Under pressure to resolve the issues raised by job aspirants who have resorted to violence over alleged irregularities in the screening process of its exams, the Railways on Thursday issued an FAQ explaining its recruitment procedure.
Violence had erupted in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh over irregularities in the Railways' Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) and Level 1 exams which forced the national transporter to suspend its recruitment process and form a committee to address the issue.
It said that since 2018, the Railway Recruitment Boards have notified 2,83,747 vacancies and have given appointments to more than 1.32 lakh candidates. "Recruitment of remaining vacancies is under process. RRBs have conducted computer-based tests (CBTs) for about four crore candidates in the last three-and-half years despite the COVID-19 pandemic," the railway stated.
Addressing questions over the two stages of the CBT, the national transporter said it was done to make the process fair. "In case the number of candidates who have applied against the notification are large and are more than one crore, then it is advisable to conduct CBT in two stages with first being used to screen candidates and the second conducted with limited candidates so that extensive normalization is not involved and the final merit is more just and fair."
The Railways has also clarified that nowhere was it mentioned that seven lakh distinct candidates will get shortlisted for second stage CBT. "Since the second stage consists of CBT of five different levels and a candidate can be shortlisted for more than one level as per eligibility, merit and option, the lists of seven lakh roll numbers will have some names appearing in more than one list," it said.
It also said the short-listing has been done level/post-wise at the rate of 20 times notified vacancies as elaborated in para 13 of the notification. The lists contain 7,05,446 roll numbers which are 20 times notified vacancies of 35,281, the railways clarified.
"Finally, 35,281 distinct candidates will be selected and one candidate will be appointed against only one post depending upon merit and preference. Hence no post will remain vacant," the FAQ stated.
Responding to claims that graduate candidates are getting the undue benefit of becoming eligible for both graduate and 10+2 level posts, the Railways said the integration of recruitments for Graduate and 10+2 level posts have been done to save time, energy and effort which has been proved useful during COVID-19 pandemic.
"Also, standards of CBT 1 have been kept of 10+2 level so as not to put disadvantage to 10+2 level students and it is only in CBT 2 that standards will be different across levels," it said. It said that to address the issues raised by candidates, Railways has postponed the second stage CBT of NTPC and the first stage computer-based test of Level 1.
"A high-power committee comprising senior officials has been formed to look into the concerns and doubts raised by candidates regarding the results of first stage CBT of NTPC exam without affecting existing shortlisted candidates and introduction of second stage CBT in CEN RRC 01/2019," it said.
The candidates can lodge their concerns and suggestions to the committee at the email id: firstname.lastname@example.org. All chairpersons of railway recruitment boards have been directed to receive the grievances of candidates. Outreach camps are being organized at various zonal and divisional headquarters to facilitate the lodging of concerns.
With inputs from PTI.