Railways offers few jobs to women: Panel

The Parliamentary Panel on Railways, which reviewed the new recruitment policy of the railways, has severely criticised the process and recommended appointment of women officers on selection committees and recruitment boards.

The panel, according to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, the railways has 6.79 per cent women in its ‘A’ and ‘B’ category jobs, 5.45 per cent in category ‘C’ and 7.70 per cent in category ‘D’ jobs.

The report tabled in Parliament has made it clear to the ministry that its step of waiving the examination fee for women was not adequate enough to ensure participation of fairer sex. The Parliamentary Panel has asked the ministry to comply with the directive of the Department of Personnel and Training to appoint women officers on selection committees and recruitment panels.

The panel has also expressed disappointment over representation of other depressed sections of society including the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes(ST) and Other Backward Castes(OBCs).

“The committee note with grave concern that as on January 4, 2010, the backlog vacancies for SCs, STs and OBCs were 8,304, 10,939 and 5,336 respectively,” said the report. In this case also, the panel has recommended to remove the backlog by March, 2012.

In its review of the new recruitment policy of the railways, the panel has not only pointed shortfall in recruiting people from weaker sections of society, but has also castigated the railways for its failure in adopting an efficient recruitment process.

“The committee expresses serious concern at the frequent occurrence of allegations of irregularities and malpractices against the Railway Recruitment Boards and strongly recommends that the ministry should take effective steps to check the recurrence of such incidents,” said the report.

The panel has also criticised recruitments done by general managers as substitutes in the absence of regular recruitment. “The committee firmly believe that such adhocism would invite allegations of corruption and nepotism and recommend that such discretionary powers of the general managers may be withdrawn,” said the report.

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