Jaya Verma Sinha is an Indian Railway Traffic Service official of the 1986 batch. In August 2023, she was appointed as the CEO and Chairperson of the Railway Board, becoming the first woman to hold the post in the 118-year history of the Indian Railways. She came into the spotlight after she addressed the media in the wake of the tragic Balasore accident on behalf of the Indian Railways, explaining the complex signalling system of the railways. She also made history by becoming the first woman to be chosen as the Principal Chief Operations Manager of South Eastern Railway in March 2018.
Jaya Verma Sinha, also spelt as Jaya Varma Sinha, was born on Wednesday, 18 September 1963 (age 60 years; as of 2023) in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (now Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh). Her zodiac sign is Virgo. Her ancestral home is located at Baghambari Housing Scheme in Allapur. She did her schooling at St. Mary’s Convent Inter College, Allahabad, from 1978 to 1982. She then attended the University of Allahabad, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, to pursue a B.Sc. (PCM). Thereafter she pursued her post-graduation in Psychology from the University of Allahabad. She was a bright student since childhood. In 1986, she cleared the UPSC civil services examination and joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS). In 2015, Jaya attended SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy, to pursue a course in Advanced Management and Higher Management. She has also pursued a certificate course in Public Policy Economics at the University of Oxford, England.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
Jaya Verma Sinha’s father, VB Verma, was a class one officer in the CAG office. Her mother’s name is Savitri Verma. She has an elder brother, Jaideep Verma, who is a retired Class One officer in UP Roadways. After his retirement, Jaideep got settled with his family in Lucknow.
Husband & Children
Jaya Verma Sinha is married to Neeraj Sinha, an Indian Police Service Officer. As of 2023, Neeraj is posted as DG of Civil Defense in Patna, Bihar. Together, they have a daughter named Avnika Sinha.
Jaya Verma Sinha joined the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) in 1988. In 1990, she was posted as the Assistant Area Manager of Kanpur Area in the Northern Railways. She served in the position for around a year and then got promoted to the position of Divisional Commercial Manager of the Allahabad Division in the Northern Railways. After working there for around two years, he started serving as the Senior Transportation Manager at the Centre for Railway Electrification (CORE) in Ranchi, Jharkhand. In 1995, Jaya was appointed as the Divisional Operations Manager of the Allahabad Division in the Northern Railway. She worked there for around a year.
From 1996 to 2000, Jaya worked as the Senior Divisional Operations Manager of the Delhi Division in the Northern Railways. In 2000, she started working as Deputy Chief Project Manager of the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) in the Northern Railways. She served in the position for 5 years, and in 2007, she got appointed as the Railway Adviser in the High Commission of India in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During her four-year tenure as the Railway Advisor, Jaya played a crucial role in the inauguration of the Maitree Express, a train that runs from Kolkata to Dhaka. In 2011, Jaya was appointed as the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Northern Railway in New Delhi, where she worked for around a year. Thereafter, Jaya served as the Divisional Railway Manager of Sealdah, Eastern Railway, Kolkata for two years. From 2016 to 2018, Jaya served as the Senior Deputy General Manager of South Eastern Railway at Garden Reach in Kolkata, West Bengal. In March 2018, Jaya was appointed as the Principal Chief Operations Manager in the South Eastern Railway, becoming the first woman to hold that post. She then took the position of Principal Chief Commercial Manager at Northern Railways in June 2020 and served there till January 2023.
In August 2021, she was included in the Railway Ministry, where she worked as Advisor Traffic Transportation and Additional Member Traffic. During her tenure, she was responsible for the overall transportation of freight and passenger services on Indian Railways, and reportedly, the Indian Railways registered an all-time high growth of over 20 per cent in the freight segment and broke the mark of 1.5 billion tonnes annually in freight. Later, she was tasked with a freight loading target of 2,000 million tonnes (mt) in the upcoming years for the national transporter. In January 2023, she became a Member of Operations & Business Development of the Railway Board in the Ministry of Railways, Government of India.
As a member of the railways board, Jaya became the face of the Indian Railways during the tragic Balasore accident which killed nearly 300 people and explained the complex signalling system of the Indian railways to the media. On 31 August 2023, Jaya Verma Sinha created history after she was appointed as the CEO and Chairperson of the Railway Board, becoming the first woman to hold the post since the Indian Railways Board came into existence. The appointment letter read,
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Jaya Verma Sinha, Indian Railway Management Services (IRMS), Member (Operations & Business Development), Railway Board to the post of Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Railway Board.”
Succeeding Anil Kumar Lahoti, she took charge of the office on 1 September 2023. Although she is slated to retire on 1 October 2023, she would be re-employed on the day of her retirement until 31 August 2024.
As the CEO and Chairperson of the Railway Board (Indian), she is entitled to a salary of Rs. 2.25 lakh (approx.) per month.
- She has a keen interest in photography and loves to take pictures of birds. She also has a deep interest in sports and other socio-cultural activities.
- Jaya loves listening to Kishore Kumar‘s songs in her leisure time.
- Her sharp professionalism and decision-making power led her to achieve an HAG+ grade in the Indian Railway Board.