The chairman of Railway Board Ashwani Lohani visited a 3600-seater exam centre in Noida as the world’s largest recruitment exercise to hire over 1 lakh people in Indian Railways kicked off on Thursday morning. The centre, one of the largest, is operated by iON, a Tata Consultancy Services subsidiary meant for exams. Like the previous recruitment drive in 2016-17, TCS has bagged the IT contract for this exam as well.
As many as 3,59,605 candidates appeared in 160 cities ranging from Srinagar and Samba in Jammu and Kashmir, Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to Neharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh on Day 1.
A total of 47.55 lakh people have applied for this exam. The first phase which started on Thursday is for around 60,000 vacancies in posts of Assistant Loco Pilots and Technicians. The next phase is for posts of trackmen and suchlike for which exams will begin in September. Around 2.4 crore candidates have applied for all the vacancies combined.
In an internal record of sorts, the average attendance on Day-1 touched 74.4 per cent. This exam will be held over 10 days. Exam centre in Aurangabad, Bihar saw the highest attendance of 90 per cent. Around nine lakh people have applied from Bihar and 9.5 lakh from Uttar Pradesh. In the previous recruitment drive, the average attendance was 62 per cent.
A command centre has been activated in Pragati Maidan in Delhi to coordinate will all the centres live and through IT-enabled solutions. Keeping an eye on security, all the exam centres are equipped with CCTV cameras as well as metal detectors for frisking. The randomised computer-based tests are such that no two question bank patterns are alike.
“We are confident that the entire recruitment exercise to hire over one lakh people will be completed by this year. It is an achievement for Indian Railways that such a large recruitment exercise is being successfully organised,” Lohani told The Indian Express.