Railways explore quota for employees' wards in jobs
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked her ministry to explore the feasibility of according some priority or providing some reservation to the wards of lower-grade employees in railway jobs.
A senior ministry official told IANS the minister had recently expressed the desire to know if wards of railway employees could be accorded some quota, even a minuscule one, in the railway jobs.
The official added that given the apex court's cap of 50 percent in reservation of government jobs, it might be a trifle tough for the ministry to create any dedicated quota for the employees' wards.
The ministry, however, is still examining the feasibility of according some priority to railways employees' wards in its jobs, he added.
The ministry has meanwhile decided to liberalise its existing welfare scheme for railway employees, which envisages a railway job to the ward of an employee taking voluntary retirement.
As per the existing scheme, certain classes of drivers and gangmen can take voluntary retirement and while taking the retirement after receiving their retirement benefits, they can also have one of his sons or daughters employed with the railways, the official said.
But the existing scheme has several lacunae due to which it has never been able to take off, explained the official.
To begin with, the schemes entitles only those drivers and gangman to voluntary retirement who have already reached an age of 55 to 57 years after completing 35 years of service.
Additionally, even their wards have to have certain technical qualifications like a diploma from the Industrial Training Institute and clear a written test and undergo a tough screening for the job.
The ministry, however, has now decided to lower both the 35 years' experience and the 55 to 57 years of age bar for the railway employees to take the voluntary retirement.
It has also decided to make the screening test for the wards of retiring railway employees less tougher to accommodate them in the department.