Railways to spend ₹100 crore on largest recruitment drive
The government will spend about ₹100 crore or more to conduct the ongoing computer-based Indian Railways recruitment exam, the largest ever in the history of the country, a government official told BusinessLine.
“Initial estimates showed that the exam could cost us roughly ₹190-200 per candidate,” another source in the know told BusinessLine.
The expenses for conducting this exam would be borne entirely by the Indian Railways and a part of it is being recovered by charging a fee from the candidate, two officials said.
1.2 lakh vacancies
The Indian Railways is in the process of recruiting 1.2 lakh people in its largest ever recruitment drive. After the posts were advertised, the Railways saw a whopping 2.3 crore candidates applying for the exam. It has charged an upfront examination fee of ₹500 or ₹250 depending on the category the candidate belonged to. But a large part of this sum will be refunded after the candidates appear for the exam. The fee for those who appear in the exam is about ₹100, show data for Level 1 posts.
The Level 1 posts include helpers for electrical, bridges, civil, mechanical, signal, mechanical and medical departments; assistant pointsman, porter in traffic department. It is also free for students of several categories.
In the first round of exams which are over, 77 per cent or 37 lakh of 47 lakh applicants took the tests. These 47 lakh applicants are competing for 62,000 posts of assistant loco pilot and technicians.
The second phase for level 1 exams, which kicked off on September 17, is seeing 1.9 crore applicants compete for 60,000 posts to be a railway-man in various segments.
For the Level 1 exam, Indian Railways has asked all general category students pay upfront ₹500 while applying. Making a concession for some categories, it has asked candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes to pay up ₹250.
Similar incentives have been extended to ex-Servicemen and candidates belonging to Public Works Departments, minorities and economic backward classes. Interestingly, in a progressive gesture, the Railways has given a similar concession to not only female candidates but also transgender people.
For the students who have paid ₹500, an amount of ₹400 will be refunded after deducting the bank charges, on appearing in the computer-based test. Also, ₹250 shall be refunded to SC/ST candidates after deducting bank charges on appearing in the computer-based-test.
Railways has been running special trains to carry candidates for appearing in the exams, as has been the trend earlier but candidates are expected to pay general fares to use the trains.