Devbrat Patnaik

The Ministry of Railways is undertaking what can be called as world’s largest recruitment exercise, for filling up critical safety and operational posts.

On the first day of exam, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board visited one of the test centres of Delhi/NCR on August 9, to personally see the arrangements made for smooth conduct of exam and for candidates. He also visited a command centre from where the position of all 439 exam centres in 166 cities across the country is being monitored for every step of the process i.e. pre exam, during exam and post exam.

Presently two recruitment notifications- one for Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs) and the other for Level-I(erstwhile group D) posts, for filling up about 1.2 lakh vacancies are under process.

Total Posts of Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs) and Technicians are around 60,000. About 47.55 lakhs candidates have applied for these Posts. Vacancies for Level-I posts (erstwhile group D) are 63,000 and around 1.9 crore candidates have applied for these posts. Total of approx. 2.4 Crores applicants applied, making it the largest recruitment exercise.

Computer Based Test (CBT) for the posts of ALP & Technician recruitment has begun successfully today (9th August 2018). This examination is being conducted in 166 cities at 439 exam centers across India. The cities are spread from Srinagar in J&K to all North Eastern States and many other towns in the country including Port Blair.

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The examinations will be conducted in 3 shifts per day for 10 days, spread up to 31st August, 2018. Question papers are being provided to the candidates in 15 languages. This is a big step in the interest of candidates belonging to different vernacular backgrounds.

Today, on 9th August, a total of 4.83 lakh candidates i.e. approx. 1.60 lakh per shift were scheduled. There has been a tremendous response and an unprecedented number of more than 74% candidates have attended the examination today. Total 3,59,605 candidates have participated in today’s examination. This attendance is a record for all RRB- examinations conducted so far.

During the Recruitment process every effort has been made to provide nearby centres to the candidates, while keeping in view the constraint of availability of suitable centres, equipped with necessary infrastructure and security provisions.

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Around 83% candidates have been provided centres within 500 kilometers. Special care has been taken to ensure that almost all women candidates and Persons with Disability are provided centres within 200 kilometers.

Even for those candidates who could not be accommodated within 500 kilometer, Indian Railways has taken extra efforts and arranged exam special trains from places like Deoria, Chhapra, Patna, Darbhanga, Muzaffurpur, Ara to destinations such as Secunderabad, Bhopal, Indore, NCR etc. So far 10 pairs of such special trains have been mobilized and more trains will be planned in future.

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RRBs follow the practice of direct and instantaneous communication with candidates through regular updates on web-sites and individual SMSs and emails. Candidates are appealed to refer to these official communications only and not be misguided by false propaganda and rumors being circulated on social media, many of which are aimed at misleading the genuine candidates and adversely affecting their preparation for examination.