AIR Spotlight - Railway Recruitment Process Controversy

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, an interview discussing the “Railway recruitment Process Controversy” is featured.

Participants:

  1. Ashwini Vaishnav, Union Railway Minister
  2. AIR Correspondent

Context:

  • Railways has decided to suspend its Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) exam and Level 2 tests after violent protests by job aspirants over the selection process intensified in Bihar.
  • Railway job aspirants have been protesting for the past several days in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh against the alleged irregularities in the Railway Recruitment Board exams.

What is Railway Recruitment Board (RRB)?

  • Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) functions under the Ministry of Railways, Government of India. It is primarily responsible for recruiting the group ‘C’ staff.
  • There are 21 RRBs in the country.
  • Each RRB has a Chairman, a Member Secretary and an Assistant Secretary and supporting non-gazetted staff.

Why are students protesting against the Railway Recruitment process?

  • Candidates are opposing the Railways’ decision to hold the exam in two stages.
  • The protesters claimed the second stage for final selection was tantamount to “cheating” those who appeared and cleared the first stage of the RRB-NTPC for computer-based test (CBT).
  • Candidates had also been protesting over a delay in updates over results and the next steps in the selection process. 
  • Thousands of candidates are protesting the delay in the recruitment process by the Railway Recruitment Board. 
  • Aspirants have also been demanding an update on the exam date for Group D recruitment. 
Shortlisting Process: –

  • The shortlisting of candidates has been done separately for each level based on options exercised and educational qualifications. 
  • For the second stage computer-based test of each level, candidates have been called 20 times the community-wise vacancies notified against each RRB.
  • Based on merit obtained in the second stage CBT, candidates will be shortlisted for the third stage in which eight times the number of vacancies will be called.

What are the Concerns Associated with the Railway Recruitment Process?

  • Delay in Selection Process: The delay on behalf of the Railway Recruitment Board has the job aspirants worried.
  • Depriving Employment Opportunities: Delay in the selection process has led many aspirants to remain unemployed while waiting and preparing for the exams. 
  • Ambiguity in Process: It is being alleged that the two-stage exam involving CBT-2 is designed to favour those with a higher qualification, even for jobs that require lesser qualification.
  • Malpractices during Exams: There are concerns of paper being leaked and instances of malpractices and scams during the conduct of exams.
  • Two-Stages of exams: Another point of contention is that the recruitment board had informed that the Group C Level 1 exam will be held in two phases on January 24, while students are alleging that the second exam was not even mentioned in the job notification.
  • Concern over Same Categories: As graduate students have also applied for Junior Clerk and Time Keeper jobs, Class 12th pass students feel that this will reduce their chances of getting a job, and hence, they want the central government to create different categories for them. 

What is the Government Response?

  • The government has formed a committee to examine representations by the candidates. 
  • The committee has been formed to look into the concerns and doubts raised by candidates in regard to the results of the 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT).
“Rationalization of Government Bodies and Proposal for the Ministry of Railways” by recommendations were proposed by the Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal

  • The changes in the recruitment system was the recommendation made in a report ‘Rationalisation of Government Bodies Proposal for Ministry of Railways’ by Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic advisor in the finance ministry.
  • The proposal also includes attracting young talents and training them in the railways. 
  • According to the report, 12th completed students should be shortlisted through a separate exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and provided with a structured degree and diploma courses as per the requirement of the rail transport sector.

Conclusion: 

The employment notification has legal sanctity. For those with grievances, the government has to find a solution and deal with it sensitively. 

Neither the coercive action by the police nor vandalism by the students is right. It is necessary that the voices of these aspirants are heard by the whole country.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Railway recruitment Process Controversy:- Download PDF Here

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