Last Thursday, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered the removal of all chairmen of the 20 Railway Recruitment Boards appointed during her predecessor Lalu Prasad’s tenure.
The ministry is also likely to initiate the recruitment process on a clean slate. After Defence, Railways is the largest employer in the country.
Banerjee’s moves to streamline the recruitment process have placed a question mark on the career prospects of an estimated 22,000 people selected as gangmen and conductors. Although selected, these candidates had not been issued appointment letters.
Additionally, 15,000 applications for Grade D jobs are pending approval.
Shortly after taking charge, Banerjee ordered an inquiry into the recruitments carried out during Prasad’s tenure.
Last month, she recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry to probe allegations that poor farmers in Bihar sold their land to Prasad’s relatives after being promised railway jobs.
While wanting to clean the stables, Banerjee favours the immediate filling up of departmental vacancies.
Last month, she extracted a one-time exemption from the union cabinet in respect of the new educational pre-requisites set by the Sixth Pay Commission. Decks have now been cleared for filling up 47,000 jobs in the Railways on pre-Sixth Pay Commission guidelines, which required Class-VIII pass for Group-D jobs. The Sixth Pay Commission requires Class X as the minimum qualification.