About Psychology Department:
The scientific approach and concept of Psycho Technology and psycho technological analysis was inducted in Indian Railways in 1964 in pursuance of the recommendation of Railway Accident Committee-1962 and a unit was set up in Railway Board’s office. This unit was subsequently transferred to RDSO in 1970 and was given the status of a full-fledged Directorate in 1990. Since its inception the Psycho-Technical Unit has been instrumental in development and standardization of behavioral intervention programs and their implementation effectively addressing the safety concern of Indian Railways.
The activities of the Directorate include Research and Development in the area of Human Resource Development, human engineering psychological tools as ’Aptitude Tests’ and ergonomics for safety category railway staff who are directly involved in train operation. The focus has been on job analysis, motivation, stress management, safety supervision, counseling and application of Psychological Test of tools at work places. The vast experience of its existence and the areas of interests have enabled the Directorate to develop expertise in the field of continuous development of human elements to ensure safety in train operation, which is unique in the country.
Brief Achievements of the Directorate during last one year:
Total Aptitude testing in the year 2022-23:
Total candidates tested from April 2022 to March 2023 are 54,340.
Aptitude Testing in CBT mode:
Total number of candidates tested for all categories in CBT mode is48,096.
The directorate conductedAptitude Test for 44,778 candidates of21 RRBs for recruitment of SMs and Traffic Assistant. Such a huge testing was organised within a short span of 37 days after intimation from RRB/Chennai.
Along with this, for RRC/WR1024 candidates for the post of SMs were screened in CBT mode.
Apart from this,aptitude testing of 2294 candidates for Metro Rails like Nagpur, Bangalore, Gujarat, Pune, and Railway PSUs like DFCCIL, KRCLhas also been conducted in CBT mode.
Aptitude testing in Paper-pen mode:
In paper-pen modea total number of 4,547candidates have been testedduring the year.
Psychological screening of High Speed Loco Pilots:
Loco Pilots prior to deployment on high speed trains running above 110Kmph are screened on CADAT on various safety critical attributes like Complex Reaction Time, Form Perception, Concentration, Speed Perception and Vigilance. A total of 1697 Loco Pilots have been tested for high speed trains between April 2022andMarch 2023.
• As a special move, Aptitude Test of 84 Loco Pilots of ECR division was conducted in a short span of 7 days only to enable the division to operate train operations at 130 Kmph at the earliest.
• For the first time Aptitude test for 96 candidates for the post of High Speed Train Operators for NCRTC under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, was conducted by RDSO to enable them to start operations of 82 Kms Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor at the earliest.
During the year the directorate provided consultancy to various Metro Railways like Nagpur, Bangalore, Gujarat, Pune, and Railway PSUs like DFCCIL, KRCL and Wabtech, a joint venture company with Ministry of Railways. A total of 2,790 candidates were tested andRs. 29,98,786was earned as consultancy charges from Metros and Rail PSUs during this period.
Projects assigned for 2022-23:
1. Study on SPAD involved Loco Pilots and intervention techniques:Directorate has conducted a study on SPAD cases to analyse the underlying reasons and also to suggest intervention techniques. The study was based on Psychometric Test, Personality assessment and in-depth interview of 82 loco Pilots including SPAD involved LPs.The report says that the reason for SPAD is a combination of Organisational, Personal, Health and Incidental factors. With an effective management of all these four factors, SPAD cases can be prevented to a great extent on Indian Railways. The study concludes that SPAD took place mainly due to momentary lack of alertness and other external factors and not due to inabilities at the cognitive, psycho-motor or neuropsychological levels. An intervention technique in the form of a futuristic model has been developed in this study comprising of six intervention techniques to control SPAD.
2. Standards for Development of Aptitude test:A national standard for Aptitude Testing of SMs, ALPs, MMs and High Speed LPs has been developed and documented which comprises of various stages of test development starting from test design, statistical analysis, standardisation and final execution of the test. Detailed process for execution of Psychometric test in the form of SOP has been described in this report. A compendium dealing with the various stages and policies related to Aptitude test development has also been incorporated in the report.
3. Norms for aptitude testing:Selection norms for aptitude testing of in-service Station Masters and Assistant Loco Pilots have been revised to enable the selection process more precise. Detailed statistical analysis of each test and overall performance on existing and proposed norms of the station master and assistant loco pilot was carried out. The new norms for above category have been made effective from 01.04.2023.
4. Enrichment of Aptitude test battery: For enrichment of SMs Test battery, Selective Attention and Information Ordering testshave been developed. Computation of reliability and validity after collection of data on 544 candidates has been done for standardization of the tests.MCQ type GEFT test for enrichment of Motorman Test battery has also been developed and is ready for implementation.
5. Training of Officers and Supervisory staff: Two in-house training of 05 days each was imparted to all five supervisors and one in-house training of 07 days was imparted to ministerial staff.
6. Publication of research/Articles in Technical Bulletin:
• An article on “Importance of Personality tests in Railways” has been published in the June 2022 issue of IRTB.
• An article on “Occupational stress and management techniques for safety category staff” has been published in the December 2022 issue of IRTB.
7. Filling of APARs of all officers, supervisors & staff for the financial year 2021-22: All the APARs have been filled for F.Y. 2021-22.
1. Development of on-line counselling module Psycho-intervention programme: The software module is being developed.Testing for its complete functionality is under progress.
2. Job analysis of high speed LPs in TCAS territory/Automated Operation: Different formats based on various techniques are being developed for job analysis.
Directorate’s Initiative for better workplace environment and social well-being
• A motivational lecture organized by RWWO in the month of September, on ‘Stress Management’ was delivered by ED for all the female employees of RDSO to make them understand the various symptoms of depression and anxiety and enable them to cope better with stress related issues.
• A motivational talk and career counselling session was taken by the ED for students of economically weaker section belonging to Arunodaya School funded by RWWO.
• A lecture on Stress Management was given to all the female employees of RDSO on occasion of celebration of International Women’s Day by Scientific Supervisors of the directorate where the concomitants of stress and practical techniques to alleviate stress was discussed for the benefit of the women employees.
• The directorate has initiated to counsel the LPs who report for screening on CADAT to be deployed as High Speed Loco Pilots. DASS (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale) 21 and Subjective well-being scale is administered on them and they are made aware of the coping strategies to manage stress including yoga and meditation.
• A workshop on ‘Motivation and Stress Management at workplace’ was organised by the directorate on 3rd of March 2023. The workshop dealt with self-analysis and the ways of improving personal efficacy and work satisfaction through motivational and role analysis techniques.Also the concept and type of stress along with the techniques to alleviate it was discussed.