Figures of 1.5 million employees in the Indian Railways are a strong indicator of this sector, being the largest civilian employer in the world. It is also the one among the top recruiters in the world where every year hundred thousands of people are offered jobs in different sectors at different levels. People have always craved for a career in railways because of the stability and recession free nature of the railways.
Being under the direct administrative control of the Government of India, the jobs in Indian railways are considered as central government employment. This suggests that people who are working in the railways will be entitled to the salaries and perks and other emoluments as provided for the central government employees. Spreading through every corner of the country, the railways have the scope of providing all the types of jobs for people.
Starting from the technical posts of engineers to those of the draughtsman and linesman, there is every kind of jobs in this particular sector. With the clean cut division of the entire railway jobs into different levels and cadre, it is imminent that a structured system of recruitment is of paramount importance.
Indian railways is divided into 17 zones throughout the country with each zone have further subdivisions. In total, there are 68 divisions, with each zone having a general manager as its head and the division is headed by divisional railway manager. Further down the order are divisional officers for different works such as accounts, electrical, engineering, personnel, etc. The Divisional Railway manager is in contact with the higher officials in the ministry. Working in the field level are the station masters who control the traffic of the different trains through the stations.
The officers in the Indian railways are divided into 4 categories of Group A, B, C & D.
The group A recruitment is carried out by the Union Public Service Commission through the Civil Services Examination and Combined Engineering Services Examination. Officers of this group are the highest level officers in the Indian Railways. Officers are recruited for the services of Indian Railways Traffic Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service and Railway Protection Force.
The officers picked up through the Combined Engineering Services Exam are in the services of Indian Railway Service of Engineering, Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineering, Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, Indian Railway Store Service, and Railway Service of Signal Engineers. Engineers into the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers are recruited also through the Special Class Railway Apprentice Exam of UPSC.
The group B officers are usually those who have been promoted from the Group C posts.
Group C officers are recruited by the Railway Recruitment Boards in 19 cities in the country, each of which carries out the filling of vacancies in their zones. Filling up of the posts of zonal railways, production units, local railway engineering activities, etc are looked up by the RRBs. They are responsible for selection of Group C officers in the technical and non-technical cadre through the respective exams. The posts in the technical categories are in the fields such as civil, electrical, mechanical, signal and telecommunication, etc. The assistant station masters, ticket collectors, clerks etc are included in the non-technical cadre.
Group D posts are filled by at the railway division levels, the recruitment of which is also done by the RRBs and this is the lowest officer posts in the railways.
Apart from the officer posts, there are many non-gazetted people who are recruited by the local railway stations for maintenance of the railway tracks, for repair and fittings, etc and many of which are in the daily wage category.
Such a hierarchy of posts in the Indian railways has enabled people to find a job suitable for their aptitude and eligibility. These posts can be filled by the assigned authority, so that the Indian Railways becomes the most desirable employer for the people ofIndia.