Jay Prakash Batra new UIC Chairman
General Assembly confirms UIC’s Global position: Jay Prakash Batra, Chairman of Indian Railways (IR), elected as the new UIC Chairman
New Statutes adopted for the world railway organisation – the new UIC
Executive Board with 21 members representing all regions reflects the
new UIC world governance structure. Future activities will have two main
focuses: global cooperation issues and regional railway development
strategies steered by Regional Assemblies.
Paris, France – Meeting on 7 December 2006 in Paris, the members of the
General Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC) unanimously elected
Mr Jay Prakash Batra, Indian Railways Board Chairman, as the new Chairman of the
world railway organisation with a two year mandate. Mr Batra succeeds Mr Benedikt
Weibel, Chief Executive Officer of the Swiss Federal railways (CFF/SBB), who had
held the office of Chairman for 4 years and will also leave the Swiss Federal
Railways at the end of 2006 to take over new responsibilities.
At the General Assembly Mr Batra praised his predecessor for his work and firm
commitment to international railway cooperation issues. Benedikt Weibel’s
involvement in international railway cooperation within UIC dates back more than 20
years. As UIC Chairman from 2003-2006 he played a leading role in the
transformation of UIC in order to adapt the organisation to the new challenges facing
the rail sector (definition of the New UIC) and paved the way for the UIC globalisation
process (Delhi Declaration in October 2005).
Born on 15th July 1947, Mr. Jay Prakash Batra served in the Indian Army before joining
Indian Railways where he enjoyed a distinguished career spanning 35 years. He has
held several key general management positions and has extensive experience in the
fields of training, human resources, freight transportation, tourism and catering policy
Appointed Chairman of the Indian Railways Board in August 2005, JP Batra also acts
as principal Secretary to the Government of India and serves on various National
As IR Board Chairman JP Batra is steering an ambitious master plan for the
development of Indian Railways involving developing dedicated freight corridors, major
logistics terminals and High Speed passenger transportation at an estimated cost of 78
billion € over the years ahead.
As Chairman of the UIC World Executive Council (WEC) and at the same time UIC
Vice-Chairman, JP Batra has played a leading role in the development of the UIC
World action programme and the launch of a series of promising activities including:
the integration of rail transport into the global logistic chain and intercontinental
corridors, new business opportunities at word level, new partnerships in the research
field, education programmes for senior executives with high potential (IRSMI), etc.
Mr JP Batra also made an essential contribution to the transformation of UIC into a
genuine World railway organisation. The main orientations of this Globalisation process
and UIC World governance (including the creation of UIC Regional Assemblies to
promote railway cooperation at regional level) were adopted in the ‘Delhi Declaration’
(October 2005) and confirmed at the UIC General Assembly meeting in Montreal (June
The General Assembly chaired by Benedikt Weibel adopted the new UIC statutes
which confirm the global position of the organisation. The Chairman took the
opportunity to thank Mr Batra and Mr Gama, CEO of South African Railways
(Spoornet) for their successful work in preparing the new statutes in close
cooperation with the community of UIC members.
The new UIC world governance includes a UIC Executive Board – as the decisionmaking
body of the association together with the General Assembly – comprising 21
members reflecting the association’s geographical makeup. The Executive Board
includes henceforth 3 representatives (Chairmen or CEOs) from North and South
America, 3 from Africa, 4 from Asia, 3 from the Middle East, 1 from the Caucasian
countries, 1 from Oceania, 4 from Europe, 1 from the Maghreb and 1 from Russia.
With the adoption of the new statutes and the creation of the enlarged UIC Executive
Board, the UIC World Executive Council which had been tasked with promoting and
steering UIC World activities since 1995 will be dissolved. At its last meeting, WEC
Chairman Mr Batra took the opportunity to thank all the past Chairmen of WEC
including Mr. Musuva (KR), Mr. Yamanouchi (EJR), Mr. Matsuda (EJR) and Mr. RK
Singh (IR) alongwith the current Vice-Chairmen Mr Yoshio Ishida from East Japan
Railways (EJR) and Mr Robert VanderClute (AAR, USA); as well as UIC Chairman
Benedikt Weibel, Chief Executive Luc Aliadière and Deputy Chief Executive Vipin
Sharma for their support in developing world activities of UIC.
Another essential decision relating to the World governance structure is the creation
of UIC Regional Assemblies tasked with promoting regional railway cooperation
projects to meet the specific needs of groups of members. Future UIC activities will
thus be based on two main pillars:
- Global cooperation issues;
- Regional railway cooperation issues steered by the Regional Assemblies.
UIC Regional Assemblies are to be set up for Africa, North and South America, the
Middle East, Asia and Europe. These assemblies will steer action programmes based
on railway development strategies for each region, in close coordination with UIC.
The first meeting of the UIC Regional Assembly for the Middle East took place on 6
December 2006 at UIC Headquarters.