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Is it not the right time to start winding up RRBs spread all over India?

By on July 28, 2015

Indian Railway employs around 13 lakhs personnel, of which around 70% is Group C staff with direct recruitment through the Railway Recruitment Board, popularly called RRB.
Considering 36 years of service life of staff and recruitment through RRB for about 75% of the annual arising (keeping a margin for sports, cultural, delays, etc.), the yearly requirement comes to around 6800 staff. With about 20% of staff not joining or leaving in between, the annual requirement goes to 8000 per annum.
The recruitment process during the early years was quite slow, with every activity from receiving an application by post to the publishing of the panel done manually. With the development of information technologies and computerization, the recruitment process has undergone meaningful changes for the betterment of fair and transparent recruitment process. The changes brought out were

  1.  Objective questions instead subjective
  2.  Introduction of Optical Mark Recognition, popularly called OMR for a faster and more transparent evaluation of answer sheets.
  3.  Dispensing viva-voce/interview to remove any chance of favoritism.
  4.  All RRBs hold examinations on the same day to correct the situation in which a candidate holding 3-4 appointment letters from different RRBs and in different categories, thus wasting the efforts of RRB
  5. Introduction of online submission of the application making beginning from the year  2014
  6. Now finally, online submission and online examination for SSE/JE recruitment process on trial during 2015

With the introduction of reform at S.No. 5 and 6 above, IR has almost modernized its recruitment process. Indian Railways shall consider the following concern of the candidates and initiate corrective action for the future recruitment process.

  1. A candidate can is permitted to apply for one RRB only. He is at a dilemma whether to choose the RRB near to his hometown or the one who gives him the best opportunity for selection i.e. the RRB advertising the maximum number of posts. The cut-off of different RRBs varies considerably.
  2. Is it possible for any candidate to choose between C&W and Diesel or GS and TRS when he does not have any idea about the job profile of any of the post? Why not combine all the vacancies matching the minimum educational qualification and advertise on an “IR basis” with candidates giving options for Railways/Divisions?
  3. To have a helpline to assist candidates on their quarries.

With the introduction of the latest reform in the recruitment process of online application and examination, there is no relevance to continue with 19 RRBs. It will in the interest of candidates and Railways as well to wind up all RRBs and go for centralized recruitment with all processes computerized up to the stage of formation of the provisional panel being submitted to respective Railways. No candidate is required to visit an RRB office, and with automation introduced, all the work can be managed from a single location.  Capture

However, when new RRBs were introduced, there was a political angle that it would open job opportunities for the locals of that place. But it is not so because everyone is eligible for the examination, and it has hardly added any additional job avenues for the locals. This has to be made very clear to politicians before venturing into it to avoid fanned-out discontentment. The annual expenditure for each RRB may be of the order of 5-10 Crs. and the reform will not only bring a saving of around Rs. 50 Crs., but also a relief to the candidates.


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