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Group B Services – One year of hard work for sure-shot success

By on August 19, 2013

A group B service is an important step in the entire bureaucracy of the Indian Railway system. Group A service is conceived to receive a mix of directly recruited officers through UPSC and those promoted from the cadre of Group C service. It is perceived that a mix of young and matured officers in middle-level management provides effective and efficient management control. This system also provides an opportunity to all in the cadre to excel and find promotional avenues to higher levels.   The mix is of 60:40 i.e. 60% of the direct recruitment and balance from the cadre. This is applied at the time of confirmation of group B officers to group A officer. This is explained with an example like this:

During the year 2008, X numbers of group A officers join in a specific cadre. A panel of group B officers to be empanelled in 2013 will be formed depending upon the years of service put in from all the railways. Number of vacancies will be assessed at 0.60 (X+Y) =X or 0.4X=0.6Y or Y=2/3*X

The group B examination is performed on a Railway depending upon the assessment of vacancies as existing and rising during the next two years. All vacancies in Group ‘B’ are filled by promotion on the basis of selection from eligible Group ‘C employees. 70% of the vacancies are filled by seniority cum suitability and 30% by option and selection. The procedure is defined on Indian Railway website link http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/codesmanual/IREM_VOL_1/IREM-Ch2_Data.htm

Pl suggest correction if any

It is necessary to understand the difference between LGS and LDCE

1 You are likely to be eligible when left with 5 to 10 years of service You are eligible after 5 years of Service
2 You are likely to rise up to the level of Sr. Scale before retiring You are very likely to rise up to the grade of Junior Administrative Grade and if successful on your first attempt of completion of 5 years of service, they may go up to Senior Administrative Grade.
3 There is only one paper of written examination and paper is much easier as compared to LDCE. Reading and writing at around 50 years of age is a tough option for all those appearing in the examination. There are two papers of written examination one after another on the same day making the examination a bit baffling. The success rate in the examination is just equaled the number of vacancies.
4 There is no specific syllabus. Read clause 204.2 *which speaks of the syllabus. How then, a syllabus is circulated by CPO in almost all the Railways. There is another question mark if there is no syllabus, how the coaching for SC and ST will be done.
5 The ratio of vacancies and candidates appearing in the examination is 1:3 The ratio is not defined but based on the earlier pattern it is in the range of 1:50, still much favorable as compared to IES examination conducted by UPSC
6 Success in the examination though brings happiness, but fear as well of likely entering into a transferable job as compared to to the stability generally found in Group C. That too when children are on the final stage of stabling. However, the advantage is posting in a slightly bigger place. Success in the examination is not by chance but a result of the hard and sincere attempt of display of knowledge, stamina, courage, hard work, support of family members etc. It is happiness all around.
7 Running staff is also eligible for Group B promotion in case of Electrical and Mechanical. They are generally not willing but the number is very large. Option from the eligible candidates is asked. If it is a non-serious option, it takes away the eligibility of non-running supervisors unnecessarily. Counseling is necessary. It does not matter
8 Promotion from Group C to Group B calls for an attitudinal change. A change in the approach to an issue. There is no specialized training to bring this change but it will be better for the promoted group B officer to mold himself to the changing environment. It is always better not to seek posting where you had earlier worked as a Group C employee. Even though you may be knowing and aware of all the grass root issues yet difficult to command respect and acceptance of you in different uniforms.

*204.2. The question paper for the written test should have a practical bias i.e. it should be designed to test the ability of candidates to tackle the practical problems they are likely to face rather than their theoretical knowledge. It is in view of this that no syllabus has been prescribed for the written examination except, the written examination for the post of Assistant Personnel Officer and the Railways depending on the local conditions/practices should set the paper.

How to approach for the examination?


  • There is a need for a disciplined, systematic and planned approach for the examination. A casual approach will never work.
  • Develop confidence, courage and generate support from the family to prepare for the examination.
  • Your grown-up son or daughter may also be studying and will certainly get encouraged to do better in his/her examination if you do well in your departmental examination. Our children get encouraged not by our talk, but by our action and watching us.
  • Plan one year in advance to the year of your turn in the eligibility list for LGS and immediately on joining group C service for LDCE.
  • There is no short cut and at least one year of study and writing dummy examination is necessary where you give examination and check your own copies.
  • Use of unfair means in the examination will never work as it is not possible to write content by this means for scoring 60% marks.
  • The examination is an art of displaying your knowledge in black and white and convincing the evaluator that you know the answer and allow me full marks. Master the art by practicing the steps that follow.


  1. There are many disciplines other than your field of working of which you may not have any knowledge but you have to learn. Even in your field of working, practical knowledge does not guarantee full marks.
  2. Always remember, having practical knowledge and expressing it in your answer are two different approaches. Therefore learn to express your knowledge in black and white.
  3. Never make a blunder statement in your answer because that will generate a negative impression. It is better to avoid by circumventing in some other way.
  4. Never forget that you have to score 60% marks. It was difficult during your student days even when the syllabus was known and you were preparing for the examination for the whole of the year.
  5. Always remember that unless you attempt all the questions asked for, you are unlikely to score 60% marks. It becomes all the more difficult for LDCE when one has to secure 60% marks in two papers. It is observed that around 10% qualifies in one or the other paper but only 2% in both the paper together.
  6. Arrange the following items beforehand
    • A comfortable study table and a chair
    • Last three years question paper or question bank
    • Talk to the last few successful candidates and seek tips
    • Decide the language you want to write the examination. Never feel bad if your English is no good. You may find difficulty in Hindi as well. Plan to write in Rajbhasa and there is no harm in writing commonly used technical words in English letters.
    • Practice for a few days of drawing a straight line, a circle, triangle, square, rectangle, arrow, symbol of – three and single phase transformer, DC-single and three-phase motor, relay, contactor, diode, thyristor, GTO, IGBT, capacitor, inductor, resistor, PT, CT, sign of earthing. Even though these are simple things, but practice it for at least one week daily as it will help you while writing the examination.
    • Remember examination is always a packaged deal and not answering a question in isolation. I have observed very efficiently, knowledge and intelligent SSE is failing to compete only for this reason

First Step

  1. Prepare five questions from your own field of working yourself. Remember that as soon as you successfully drafted five questions in your field of working, you have passed the mental block.
  2. Plan to write the examination on your rest day. Free yourself from all botheration and take the examination of three hours creating an environment of the real examination. It is a test of the coordination of your mental ability, soul and body. The mental ability works on the command of soul and body, therefore does not permit them to overtake. Sit for three hours patiently; attempt the entire five questions as if it is your group B examination. Remember that for LDCE, you will even require stamina for six hours.
  3. Sealed the answer copy in an envelope and relax. Keep it sealed for next week. During this one week, many of the ideas will come to your mind on what you have written? What you should have written? Why you have forgotten something important for the answer? Etc. and allow these thoughts freely roam around in your thought process.
  4. Now examine your own answer copy on the next rest day and allot marks as if you are the evaluator of your group B examination copy. Remember your mind shall now work in different reference frames.
  5. Correct, modify and add to your answer in red ink.
  6. Repeat this exercise one more time with a different set of five questions. Be honest in drafting your own questions which should take a minimum of 3 hours to answer.

With this you have almost covered all the questions that are likely to be asked in your area of work. Keep the answer as your notes for the final day of preparation. (Total time – 15 days)

Second Step

  1. For LDCE examination, basic knowledge of Electrical Engineering is also questioned. Just study recollects whatever you have studied during your diploma or engineering days. Select any five examination papers from question banks which are available on the net or competitive book available in the market. Seal them in an envelope and take the examination for five consecutive rest days one by one. Evaluate the answer copy truly sitting on the chair of examiner and award marks. Your target should not be less than 80%. ( Total time – 45 days)

Third Step

  1. Decide the second discipline you want to attempt
  2. Study for one hour every day for 15 days as per the notes/books/handout available or arranged by you. Visit these installations to see the equipment personally and talk to the concerned person. Take photographs.
  3. During preparation,
    1. Practice for making  freehand  sketches and I repeat never forget to practice it
    2. There may not be many formulas involved, but if there is any, make a note of it as it will help in simplifying the language of the answer.
    3. Preparation of even simple circuits and block diagram takes much time while writing in the examination. Practice it with a free hand. (I have observed candidates spending/wasting unnecessary time drawing circuits/block diagrams as if that is the only question to be answered)
    4. Remember nomenclature and abbreviations used in the subject you are attempting,
    5. Important dimensions and schedule of dimensions (be careful to observe the unit of dimension – there is a certain dimension which is commonly talked upon in feet and others in meter or centimeter) e.g. mast implantation in meters, the diameter of the wheel in mm and width of a coach in feet.
    6. What is to be covered in answering a question? Most of the questions (advantage/disadvantage, comparison, short notes etc) that you come across will require a mention, narration, explanations etc. The question can best be answered evaluating on the following platform. These platforms can help you in answering any questing efficiently.
      • Maintainability – easy or very high
      • Reliability – high, very high, prone to failure because of the large number of wearing parts
      • Standardization – easy to replace with new one or of different make
      • User-friendly – in terms of maintainability, troubleshooting, and operation
      • Propriety item or enough of competition – there is only one source or many in the field to result in cost reduction
      • Energy Efficiency – poor, moderate, very high due to negligible wearing parts
      • Redundancy – means that if one component/sub-assembly fails, then there is another to come into service automatically or manually
      • Availability of spares parts and consumables – easily available and no difficulty in storage and handling
      • Cost – Cost is high/moderate or less costly
      • Environment-Friendly – pollution, CO2, depletion of the ozone layer (halogen base refrigerants)

And the best way to remember these 10 points is “MR SUPER ACE”

  1. Now draft three sets of question paper with five questions each and seal it in a cover. Attempt these question papers during rest day taking three hours to answer the entire question ensuring examination environment in the right spirit. Seal the answer papers. ( 30 days)
  2. Evaluate three answer copies one by one on the successive rest day with total earnest and award marks. You should not score less than 80%. If less, find out the reason. ( 30 days)

Fourth Step

  1. Repeat the third step with next discipline. (75 days)

Fifth Step

  1. Repeat the third step with fourth discipline (75 days)

Sixth Step

  1. Repeat the third step for the subject of Establishment, Stores and Financial matters (30 days)
  2. The question on Rajbhasha is not compulsory but you should always prepare it because they are only a few chapters to study and you can score full marks. A list of question bank on Rajbhasha is available with Rajbhasha Branch of the Railways. (6 days)
  3. Question on general studies and knowledge shall be a continues exercise of keeping yourself abreast of what is happening around you, the name of places, person, abbreviation, Important dates, Ministers, the person associated with Railways. (Throughout the year and one week specific)

Last and Final Step

  1. Draft five question paper for Paper A and Paper B for LDCE and five question papers of one set for LGS.
  2. Keep them in an envelope with you.
  3. You will be attempting these question papers two months before the actual date of examination, one set on each of the rest days.
  4. Remember to sit for six hours with one hour break for LDCE examination.
  5. This is a work out of one year plus two months and sure to succeed in the examination.
  6. This will build your stamina of co-ordination of body, intellect, and soul.

Finding Problem in drafting your Question Bank



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There Are 109 Comments

  1. Manmohan says:

    Hello Sir
    I am a employee in NWR railway on post of JE/C&W/JP. For this exam 5 year service is minimum eligibility. My service is currently more than 5 years including training period however I came in NWR in current seniority unit 1.5 year back only. I will be eligible or not as one railway board letter RB/ Estt. No.34/2006 dated 21.03.2006 says that while persons who seek transfer on request basis will continue to be assigned bottom seniority in new unit/cadre as per the extant procedure, the service rendered by them in the old unit may be reckoned for
    determining their eligibility wherever a minimum length of service is prescribed as a condition for promotion including promotion to General Posts in the new unit, subject to the condition that the service so allowed to be counted does not exceed the length of service of their immediate senior in the new unit. Please clarify