Senior railway traffic service officer Jaya Verma Sinha has made history by becoming the first woman to hold the prestigious position of Chief Executive and Chairperson of the Railway Board. Her tenure officially began on September 1st, succeeding Anil Kumar Lahoti, and she will be in office until August 31, 2024. This significant milestone was announced by the railway ministry through a press release, which stated, “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Smt. Jaya Varma Sinha as Chairperson & CEO of Railway Board. She is the first woman to be appointed to this Apex post of Indian Railways.”
The Journey of Jaya Verma Sinha: From Member to CEO
Jaya Verma Sinha recently played a central role in the railways’ media interactions, particularly in explaining the complex signaling system following the tragic Balasore accident. This role was her last assignment before taking on the leadership of the Railway Board. As the Member (Operations and Business Development), she was responsible for overseeing the overall transportation of freight and passenger services on Indian Railways.
A Historic Appointment: First Woman in 166 Years
The appointment of Jaya Verma Sinha marks a pivotal moment in the 166-year history of Indian Railways, as she becomes the first woman to assume the role of CEO. Her elevation to Chairman and CEO of the Railway Board highlights her outstanding contributions and unwavering dedication to the development of the railway sector, shattering a long-standing gender barrier.
A Distinguished 35-Year Career
With a career spanning over 35 years in Indian Railways, Jaya Verma Sinha has held various critical positions, including Member (Operations & Business Development) Railway Board and Additional Member, Traffic Transportation, Railway Board. She has worked across diverse verticals, including operations, commercial, IT, and vigilance. Her remarkable achievements include being the first woman appointed as the Principal Chief Operations Manager of South Eastern Railway and serving as the Railway Advisor in the High Commission of India in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she played a pivotal role in inaugurating the famous Maitri Express from Kolkata to Dhaka.
A Passion for Photography and Academic Pursuits
Jaya Verma Sinha, an alumna of Allahabad University, joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service in 1988. Throughout her career, she worked in various zones, including Northern Railway, S E Railway, and Eastern Railway. Beyond her professional life, she has a keen interest in photography. Her appointment not only showcases her exceptional skills but also highlights the growing recognition of gender diversity and inclusivity in leadership roles within India’s railways.
Jaya Verma Sinha’s historic appointment as the first woman Chairperson and CEO of the Railway Board is not only a personal achievement but also a significant step towards greater gender diversity and inclusivity in India’s railway sector. Her extensive experience and dedication make her well-equipped to lead and shape the future of Indian Railways, inspiring countless others to break barriers and strive for excellence.