 12:50 PM
MBA aspirants must be updated with General Awareness on current topics. General awareness topics with analytically drawn conclusions will benefit you in CAT, XAT, IIFT, CMAT, MAT, Essay writing,General Awareness sections besides in WAT, GD & PI.
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Indeed Indian Railways is the lifeline of our country where number of people loaded and offloaded by it in a day is comparable to the population of a large country like Australia. It had been the cheapest and fastest mode of surface transport in the country but after independence, populist measures by the politicians had made one of the strongest economic enterprises of the country to an ailing one.
Its glory days can be compared to the days of British India when Acworth Committee in 1921 recommended the separation of Railway Budget from the General Budget as the railway receipts accounted for around 70% of the overall budget which now has reduced to less than 15%.
Since railways are still the most popular mode of transport in the country, it is important to ensure its sustainability and make them run on the lines of economic viability rather than on the basis of populist choices.
For that matter, in September 2014, Government of India constituted a committee under Bibek Debroy , noted Indian economist who has also been professor at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has been given responsibilityto recommend the restructuring of Indian Railways and sources of resource mobilizations.
Some major recommendations of the committee for the reform of Railways are as under –
Committee said that its recommendations had three pillars commercial accounting, changes in human resource (HR) policy and the independent regulator. The regulator will have quasi-judicial powers, with the functions of rate and safety regulation, fair access regulation, service standard regulation and licensing, and setting technical standards.
These recommendations are indeed an attempt to run railways on commercial lines by pointing out the ailing features of the sector and encouraging the participation of private sectors.
However, on the question of whether these recommendations would be able to transform our lifeline is highly doubtful. Not because there is any flaw in the recommendations but the opposition to these recommendation by the railways’ employee unions.
While rejecting the report, the displeased employees have already called for observing a “black day” on June 30, 2015. The vehement opposition from inside the railways as well as from other areas including political opposition would not let the full implementation of recommendations in one go.
However, the reform of government’s biggest economic enterprise is also necessary so instead of implementing these recommendations in one go, government may think of taking baby step of reforms by gradually starting with minor reforms.
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