Indian Railways is hiring: 1.2 lakh vacancies, 2.37 crore applications
The Indian Railways, one of the world's largest employers, is conducting a colossal recruitment drive that involves sifting through 2.37 crore applications to fill 1.2 lakh posts. Possibly the world's largest recruitment drive, the entire process is set to cost Rs. 800cr. This the Railways' second such recruitment drive in two years, and vacancies span across several posts. Here are the details.
The earlier recruitment drive was a fraction of this year's
The last major recruitment drive by the Railways was held around February 2017. With advertisements for 18,252 vacancies ranging across various posts, it was the world's largest recruitment drive at the time. The Railways, back then, had received a whopping 92 lakh applications for the vacancies, of which 2.73 lakh qualified for the test, which was held in shifts over three days.
Recruitment for Group D jobs will go on till December
Understandably, this year's drive is significantly larger. Over 440 exam centres in 116 cities have seen around 5 lakh people take the test every day. In August, 47.56 lakh applicants took the test for 26,502 vacancies in the Group C category of Railways jobs. Currently, recruitment for Group D is underway. With 1.9 crore applicants for 62,907 posts, it'll go on till December.
The entire process is expected to drag on till 2019
After the Group D recruitment phase ends in December, candidates will be shown their answer sheets, and will also be given an opportunity to raise objections. This is expected to take a month. Subsequently, successful candidates will have to take a Physical Efficiency Test, a medical test, and verify their documents. Everything said and done, new candidates won't take their posts till early-May 2019.
The Indian Railways' staff cost is skyrocketing
That said, the 'world's largest recruitment' drive will strain the Railways' coffers. Apart from the Rs. 800cr required for the recruitment drive, the filling up of 1.2 lakh vacancies will cost the Railways an additional Rs. 4,000cr in staff costs per year. Already, the Railways' staff cost for this financial year is Rs. 76,000cr, up from Rs. 71,000cr last year.
The Railways is struggling to keep OR low
Railways salaries are paid from revenue, and the Indian Railways is struggling to keep its Operating Ratio (money spent to earn Rs. 100) less than 100%. In 2017-18, the Railways' OR was 98.5% - its worst-ever performance. Thus, increasing revenue is of prime importance.