Service Profile of the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)

The Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) is a Group ‘A’ civil service that one may get recruited into on clearing the UPSC civil services exam. Every year the government appoints 10-15 officers. The IRAS officers are responsible for maintaining and managing the finances and accounts of the Indian Railways.

Brief History of IRAS

Indian railway finances were initially overseen by the railway branch of the Public Works Department of the Indian Government, headed by the Accountant General, Public Works Department. In 1921, on the recommendations of the Acworth Committee, a Financial Commissioner for Railways was appointed in 1923. In 1924, railway finances were separated from the general finances of the GOI. This process of separation was finished in 1929. This was the beginning of the IRAS cadre.

Functions of IRAS

  • Maintaining of accounts of the Indian Railways.
  • Giving financial advice to the executive in matters related to railways.
  • Scrutinising all investment and expenditure proposals of the various departments in railways.
  • Preparation of the budget.
  • Carrying out periodical financial reviews.
  • Engaging in fund raising and funds management.
  • Maintaining accounts and book keeping for railways.
  • Conducting stock inventory control.
  • Settling claims and recovering dues.
  • Management accounting.
  • IRAS officers are also sent on deputation to various PSUs to hold finance portfolios.

Training of IRAS

IRAS officers undergo training for a period of 90 weeks. Initially, they are trained at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie. Then they are trained in other institutes like the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), Vadodara, National Academy for Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur, National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad, etc. A 12-week executive general management programme has also been started in association with the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta for the IRAS probationers. Here, they are taught topics in marketing, operations management, human resource management, economics, public policy, management information systems, behavioural sciences, management information systems, finance and accounting, ethics and strategic management. The IRAS probationers also attend an eight-week Management Development Programme at Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon.

IRAS Hierarchy & Pay Scales


Designation in Ministries

Designation on Railways

Pay Scale

Junior Time Scale


Assistant Financial Advisor/ Assistant Divisional Financial Manager/ Assistant Workshop Accounts Officer/ Assistant Financial Advisor (Traffic)/ Assistant Electronic Data Processing Manager

Rs.15,600-39100 + Grade Pay Rs.5400

Senior Time Scale

Deputy Director in GOI

Senior Assistant Financial Advisor/ Divisional Financial Manager/ Workshop Accounts Officer/ Senior Assistant Financial Advisor/ Electronic Data Processing Manager/ Senior System Analyst/ Deputy Director (Railway Board)

Rs.15,600-39,100 + Grade Pay Rs.6600

Junior Administrative Grade

Deputy Secretary in GOI

Deputy Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer/ Senior Electronic Data Processing Manager/ Joint Director (Railway Board)

Rs.15,600-39,100 + Grade Pay Rs.7600

Selection Grade

Director in GOI

Deputy Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer/ Director (Railway Board)

Rs.37,400-67,000  + Grade Pay Rs.8700

Senior Administrative Grade

Joint Secretary to GOI/ Secretary in State Government

Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer/ Executive Director(Railway Board)

Rs.37,400-67,000  + Grade Pay Rs.10,000

Higher Administrative Grade

Additional Secretary in GOI/ Principal Secretary in State Government

Principal Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer/ Advisor (Railway Board)

Rs.37,400-67,000  + Grade Pay Rs.12,000

Higher Administrative Grade +

Special Secretary to GOI/ Chief Secretary

General Manager/ Director General/ Additional Member (Railway Board)




Financial Commissioner

80,000 (fixed)

Also Read | Service Profile for the Indian Postal Service (IPoS)

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