Indian Railways Is Killing 50% Of Existing Job Postings; Managers Asked To Freeze All New Jobs, Except These..
Despite pressure from railway employees and unions, in a letter dated 24 November, the Railway Board has asked the general managers to put a freeze on all new posts, except safety, review all posts created in the last two years.
The Board has also directed the general managers to consider surrendering the ones that have not been filled so far, and surrender 50 per cent of all existing vacancies other than in the safety category.
While the Modi government has sought to reform the functioning of the Railway Board over the last few years with several reforms such as restructuring and corporatizing, merger of railway services, etc., the rail bureaucracy has resisted several of these attempts.
In this recently announced move, the Railways said that it intends to trim staff jobs but has no intent to shrink the number of jobs.
The Ministry of Railways is on a pruning drive because of the national transporter, which also happens to be the biggest employer in the country, has unending financial woes especially due to the pandemic was exacerbated and hence suggested the transporter to adopt a series of austerity measures.
Rationalization of vacancies & Expenditure management:-
Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said that a large chunk of railways earnings is spent on paying salaries to its 12.5 lakh employees.
In response to the queries, ministry spokesperson D.J. Narain said “Rationalisation of vacancies and expenditure management is an important exercise which every organisation does including those in the Government of India. This internal note should be seen in that context only”.
He also emphasized that this communication should not be seen as a move to reduce government jobs
Narain also said “It may be noted that Indian Railways is in the process of conducting examination for selection of record number of vacancies of almost 1.4 lakhs. The selection process is starting from 15 December 2020 in which more than 2.4 crore candidates are expected to participate,”
He also said the Railways is completing the training and joining of Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs) in a phased manner, which should be completed by August 2021.
“So the Indian Railways is going to add to the number of vacancies filled in rather than having reduction in the same,” he added. “So fears about reduction in jobs, if being expressed by anyone, are baseless without any factual basis.”
Fears of reduction in recruitment:-
In a bid to cut its expenses to ease the lockdown hit, the ministry decided to terminate the services of thousands of retired Indian Railways’ employees and this communication comes just months after the same and hence the employees have qualms about the same.
“There are fears in the Railways that the ministry is looking to reduce recruitment and posts since it is suffering from massive losses this year,” a senior official of the Northern Railways said
“Even though the government has not asked for removing existing filled posts so far, there is a degree of apprehension and uncertainty among the staff,” the official added. “This also comes at a time when even senior officials within the ministry could face transfers out of the Railway Board because the government wants to downsize that staff too.”
In order to have a leaner rail bureaucracy, the ministry has been seeking to remove several posts from the Railway Board.