In a major development, Indian Railways has decided to fill more than one lakh safety related jobs. The safety-related posts include loco running staff, driver, station master, guard, technology supervisor, control and yard staff, signal inspector and maintenance employees. A report published in the Allahabad edition of Hindi Daily Dainik Jagran said that the Railways has decided to recruit one lakh staff in the safety category, and these vacancies were on hold for a very long time.
What is important to note is the timing of these recruitment announcement.
On August 23, Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh injuring over 100 people.
At least 23 people were killed and over 72 injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express ran off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh on August 20.
The Indian railways had reported total of 13,929 train accidents from 1960 to 2016.
According to Mint, the Indian Railways had a vacancy of 1,22,763 in 2016 in safety category while it was 1,24,201 in 2015.
Indian Railways had reported a 2.1 lakh vacant posts in 2012, including 90,000 safety-related vacancies, crucial for train operation.
According to a study by NITI Aayog, since 2012, six out of every 10 rail accidents in the country have happened because of mistakes by or the negligence of railway staff.
Currently, according to Indian Railways’ response to a Parliament question, over 700,000 railways staff work on safety-related operations at the country’s largest employer.
Taking charge of Indian Railways after two back-to-back train accidents that, the newly Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has also said that his focus will be safety.
The railway ministry has already initiated measures like inducting modern coaches, creating a safety fund as well as incorporating new technology to not only plug accidents due to derailments, but also to reduce casualties, a senior ministry official said on August 20.
A detailed presentation on safety was made at a meeting which was held at the presence of Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal on September 7, 2017 with members of Railway Board & Safety Directorate of Railway Board to comprehensively review Safety measures for train operations. In the meeting, the Minister emphasized that the safety is paramount and there cannot & should not be any compromise on this front.
The special focus of the meeting was to identify measures to reduce accidents due to derailments which has emerged as one of the major causes of Train accidents. Minister of Railways directed the Railway Board to ensure that all unmanned level crossings should be eliminated expeditiously on the entire Indian Railway network in a year’s time from now.
The Dainik Jagran report today said the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) will fill half of the seats in group C and RRB and Railway Recruitment Cell (RRC) together will fill the seats from Group D vacant.
According to reports, the selected candidates after the RRB and RRC recruitment process will be appointed across 96 divisions of Indian railways which are located in 17 zones.
RRB Non-Technical Popular Category (NTPC) Stage II Computer Based Test (CBT) exams which were conducted on January 17, 18, and 19 across India this year and the whole process took Indian Railways, one of the largest employers in the world to a new mile stone.
A whopping 92 lakh candidates had applied for the jobs, of whom 2.73 lakh qualified the preliminary exam and were called for online test on January 17-19, a senior Railway Ministry official told Press Trust of India.