Now, Indian Railways to hire 'undercover agents' to keep a close eye on services quality
In order to improve its services, the Indian Railways is considering deployment of "undercover agents" to check for any flaws and monitor its services.
These undercover men will be dressed in plain clothes and act as passengers at station and trains to keep a keen eye on the amenities like food, staff behaviour, and quality on trains and at stations. These men will also be responsible for rating the services and staff performance based on their observations.
Railway Board is in the process of deciding if the Quality Council of India can be roped in to carry out the "shopping" and if NGOs and other civil society groups can also be engaged for the purpose.
However, India is not the first country to do so. This system of Mystery Shoppers was earlier implemented in the early 20th Century in US and UK firms wanting to evaluate standards maintained by employees. The system is widely used by big companies to rate services from the standpoint of consumers.
However, the identity of the these officials will not be revealed at any point to field officials in order to ensure that transparency in the process is maintained.