After over three years, Railways has opened its doors for en masse filling of over 89,000 vacancies in Group C and D of safety category jobs. Youths with a minimum qualification of Class 10 pass plus holding Industrial Training Institute certificates or equivalent can apply.
The major chunk is 62,907 vacancies in Group D, or Level 1, which are posts of Helper in various technical departments. For being Helper in Operations or Traffic department, the industrial training certificate is not mandatory. The rest 26,502 vacancies are for filling posts of Assistant Loco Pilots and Technicians.
The decision was taken around September last year by the Railway Board almost soon after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani took charge.
As on April 2017, the Group D and C vacancies in Railways stood at 1,24,201. While Railways has been filling only barely essential vacancies in safety category arising out of retirement, death or other reasons in the past three years, it had stopped the en masse intake to ward off financial strain on its revenues, which meet the salaries and perks, part of the mounting ordinary working expenses. Around 5-10,000 people are recruited in Railways every year across categories.
During this time Railway unions have been vocal about the continued vacancies and outsiders, including parliamentary committees have tried to find a correlation between accidents and these vacancies in the safety category.
While finances have been one reason, the other reason for the slowdown in the recruitment of these jobs, sources said, have been mechanisation of several operations. As a result, need for human intervention in several Group D jobs minimised.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took to social media to announce this recruitment drive as an achievement. “Opportunity for the youth in Railways….the eligible candidates can apply for these Group D posts. The last date for application is March 12,” he posted on Twitter.
For the posts of Assistant Loco Pilots and Technicians, the last date to apply is March 5. The exams will be computer-based conducted by the various Railway Recruitment Boards. Railways expects a deluge of applications. The total time to process and complete the recruitment might take over a year, sources said.