Civil Services Current Affairs - 2020

All new Railway recruits to be inducted through UPSC civil services exams

The Railway board has now decided that all new recruits in railways will be inducted through UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Civil Services Exams under five specialities. The decision comes days after the Union Cabinet approved big ticket reforms in the railways by merging its eight cadres and departments services into one single entity- the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS). This decision to merge services was to ensure that officers put railways first instead of their service which had become the case under present system.

Key Highlights of Changes

Now just like UPC aspirants, the candidates aspiring to get into Indian Railways will have to appear for their UPSC prelims after which they will indicate their preference for IRMS under 5 specialties– four of them will be engineering specialities (including that of stores (department)) for ‘technical’ operations comprising of civil, mechanical, electrical and telecom, and one ‘non-technical’ speciality (or non-engineering) that will be recruiting officers for personnel, traffic and accounts. For non-engineering specialisations, anyone can come from humanities side will be utilised for manning accounts, traffic and personnel service. All of them will be promoted at the same time.

Moreover, the Chairman of Railway Board, who will also be CEO of national transporter, will be an officer of Indian Railway Service and not from any other service. Also, officers from Indian Railways who have experience of 35 yrs will only be posted as Chairman/CEO. The Chairman shall be cadre controlling officer responsible for Human Resources (HR) with assistance from DG (HR).

Railway Board Composition: With new changes, the Chairman along with 4 members responsible for infrastructure, operations & business development, finance and rolling stock respectively will form Railway Board. The Board will also have some independent non-executive members. They will be highly distinguished professionals with 30 years of experience including at top levels in finance, economics, management and industry fields and thus will help Railway Board in setting a strategic direction. These independent members will be available during Board meetings but not involved with day to day running of railways.

Three apex level posts shall be surrendered from Railway Board and all its remaining posts shall be open to all officers regardless of service to which they belonged. The railways assured that it will try to ‘pull up’ those officers who are lagging behind instead of ‘pulling down’ those who are ahead in their careers.

PM Modi to attend Ekta Diwas parade

PM Modi is to pay tribute to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel on October 31, 2019. The event is to be conducted at the Statue of Unity, Kevadiya. PM will also participate at the Ekta Diwas Parade and interact with the Civil Service probationers attending the first foundation civil service course, Aarambh.

Ekta Diwas

Since 2014, October 31 is being observed as the National Unity Day or Ekta Diwas. The aim of the observation is to encourage people from all walks of life to participate in the run for unity. Like every year “Run for Unity” campaign is being organized

Run for Unity

In 2013, the event earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is a running event. The event entered the Guinness Book as 609,000 participants joined the event within 24 hours in multiple locations


  • It urges people to participate towards one goal “Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat”
  • It imparts the message to protect unity, integrity and security of the country.
  • As Sir Patel integrated the nation, the day is being observed on his birth anniversary.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel

As the first Home Minister of Inida, Sir Patel played key role in the integration of the princely states into Indian Federation. The plan of 16 May 1946 proposed partition of India based on religious lines with 565 princely states. They were given the freedom of joining India or Pakistan or choosing independence.

Patel, on 6 May 1947, began lobbying the princes, convinced them by explaining potential conflicts. He persuaded them and proposed favorable terms for the merger including privy purses for the rulers descendants. Privy Purses are payments made to the rulers after they agreed to merge with independent India.

Under his efforts, out of 565 states, only three states J&K, Hyderabad and Junagadh did not fall into his basket.