Railway Recruitment: Application fee to be refunded for women candidates after exam

The policy is being introduced as part of a slew of measures to increase the participation of women in the Indian Railways
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

The application fee collected from women candidates is being refunded to those who appear in the examinations for jobs in the Railways. This has been initiated by the railways in a much-needed move with an aim to facilitate women in railway services to bridge the existing gender gap in various departments. At present, the overall participation of women in railway services is estimated to be just around 7.87% of total employment in various departments of Indian Railways (IR). 

In fact, the number of women personnel in the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has increased a bit in the last few years compared to other departments of the Railways but more is required to be done to increase the representation of women employees in the Railways. According to a report by TNIE, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnav on Wednesday, August 3, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha furnishing details said that only 98,540 women employees are working among 12,52,347 employees in various departments of the Railways. 

"As of March 2021, the total number of women employees working in Indian Railways is 98,540 out of total employees 12,52, 347 representing their overall participation at 7.87% in employments in the Railways," the Minister informed the Parliament. 

The Minister, detailing the Railways' initiative to increase the number of women employees, said, "In RPF, prior to 2018, the percentage of women personnel was around 3% of the total sanctioned strength, which has now significantly increased to 9% of existing strength in the same wing." Dwelling upon the Railways' initiatives, the Minister said that the application fee which is collected from a woman candidate is refunded now by the Railways when she appears in the examination. 

"Not only this, upper age limit in case of widows, divorced women and women legally separated from their husbands or who are unmarried, is relaxed up to 35 years for railways examinations as part of an initiative to encourage women participation," the Minister said. It was also added that the qualifying stand for women candidates has also been relaxed for the level-I category Physical Efficiency Test (PET). 

Apart from all these, the zonal railway has also been directed to ensure proper safety for women employees at working places from sexual harassment and other kinds of undignified activities. At present, there are around 1,500 women loco pilots working in various zones, besides women TTEs and other posts.

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