Nov 23, 2013

Ashok K Agarwal takes over the charge of General Manager, Integral Coach Factory (ICF)

Ashok Agarwal has 35 years of experience in Railways and has an impeccable track record of integrity and achievement

Chennai: Mr.Ashok Kumar Agarwal has taken over charge of the post of General Manager of the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur yesterday.

Belonging to the 1977 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), Mr. Agarwal was previously the Chief Administrative Officer, Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels, New Delhi.

He has served in various capacities as Divisional Railway Manager/West Central Railway, Bhopal; Chief Mechanical Engineer in East Coast Railway and in Diesel Loco Modernisation Works (DMW), Patiala, apart from holding various other posts in Railway Board, RITES, RDSO, Western Railway and Northern Railway.

With over 35 years of experience in Indian Railways, Mr. Agarwal was awarded gold medals by the Institution of Engineers, India and by Railway Staff College, Vadodara for his achievements.


Delay in Trespassing Control Project causes more deaths on Thane-Diva section

Thane: Approximately two persons are either injured or dead on the railway tracks between Thane and Diva daily, stated the railway police records. According to the data, in October alone, 67 people met with mishaps on the tracks, of which 28 died and 39 were seriously injured on this stretch. With the railways’ ambitious ‘Trespassing Control Project’ delayed, commuters fear the numbers would continue to remain high.

Cops said that falling in between gaps at platforms, falling off trains, line crossing is responsible for majority of mishaps.

Taking cognizance of the heavy number of mishaps, the railways had also identified Thane and suburbs to launch the ‘Trespassing Control Project’. However, the same has been delayed following World Bank objections over the tendering process.

“The project will be executed by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and railways will provide the land. The tendering for Thane and Kanjurmarg was to be done first. But now the entire project work will be tendered at one go and simultaneously executed. This may take some time,” said a Central Railway (CR) official.

“The railways installed barricades along the tracks, but some commuters still prefer to jump over them rather than use the bridges, ” The bridges are wide but landings narrow and this may be a reason why many may be avoiding using them, said a police official. MRVC officials were unavailable for comments.

A Honest Leader leads from the Front: Sanjiv Rai, MD & CEO, Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon

Sanjiv Rai is the Co-Founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at IL&FS - Rail Ltd (IRL), which is executing Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Project, India’s first fully private rail project in India. He spoke on a range of issues on leadership.  Excerpts:
sanjiv_raiHow do you define a Leader?A leader is one who leads from the front, irrespective of the size of business.
What are the three most important traits of a Leader?First and foremost to be honest with the organisation. Second, not to micro manage, but still be aware and involved with all aspect of business. Third, to continue to delegate, and cultivate a culture of decision making in the middle and junior management employees, provide them a platform for training.
As a Leader of your group, how do you cultivate Leaders?We give middle to junior managers a say in management decisions. This is accomplished by delegating work to them and by involving them in all the key decisions. There are hardly any decisions that are being taken either by me, or other senior managers, in isolation. Metros being a very complex business, all the key decisions are discussed at several levels at Rapid Metro, before they are implemented.
Can Leadership be learnt? In other words, how can a manager become a Leader?I do not agree that “leaders are born”. Given the right opportunity at the right time, an individual will demonstrate leadership qualities. It is important for organisations to recognise talent and ensure that the managers do not feel frustrated or de-motivated in their respective job functions. Therefore, it is the responsibility of senior management to provide encouragement and direction to develop and hone their skills, to become future leaders.
What is the role of a professional leader in a promoter-driven company?In promoter-driven companies, there are multiple pressures, the least of which is from the promoter. The leader has to cope with many parties such as central and state government, local authorities and various business partners, and at the same time meet the promoter’s financial and commercial objectives. There are also compelling needs of the promoters and individual objectives that in many instances tend to become a hindrance in the growth of the organisation.
Since September 2008, the world has fallen into a maelstrom of serial crises. What is the role of a Leader in these times?Basically, every organisation needs to focus on the needs of shareholders, employees and their clients.  After all, they have invested their time and money, which allows a company to exist and function. So, irrespective of the market condition and economic environment, the leadership team has to continue to find ways to grow business and remain competitive, and still be able to generate acceptable returns for the shareholders. The true measure of the leadership team would be to perform and deliver in tough market conditions. This is easier said than done.
What has been the biggest Leadership challenge you’ve faced?Personally, this is my first opportunity of working in India. So in several cases, I had to learn and realign my thought process in not only working with people, but also dealing with local organisations. It has been an exceptional learning experience for me.
Do you think the role of business Leaders has come under cloud — globally and domestically — of late?Businesses have existed for as long as we can remember. Generally, we hear of success stories, but we also need to accept that there will always be instances where some leaders of the organisation may bend the rules or take shortcuts to achieve short-term goals. Certainly questions are being raised about the role of the business leader. Most leaders generally do the right thing.
Leaders have to often carry the cross of other’s wrongdoings and inefficiencies, the global banking sector today, for instance. What role can good Leadership play to counter balance this image?The fact remains that, once you have accepted a leadership role you carry the burden of the actions of the organisation. With the role of leadership comes the power, as well as additional responsibilities. A good leader will use these opportunities. A leader needs to, not only understand all aspects of the business, but also be involved with staff at several levels. This will provide them with feedback on the various levels, and prevent surprises.
What is your one-line Leadership mantra?A leader leads from the front.
Who are the Leaders who have inspired you?Honestly, not many people in this environment demonstrate inspiration. What I personally look for in a leader would be his qualities to build trust with his employees and his relationships with all organisations that they deal with. Having said that, there are several instances where you hear about ordinary people that provide you with inspiration. One doesn’t have to be a business leader to provide others with inspiration.
What is the biggest Leadership lesson that you have learnt?
Early on, we made decision that although we were a new organisation, we would hire and train our junior staff by recruiting them directly from universities. This afforded them the opportunity to receive on-the-job training.   Since 2010, we have hired more than 140 boys and girls at Rapid Metro. We are continuing with this practice even today. After three years we find that these young boys and girls, have gained invaluable skills and are making exceptional contribution to Rapid Metro.
What is the worst Leadership decision you have taken?Too many to describe here. Where would you like me to start.

IRFC tax-free bonds likely in December

State-owned Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), the fund-raising arm of the Indian Railways, is planning a public issue of its tax-free bonds in December.

Funds raised by IRFC are used for buying locomotives, wagons and coaches, with a small chunk going to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited to fund bankable projects. The Railways pays back IRFC from the passenger and freight services earnings.

“We have already filed the draft prospectus and we plan to come out with the public issue sometime in December,” an official told.

The government has allowed IRFC to raise up to Rs 100 billion through tax-free bonds in the current financial year ending March.

The government has made it mandatory for issuers of tax-free bonds to raise a minimum of 70 per cent of the allocated funds through public issues.

The railway project funding institution had got bids worth Rs 12.25 billion through private placement for tax-free bonds.

“We have not decided on the actual size of the public issue yet. Also, we will be considering the coupons before coming in the market,” the official said.

CM backs bonus plea of railway employees

PATNA: CM Nitish Kumar on Friday said that Indian Railway is the lifeline of the country. Its progress is the progress of the country, and it mostly caters to the needs of common people. He was addressing the inaugural function of the three-day All India Railway Men's Federation conference held at Rajendra Nagar Terminal here.

The CM supported the demand of railway employees for bonus. "Railway ministry must not curtail bonus as it is being given to them on the basis of productivity-linked bonus formula. The demand of railway employees to give employment to one of their dependents is genuine and railway ministry should consider it," he said.

According to Kumar, railways safety must be given top priority to check recurrence of mishaps. Railway bridges and tracks should always be kept in proper condition, he said, adding the decision of railway ministry to increase axle load on the existing tracks was not wise.

Nitish strongly pleaded that railway ministry should invest more on railways not only to step up safety measures but also modernize it for passengers' convenience. He recalled his days as railway minister when he took several steps to put railways on the right track. Kumar, however, did not speak about the pending railway projects in Bihar.

Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, said the railway board has decided not to take written examination for appointment to Group D category. Railways has also decided to restructure Group C category employees' appointment procedure to benefit a large number of candidates across the country, he said, adding the railways was forced to hike fares after a gap of 15 years to further improve passenger amenities.

The chairman said that the railways will check wasteful expenditure. The structure of the guard's van will be changed soon to provide proper facility for the guard to sit in his van, he said, adding railways is committed to employees' welfare.

ECR GM Madhuresh Kumar and many JD (U) leaders were also present on the occasion. Earlier, All India Railway Men's Federation national president Uroan Prohit and national general secretary Gopal Mishra welcomed the guests and delegates.

Source - TOI





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