Indian Railways has formulated a new liberalised policy for promotion of sportspersons and coaches. They will get out of turn promotion to the officers’ grade on the basis of their outstanding performances on the field and sports achievements. Their achievement will also, among other things, include representing India in the Olympics on at least two occasions with either at least one medal in Asian Games/Commonwealth Games or being a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna/Arjuna Awardees. This policy will also cover Railway Coaches in Officer Grade who fulfill certain criterion.
The criterion for coaches, among other things, includes Padma Awardees for outstanding contribution in sports and also those who have coached medal winners at the Olympics/Commonwealth/Asian Games, etc. Chief Coach of Indian Women Wrestling Team, Kuldeep Singh, is one of the first beneficiaries of this. Northern Railway has issued orders for his promotion to the Gazetted post of Assistant Commercial Manager.
Singh has coached some of India’s biggest wrestling stars including Rio Olympic Bronze medalist Sakshi Malik, and Ms. Vinesh Phogat who won Gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018 and Asian Games 2018. They both are employees of the Indian Railways. Double Olympian athlete of Indian Railways, Sudha Singh, has also been promoted to the officer grade.
Earlier this year, during the felicitation programme for Commonwealth Games medalists, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways had announced that the Railways will come up with a comprehensive promotion policy for sportspersons and coaches to Officers Grade.
Goyal also emphasized that coaches should also be given their due recognition and Railways will acknowledge their contribution in preparing athletes who win medals at prestigious International sporting events and bring laurels to the country.
Indian Railways has a rich sporting heritage. In 2016 Rio Olympics, 35 Indian Railways athletes represented the country. It was one third of the entire Indian Olympic contingent making Indian Railways the biggest contributor amongst all sports organisations in India.