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MC 42 Cultural Activities on Railways

September 21, 2011

Master Circular No. 42

Cultural Activities on Railways

At present the orders relating to promotion of cultural activities on the Railways and holding of Inter-Divisional/Inter-Railway cultural competitions are scattered in a number of Office Circulars/ Order issued from time to time. The question of consolidation of these existing Orders/ Circulars into one Master Circular has been in consideration of the Ministry of Railways. They have now decided to issue a consolidated Order on the subject as below, for information and guidance of all concerned.

2. Based on the announcement made by the then Minister for Railways while introducing the Railway budget for 1976-77 in the Lok Sabha on 10.03.1976, it was inter alia decided by the Ministry of Railways to introduce inter-Divisional and inter-Railway cultural competitions in Dance, Drama and Music, in order to encourage give fillip to the latent talent in Railway employees and their family members.

3. It was further decided that preliminary rounds will be held initially at Divisional level and the finalists in the various items from each Division will be sent by the respective Divisions to the Zonal Headquarters, where the final Inter-Divisional competition will be held to adjudge the winners of the Zonal Railway in the various events competed. The inter-Divisional competition shall be held on the dates fixed by the respective Zonal Railways. Subsequently, inter-Railway competition in each item will be organised by the Railway Unit concerned, to whom it is allotted by the Board based on the offer received from the Railway Units. The Inter-Railway Cultural Competition will be held normally in the months of January-February each year at the venues and dates intimated by the host Railway concerned.

During the Railway Week celebrations from 9-16 April every year, a Central Function will be organised by the Northern Railway on behalf of the Railway Board where the Winners of each item in the inter-Railway Cultural Competition held earlier will present their respective items. On this occasion, the Railway unit concerned who has received the maximum marks in aggregate based on their performance in the Inter Railway Cultural Competition in different items, will be presented the overall rolling trophy, the symbol of supremacy in Railways Cultural events.


4.The items of the competitions will be as indicated below:

i) Drama One act Play
ii) Music The Competition will be held both in the Carnatic and Hindustani system of music, both vocal and instrumental, which will include classical and light music in both the systems. In the instrumental section in Carnatic instruments like Veena, Flute, Violin, Harmonium etc. will be permitted. In the Hindustani music, instruments will consist of Sitar, Sarod, Flute, Violin, and Harmonium etc.
iii) Classical Dances Bharat Natyam, Kathkali, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi and Kuchipudi.
iv) Other items Other items will consist of monoacting, mimicry, skit and magic items etc.

There will be no sub-divisions of the various items of competition either on language consideration in case of Drama; classical/light in case of music and different types of dances in case of dance events. There should be a minimum of 5 entries for each item to arrange the Inter-Railway Competition in that event. The Competition shall be open to all Railway employees and their dependents, as permissible under the pass rules. Only “amateurs” will be permitted to participate in the Competition and the Competition is not open to “professionals”.


Special Casual Leave to participants in cultural activities shall not exceed 30 days, excluding Sundays/holidays. The participants who are Railway employees will also be paid TA/DA on the same scale as is being paid at present to competitors in the Inter-Divisional and Inter-Railway sports events as in the past. For other participants, there will be no objection to suitable assistance being sanctioned from the Staff Benefit Fund. The participants may be granted special passes as admissible under the extant orders/rules,


At the Board’s level, there will be an apex body consisting of Adviser (Staff), Executive Director (Establishment), Director Finance (Expenditure) and Director Establishment (Welfare) to lay down the policy directions, implement the policy by way of co-ordination on all Railway basis, allotment of funds to the Railway units for hosting the various items of cultural competition etc. The organisation at the Divisional and Zonal levels on the Railways and Production Units would be as follow

  1. Chief personnel Officer Or Chief Personnel Officer (IR) – Chairman
  2. Dy. General Manager (G)
  3. One representative each from the recognised Federation.
  1. Divisional Railway Manager  OR Addl. Divisional Railway Manager
  2. Senior/Divisional Personnel Officer
  3. One representative each from the recognised federation.
PRODUCTION UNITS: Production Unit committees would consist of Chief Personnel Officer/Chief Mechanical Engineer; Deputy/ Senior Personnel Officer and 2 Staff Council representatives


In the Staff Benefit Fund a sum of Rs. 2 has been earmarked for “Recreation other than sports” and out of it Re. 0.05P per capita has been specifically remarked for being spent on organising Inter-Railway Cultural Competition. Allotment of this part of the Fund to the various organising Railways, as may be decided, will be made centrally by the Board. Expenditure in arranging/ participating cultural competition at the Divisional/ Zonal/ Inter-Railway levels will be met from the aforesaid head. Extra expenditure, if any, may be met from within the sanctioned budget under Demand No. 11 “Canteens and other staff amenities”.


The annual quota for recruitment based on proficiency in cultural activities is 4 per Zonal Railways and 2 per Production Unit per year in Group ‘C’ category.

The Board had decided that the services of those who were specifically recruited against cultural quota should be usefully utilised in organising Inter-Railway/ Divisional Cultural Competitions as well as in arranging programmes during Railway Week celebrations and on the occasion of National Festivals like Independence Day/ Republic Day/ Gandhi Jayanti and other important and suitable occasions. The programmes to be brought out should be such as would have healthy entertainment value and as far as possible have relevance to socially desirable objectives like promotion of fellow-feeling and team spirit amongst Railwaymen, national integration, sense of patriotism, secular outlook, ethical and human values etc. It may also be clarified that such employees will continue to perform the duties of the posts in which they are recruited and of the posts in which they may be posted/promoted in course of their career.


Duration and maximum number of participants in each item of the cultural competition will be as follows:

  Items Maximum Duration Maximum Participants Remark
  (1) (2) (3) (4)
(a) Dance 15 Minutes 2 Choice of style is left to the participants. Accompaniments will be arranged by the participants including Director, who should also be a Railway employee.
(b) Drama (One act Play) 30 Minutes 9 Play may be staged in any of the Indian languages as provided in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Light, sound and stage shall be provided by the Railway Unit concerned. Settings, which should not be elaborate and back ground music, if any, shall be arranged by the participants. Sufficient thought and care should be exercised in the choice of the plays. Plays on themes of contemporary interest should be preferred.
(c) Music 15 minutes (Classical) 2 (Excluding accompanists) Accompanists including instruments will be arranged by participants. In Light only Bhajans, Ghazals and songs based on a recognised raga either Hindustani or Carntic system will be permitted.
10 minutes (Light)
10 minutes (Instrumental)
(d) Other Items 10 minutes 1  

                            i.            Each Railway contingent may be accompanied by a Manager who should be a Gazetted Officer.

                          ii.            Host Railway units organising the Inter-Railway cultural competition in each items will arrange to provide suitable subsidised hospitality (boarding & loading) to the participants.

                        iii.            Organising Railway units will also arrange for suitable coverage of the competition, e.g., photography, video, etc. locally.


                            i.            While referring to this Circular, the original letters referred to herein should be read for a proper appreciation. This Circular is only a consolidation of the instructions issued so far and should not be treated as a substitution to the originals. In case of doubt, the original Circular should be relied upon as authority.

                          ii.            The instructions contained in the original circulars referred to have only prospective effect from the date of issue unless specifically indicated otherwise in the concerned circular. For dealing with old cases, the instructions in force at the relevant time would be referred to; and

                        iii.            If any circular on the subject, which has not been superseded, has not been taken into consideration in preparing this consolidated letter, the said circular, which has been missed through oversight, should be treated as valid and operative. Such a missing circular, if any, may be brought to the notice of the Railway Board.


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