It is not just the upper level of the Railways that is facing problems with the appointment process. Unable to revise its recruitment rules,the Railway Board Secretariat Service has kept away from appointing 139 deputy directors/under secretaries for the last eight years.
Appointments to these posts have been on ad-hoc basis,which means serving officers for years will remain ineligible for promotions. This has led to vacancies at the immediate higher post of joint directors/ deputy secretaries as those eligible to fill them have not been confirmed despite norms and directions. The cascading effect is that a large number of posts of directors have remained vacant.
In a letter to the Railway Board chairman,the affected officers have said that the uncertainty of the job and the unfair stagnation is demoralising the cadre. The administration has willfully created such an abnormal situation where the stagnating officers are being denied promotion on false pretexts. The officers are being forced towards a legal recourse, the letter stated.
Sources said former board chairman Vinay Mittal had asked departments to send the panels of under secretaries/ deputy directors to the UPSC so that their post could be confirmed. At internal meetings,the officials responsible for the delay have been saying that the files could be processed only after the recruitment rules are revised.
But the affected officials have told the board that revising the rules is a continuous process and does not affect the process of filling up vacancies. Since the critical position has been created by the administration by not doing tasks which they should have done several years back,they cannot deprive eligible officers of their overdue confirmation, they have written.
The Railway Board Secretariat Service (Group A) cadre consists of 213 posts: 139 posts of under secretary,39 posts of joint director/deputy secretary,24 directors,10 joint secretaries and one adviser.