New Delhi: The ministry of railways is likely to increase the number of vacancies for assistant loco pilots and technicians from 26,502 to 60,000, it said on Thursday. The Railways is organizing a centralized computer-based examination for these posts.
The move comes in the wake of Indian Railways receiving an overwhelming response for its recruitment announcement. In February, the Railways announced that it would recruit assistant loco pilots and technicians for 26,502 posts against which it received 4.7 million applications. However, these applicants have complained that they are being allotted examination centres outside the radius of 500km.
The maximum applications of around 950,000 came from Uttar Pradesh, followed by Bihar, where 900,000 people applied for the posts. Around 450,000 people applied for the posts in Rajasthan.
The railway ministry on Thursday reiterated that around 4 million applicants (83%) have been accommodated within 500km. However, in few states the candidates applied in very large proportions as compared to the available capacity of suitable exam centres so they were given centres beyond 500km.
While the railways are gearing up for such a mass recruitment, on an average 40,000 to 45,000 employees retire every year from Indian Railways, according to the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), a union of railway employees. The Indian Railways spends a big chunk of its finances on its staff, with expenses on this score growing from ₹ 69,713.22 crore in 2016-17 to ₹ 72,705.57 crore in 2017-18. For the next fiscal, staff expenditure is pegged at ₹ 76,451.89 crore.