Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Wednesday that the railways will employ over four lakh people by 2021. He also indicated that the recruitment under the 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections would begin soon.
Goyal while addressing a press conference in Delhi said that at present the Railways have a sanctioned strength of 15.06 lakh employees, of which 12.23 lakh personnel were on the rolls while the remaining 2.82 lakh posts are vacant.
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"Last year we undertook the recruitment process for over 1.51 lakh posts, leaving 1.31 lakh posts vacant. And in the coming two years, about 99,000 posts would lie vacant as 53,000 and 46,000 railway employees would retire in 2019 and 2020 respectively,” the minister said.
In the next two years, recruitment for 2.3 lakh posts will be completed, he said.
In February-March, the first phase of fresh recruitment of 1.31 lakh posts would be initiated, he informed. As per reservation policy of the government, around 19,715, 9,857 and 35,485 would be reserved for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
"And as per 103rd Constitutional Amendment recently passed by the Parliament, 10 per cent of these vacancies i.e. around 13,100 shall be filled in from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). This cycle shall be completed by April-May, 2020," Goyal said.
In May-June 2020, the second phase of recruitment of approximately 99,000 personnel against the vacancies arising out of retirements shall be initiated. It will be completed by July-August 2021.
Meanwhile, calling the Centre's announcement of employing over four lakh people in Railways "another jumla", former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday said the Railway Ministry has "suddenly" woken up to posts lying vacant for nearly five years.
"Railways leave 2,82,976 posts vacant for nearly five years and suddenly wake up to say we will fill them in three months! Another jumla!" he said and added "The story is the same across many departments of the government. Vacant posts on one side, unemployed youth on the other."
(With inputs from IANS)