Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav Likely To Be Named Its First-Ever CEO
A train sits at a platform in in Surat, Gujarat, India. (Photographer: Karen Dias/Bloomberg)

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav Likely To Be Named Its First-Ever CEO

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Vinod Kumar Yadav, who on Wednesday received one-year extension as Railway Board chairman, is likely to be named the first-ever chief executive officer of the apex body of Indian Railways.

The post was created as part of a major administrative restructuring of the national transporter. The revamp, approved by the Union Cabinet recently, reduces the number of members of Railway Board and calls for merger of its cadre.

In his first term, Yadav was appointed as Railway Board chairman and ex-officio principal secretary to the Government of India, on Jan. 1, 2019. Prior to this assignment, he had worked as general manager, South Central Railway.

Under his regular tenure as Railway Board chairman, not only was the cadre merger announced, the Board was also trimmed and around 50 officers were shifted from the headquarters to zonal offices. Also, "private players" were roped in to run some trains, and an announcement regarding corporatisation of railway public sector undertakings was made.

Yadav is a postgraduate in business administration (technology management) from La Trobe University, Australia, and holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh.

If appointed the Railway Board CEO, Yadav will be the cadre-controlling officer responsible for the human resources, with assistance from a director general (HR).

Yadav has held several important executive and managerial positions in the railways and on deputation to various organizations.

His previous assignments are chief electrical engineer, planning/traction distribution, Northern Railway; divisional railway manager, Lucknow division, North Eastern Railway; and additional divisional railway manager (operation), Delhi division, Northern Railway.

In his second tenure as the highest-ranking bureaucrat in the railways, Yadav has the unenviable task of ensuring that the railways' ambitious cadre merger is implemented without a hitch, and the corporatisation plans get underway.

His biggest challenge, however, will be to resurrect the railways financially as the national transporter has been facing severe cash crunch for the past few years.

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