The Indian Railways offers concessions on tickets for people belonging to certain specified categories.
The concession rates vary between 10% and 100%, and the list of categories includes differently-abled passengers, senior citizens, awardees, war widows, students, youth, farmers, and sports persons, among others.
Here are concession rates and rules for major categories.
Concession rates for the handicapped, blind, and mentally challenged individuals
Orthopaedically handicapped or paraplegic persons, blind individuals, and mentally-challenged, irrespective of the purpose of travel, are given 75% concession for travel in second class, sleeper class, first class, third AC, AC chair car.
The concession rate gets reduced to 50% for travel in 1AC and 2AC classes, and further to 25% for travel in 3AC and AC Chair Car of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
Concession rates for the deaf and dumb
Deaf and dumb individuals (both afflictions together in the same person), traveling alone or with an escort for any purpose, are offered 50% concession in 2nd class, sleeper class and 1st class coaches of Indian Railways trains.
Concession rates for patients of Thalassemia, heart-disease, and kidney problems
Thalassemia patients traveling for treatment or periodic check-ups; heart patients traveling for surgery, and kidney patients traveling for kidney transplant operation or dialysis can avail 75% concession in second class, SL, 1st class, 3AC, and AC chair car.
For travel in 1AC and 2AC classes, the concession available for such individuals is 50%.
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Concession rates for cancer patients
Cancer patients traveling for treatment or periodic check-ups are given 75% discount for travel in 2nd class, 1st class, AC chair car; 100% for SL and 3AC, and 50% for travel in 1AC and 2AC classes.
Concession rates for senior citizens
Separately, the Railways offers 40% concession in all classes, for all men aged 60 years and above.
Similarly, there is a provision of 50% concession for women aged 58 years or above, in all classes.
These discounts are valid irrespective of the purpose of travel.
In addition, these concessions are also applicable in luxury trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Duronto.
Concessions for students going hometown or availing educational tours
For student passengers, the Indian Railways offers a 50% concession to (general category) students heading to their hometown or traveling for educational purpose.
This discount is valid for seats in second class and sleeper class coaches.
However, if the student belongs to SC/ST category, they can avail 75% concession for such travel.
Concessions for foreign students studying in India
Students from foreign countries studying in India are also offered discounts by the Railways under certain conditions.
Such students, if traveling to attend camps/seminars organized by the Government of India, or visiting places of historical, cultural, and other importance during vacations, are given 50% concession on regular ticket rates for second class and sleeper class tickets.
Concession rates for government school students
Government school students in rural areas are offered 75% off on ticket fare in 2nd class, for study tour, once in a year.
Additionally, a special provision for girls studying in government schools is also there, under which the Railways offers 75% discount on second class coach tickets for girls, if they are traveling for national-level medical, engineering, and other similar entrance exams.
Concessions for scholars traveling for research work
Research scholars, up to age of 35 years, taking tours for facilitating their research work can avail 50% concession in Second and Sleeper class coaches.
Further, students and non-students participating in work camps are provided 25% concession for travel in Second and Sleeper class.
Additionally, 50% discount is given to students appearing for main written examination conducted by UPSC and Central Staff Selection Commissions.
General rules for availing Railway concessions
Notably, all concessional ticket fares are calculated on the basis of fares for mail/express trains, irrespective of the type of train (mail/express/passenger) by which a passenger travels.
Concessions are admissible only on the base ticket price, and not on additional charges like super-fast surcharge, reservation fee, etc.
Additionally, a passenger can only avail one type of concession at a time.
Rules about permission for break in journey; change of class
Further, break in journey is not permitted on a concession ticket for a journey of specific purpose, e.g. a student traveling to/from an examination center. Such break in journey is allowed only if it is caused by a natural event.
Meanwhile, a concession ticket holder is not allowed to shift to a higher class, even if they are ready to pay the fare hike.
Rules about production of requisite certificates; prestigious train tickets
Except for senior citizens, such concessions on train tickets are given only on showing the requisite certificates from the concerned person/organization in India. Documents issued by authorities in foreign countries are not considered valid.
Also, concessions are not allowed on season tickets, circular journey tickets, and on tickets of prestigious trains like Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, etc., unless otherwise stated.
Rules about producing documents in case of senior citizens
In case of senior citizens, no proof of age is required at the time of purchasing of tickets. Concession tickets are issued on demand made through the option in the reservation form.
However, they are required to carry some documentary proof of age that can be produced if demanded by Railway officials during the journey.