India’s Biggest Recruitment Exam Under Way in Railways

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BENGALURU:  A massive online recruitment exam is under way in the Railways for the Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC). This is what Member (Staff) of the Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Pradeep Kumar, told Express when asked about the staff shortage across cadres.

“The biggest ever exam in India is under way with 92 lakh applicants vying for 18,252 posts. The exam, which commenced in 300 cities across the country on March 28, will go on till May 3,” Kumar said. He was on a two-day visit to the city.

It is being held in three shifts every day. On an average, the exam is being held for 1,000 shifts across the country. This is the third such railway exam being held in the online format to ensure transparency, he said.

Assistant Station Masters (ASMs) and goods train guards will be among the cadres hired through this process, Kumar said.

A top railway official from Hubballi said, “The requirement for South Western Railway over the next 1.5 years is 305 ASMs and 180 goods train guards and we had sent a request in this connection to the Board.”

It’s Time for Gangwomen

There has been a huge influx of young women entering the post of gangwomen, which requires carrying heavy items over long distances along railway tracks.

When asked if anything was being contemplated to lighten their burden, Pradeep Kumar said, “The employees have been allotted the role of gangwomen and it cannot be changed for the next five years. As far as possible, we are trying to be accommodative towards women and are trying to make adjustments wherever possible.”

He was not forthcoming on any possible changes to the colour of the saree uniform which is mandatory for gangwomen.

A section of the women had grievances over the light blue colour of the saree as they felt uncomfortable wearing it in the company of men.

Huge Expenditure

Indian Railways will soon have to bear enormous expenditure on account of implementation of the 7th Pay Commission. The additional funds will be raised through advertisements and usage of land in possession of the Railways.

Pradeep Kumar said the implementation of the Pay Commission would cost the Indian Railways `30,000 crore annually. “By utilising our land and going in for advertisements, we plan to mobilise revenues,” he said.

Source: The News Indian Express

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