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Railways plan to hire 150,000

Last updated on: March 14, 2012 11:31 IST

Railways plan to hire 150,000

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Disha Kanwar in New Delhi

The railways' plan to induct around 150,000 employees in Group C and D is pushing its wage bill further up by around Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion).

With 1.36 million employees, the railways are one of the biggest employers in the country, and constitute 28 per cent of the total central government employees.

The railways spent around 42 per cent of their earnings in wages and allowances and another 17 per cent in pensions in 2009-10.

In 2011-12, half the net working expenses (Rs 73,650 crore or Rs 736.5 billion) was budgeted as staff cost.

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Officials now say that railways is expecting to recruit around 47,000 employees in the Group D category by this month-end.

Another 60,000 employees in Group C and 40,000 in Group D are expected to be recruited by October this year.

The renewed focus on recruitment comes at a time when the Anil Kakodkar safety report submitted last month pointed out towards the shortage of safety staff of around 200,000.

From next year onwards, notification would be issued every July for filling the anticipated number in these categories.

This will be to ensure that there was no backlog, says an official.

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Image: Former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Reuters

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The recruitment process would be over by around October.

Though there are apprehensions that this new recruitment will add to the burden of the railways, around 50,000 employees retire across various categories every year.

The new recruits are at the lower end of the salary spectrum, so this balances out to a great extent, says a senior railways official.

At the time of retirement, though, they are at the higher band of salaries, though about 50 per cent of their last salary goes to them as pension.

There is backlog of recruitment of around 250,000 employees.

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"After the recruitment of 150,000 employees, the railways ministry would assess the justification of recruitment of the rest of the employees," says the official.

This is being done 'so that every employee added proves to be asset to the Indian Railways'.

It is expected that with this induction of staff at the operational level (safety staff, crew), the railways will have better asset utilisation with less idling of assets.

With the availability of staff for safety purposes, a crew for running trains and better maintenance schedules, the Indian Railways would be able to generate more revenues and better operating ratio.

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Currently, of the total regular employees of 1.36 million, the management personnel (Gazetted cadre of Groups A and B) constitute 1.2 per cent of the total strength, while Group C and D account for 66.4 per cent and 32.3 per cent, respectively.

In the non-gazetted cadres, the ratio of Group C to D changed from 25:75 in 1950-51 to 67:33 in 2009-10, indicating a shift towards induction of skilled manpower.

According to the figures of International Union of Railways, Chinese railways has employee productivity of 1.6 million TUs, US railways has 24.78 million TUs. Indian stands at a lower end of the spectrum having 993,328 TUs.

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The reason for this that Chinese and US railways are freight dominant and have higher mechanisation.

 The ratio of NTKM (net tonne kilometre) to PKM (passenger kilometre) for the US, China and India is 259, 3.20 and 0.67 which reflects the higher freight dominance in these countries.

Indian Railways has gradually gone for reduction of manpower from 1.654 million full time and 250,000 casual labour in 1991-92 to 1.36 million till 2009-10.

This phasing-out has been very gradual, as many of the posts were surrendered because it was not making any sense in holding the existence of those posts.

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Tags: NTKM , US , PKM , China

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The Railways has carried out a review of its recruitment process in the last few years to simplify the procedure for Group C and Group D employees.

Earlier, the Railway Recruitment Boards were conducting the exam on different days, according to the requirements in the zones.

In the reformed process, the objective written test conducted by RRBs happens on the same day by which the duplicity of application is avoided.

In addition to that, they have done away with papers published in regional languages and interview.

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