Indian Railways had opened up an excellent opportunity of 18252 posts for graduates in any subject to join Group C service of Indian Railways. There is an additional provisions for Visually Handicapped (111) orthopaedic Handicapped (301) and Hearing Handicapped (88). This is an opportunity of life time but believe it, not less than 18 lakhs candidate with educational qualification of PhD, Post-Graduation, Degree in Engineering etc. will appear in the examination making it one of the toughest competitive examination. Your luck, hard work and the knowledge gained from the time of school to college days will play an important role in getting through this examination and making a new beginning to your life.
Salary and Perks
The starting salary is of the order of 26000/- month (7th Pay commission) and will beat what the big companies pay to the freshly recruited candidates. If you are extra-ordinarily intelligent and high ambitions, than this is not the job for you, and better to look for Civil Service Examination or Executive Job in Private Industry. The perks are limited to House Rent Allowance, Travelling Allowance, and City Compensatory Allowance etc. But you will also be eligible for Night Duty Allowance, over time etc. depending on your posting
Decoding the Job profile
There are 9 different streams for which the posts have been advertised, and it is very unlikely that you know what the job profile is and how you are going to shape your career in Railways.
There are basically three cadres for which the post are advertised namely
Operating: The posts comes under this group are Traffic Apprentice, Assistant Station Master, Goods Guard and Traffic Assistant. These posts are under the control of Senior Divisional Operating Manager of the Division and responsible for safe and smooth running of trains over the division. For understanding the job profile
Commercial: The posts comes under this group are Commercial Apprentice and Enquiry- cum Reservation Clerk (ECRC) and are under the control of Senior Divisional Commercial Manager and responsible for commercial earnings of the place of his posting, passenger amenities and public interface.
Finance: The post which comes under this group is Junior Account Assistant cum Typist under the control of Senior Divisional Finance Manager and responsible for maintaining accounts of earning and expenditure along with typing work.
General: The posts of Senior Clerk Cum Typist and Senior Time Keeper are not cadre specific and you may be considered for posting in any of the department mainly Personal under the control of Senior Divisional Personal Officer responsible for human resource development of the cadre. There are many other department such as Engineering, Electrical, Mechanical, Signal and Telecommunication and can be posted in these departments for clerical works.
How to prioritise the category of post?
Even though all posts are almost equal as regards to pay and perks. But everyone is always eager to know the job profile and the career prospects and the same is given below:
Commercial Apprentice: On being selection you will undergo about one year training at Zonal Training School with field training. On completion of training, you will be posted as Goods, Parcel or Booking clerk at any of the station in the Division and will be rotated in between at interals. Indian Railways consider these posts sensitive post and does not allow anyone to continue more than a specified period. Initial posting is in small division, but you had fair opportunity of getting transfer after about 5-8 years to a big city. From the same cadre, one can be selected to perform the job of Commercial Inspector responsible and monitoring of the earning of a station.
ECRC: On completion of one year training, you will be posted in any of the Passenger Reservation Centre and will be responsible for booking reserved tickets. Initial posting is to a small location, but vacancy arising being dynamic, you had a fair chance of getting the posting of your liking during the exercise of compulsory rotation or natural vacancy arising.
Traffic Apprentice: On completion of one year training, you will be posted either as Station Master or Section Controller in control office. The posting as station master in the beginning will be at a smaller station but as Section Controller you will be posted at Divisional HQ with stable posting. The job profile is tough with very limited free working hours and opportunity to leave the work table at any instant. From this cadre is chosen Traffic Inspector who works as Supervisor to a group of Station masters. There is direct recruitment of ASM as advertised and they work only at stations.
Goods Guard: Everyone knows and seen the Guard waving green signal for the start of a train. This group of staff is called running staff who works a train, takes rest at destination at running room and works back a train to his home station. This makes him to remain out of station for about 24-36 hours away from family and makes the job tough. Importantly he earns running allowance which is sufficiently a large amount in take home salary. The job is of responsibility, authority and respect.
Junior Account Assistant cum Typist: After completion of specified period of training, you will be posted at Divisional HQ associated with Accounts and Finance Department. This is a very stable posting with almost no transfers and work load limited to schedule working hours with no work pressure on holidays.
Can I earn more than I am entitled for?
The most important desire, a person is having to prioritise for a post where he can make money by underhand dealings. There is no doubt that the post on which a Railway staff come in contract with the public who he pays for the facility of travel or transport of goods or supply of material or services to Railways can make quick money by favoring/ twisting the rules or when the public/contractor is not aware of the rules etc. India is certainly a high level corrupt country and no one believes that any thing can be done without paying bribe. There is no scope for you to pay anything till the stage of document verification, but you will also be tempted to pay, if there is any thing wrong with your document, character or medical category.
Before plan to join Railways, one should know that if caught involved in corrupt practices, the life will be miserable. Read more
Stages of examination and waiting time before final posting:
The selection for all the post is based on one stage examination whereas it is followed with aptitude test (similar to the one followed for ALP) and typing test for Senior Clerk and Junior Account Assistant. Except for the reason for medical category, every candidate will certainly apply for each of the category. A cut off list will be drawn from the first stage examination and short list candidates will undergo second stage examination. Based on the second stage result and the option, panel will be formed by each of the RRB category-wise with 30% more than the advertised vacancy for document verification. The final panel will be published after the document verification and advised to the concerned Railway but limited to the number of vacancies only.
On receipt of the panel, the concerned Railway arranges character verification, and thereafter, the candidates will be advised for appearing at the nominated Railway Hospital for a medical examination . You will be issued with the medical fitness category by the hospital and if it is same or higher than the prescribed for the post you have been empanelled, than only you become eligible for the posting.
There is every possibility of few of the candidates not making it to the final stage of posting. The total time period from the date of issue of advertisement to the final date joining the premier organisation will not be less than 18 months. Only when the concerned Railway finds it necessary to call for a part panel from RRB, the candidates available in the short list will get the opportunity, and generally, the concerned Railway never asks for the part panel. Therefore, never keep much hope if you are listed in the supplementary panel.
You may select the post as per you aptitude, interest of taking challenges, need for stability, interest for public interface etc.
When can I become an officer?
There are two cadres of officers in Railways namely Group A and B. Group A is directly through UPSC whereas Group B is through promotion from Group C to which you are appearing in this competition. The selection for Group B posts is done once in two years. 70% of the posts are filled on the basis of Seniority cum Suitability and 30% posts on suitability called Limited Departmental Competitive Examination. You are eligible for LDCE after 5 years of regular posting, and the examination is not very tough except the ratio of candidate appearing versus vacancy is of the order of 50. As regards your Selection cum Suitability your turn will come after about 20-25 years of service.
How to select the RRB
RRBs functions directly under the control of Railway Board and responsibility assigned is region-wise and not Railway-wise. Suppose you chose
RRB Allahabad: Allahabad and Lucknow Division of NR, Allahabad Division of NCR and DLW/Varanasi.
RRB Ahemdabad: Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Vadodra and Ahemdabad Division of WR.
RRB Ajmer: Ajmer, Jaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur of NWR and Kota Division of WCR
Similarly the jurisdiction of each of the RRB can be found on RRB website at “About us”
Generally, the first reaction to select the RRB is which covers the place to which you belong. But you have to be careful to check the number of posts for which you are entitled on your selection. Suppose you belong to UR category chose Ranchi than you will be competing for 282 vacancies as compared to 1388 vacancies for a person who selects Allahabad RRB. The probability for a candidate choosing Allahabad is more as compared to others. The table given below may help you in choosing the RRB, if finding a job is more important than place of posting.
Is it possible for me to get transfer to the place of my liking at a later date?
This is the immediate question that will come to your mind. Following procedures exists as on date
One Division to another of the Same Railway is not very difficult as the application has to be decided by the same Railway. In case your concerned officer agrees to relieve you, it may not be difficult.
One Division to another of the different Railway is somewhat difficult. You will be eligible for applying only after 5 years and there will be a loss of seniority. Both the Railway shall agree for the transfer which takes considerable time. There are cases when you transfer orders is issued by not getting relieved. Therefore, do not opt for the RRB advertising large number of vacancies with the hope of managing transfer at a later date.
There is no possibility of change of category at later date. In case you are offered ECRC, it cannot be changed to Commercial Apprentice later on.
Have you checked your Medical Category?
There are two medical categories A2 and C1. You may visit the website below before you are lured for A2 category and later on find yourself unfit for A2 and fit for C1 category.
Help for ladies for giving priority?
The most important requirement of a lady candidate to prioritize is based on safety, security, stability, working hours etc. With this in view I suggest them the post for which she should give the least priority in descending order i.e. minimum for Goods Guard, ASM and Traffic Apprentice. Even if you are selected on these posts, Railway management accommodate the different needs of lady staff by ensuring working such that she is not required to stay outstation, difficult or isolated terrain, etc.
How to prepare?
The examination is on line and objective type. The best option is to study and undergo as many mock drills as possible. Mock drills helps in understanding the area of weakness and improving skills. You will find mock drill exercise in General Awareness, General Science and Mathematics at this website itself.
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