Indian Railway as Career

Railway has always attracted the job aspirants because of the size of the organization, pay-package, and facilities that comes with the job. Career opportunities in Indian Railways are varied but not unlimited. The Northeast Frontier Railway has a workforce of about 60,000 people and no new posts are being created for several year. In fact, the organization is gradually reducing the workforce for efficient running of the organization. The absorbing capacity of N. F. Railway is about 4,000 people per year. Thus, it is possible that many unemployed will find regular employment in the Northeast Frontier Railway difficult. It is clear that there will be competition and only the best will get opportunity for employment. Railway recruitment is not a selection process; it is an elimination process.

The Indian Railways is recruiting about 1.40 Lakh employees this year. Indian Railways employees are divided into Gazetted (Group A&B) as well Non-Gazetted (Group C & D) posts. Recruitment of staff in Group A&B is coordinated by UPSC. Every year UPSC also conducts Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) Exam for the recruitment of Gazetted Staff in Indian Railways. Recruitment in Group C is coordinated by Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB’s) controlled by Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB). And recruitment in Group D is done by Railway Recruitment Cells (RRC’s).

The Group C & D are the lowest paid and entry-level posts in Railways, from which one can climb the ladder to posts of officers by way of promotions. The Group C employees are the supervisors and clerical staff who are the major workforce of the organization along with the group D employees who constitute Peons, Khalasis, Gangmen, Porter, Trackmen, Gateman, Cabinman, Helper in engineering departments, safaiwallas, hospital attendants etc.

We often remain unaware of many other avenues of employment in railways like the all-India competitive examinations for recruitment of officers in Group A conducted by the UPSC along with the Civil Services Examination (commonly known as the IAS exam), employment with railway contractors, opportunities of employment in sister concerns of the railways and business opportunities with the railways as suppliers and vendors etc.

Indian Railways need a lot of technically & professionally qualified people like engineers in various fields and doctors. Besides, others qualified people like accountants, general administrators, health workers, supervisors, skilled and semi-skilled field technicians and able-bodied man for manual works etc. are also needed to carry out various activities of the organization.

Railways also recruit outstanding sportspersons, artistes, Scouts & Guides etc to represent the organization in various fields. Therefore, almost anybody with good health and proper qualification, academic or extra-curricular, in any field can join railways.

Group A officers in Railways are recruited through the Indian Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Civil Services Commission (UPSC). The Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC selects candidates for various central services, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The remaining services – called allied services – are categorised as below:

  • Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS)
  • Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Indian Railway Protection Force (IRPF)

The other allied services are Indian Postal Service, Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IA &AS), Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS), Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), The Indian Information Service (IIS), Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS), Indian Defense Estate Service (IDES), The Indian P &T Accounts & Finance Service and Assistant Commandants in Central Industrial Security Force.

A graduate in any discipline from a recognized university or institution, between 21-28 years of age as on 1st August of the examination year, is eligible to sit for the Civil Services Examination. A candidate passing the examination under the above four highlighted categories are placed in group A service in Railways.

The Indian Railway conducts Under Graduate Course which is called Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA) The total number of seats are about 40 and selected candidates are provided stipend and guaranteed job in mechanical department as Group A officers of railways . The standard of syllabus is that of Class XII (CBSE equivalent). The notice for the examination, along with form and syllabus, is brought out by the UPSC around the months of June-July. According to the new rules issued by the Ministry of Railways, the exam is now conducted once every two years.


There is no scope for direct entry into group B services in Railways and all Group B officers, except for Railway Board Secretariat Service (Section Officer Grade), are recruited through promotions from among the staff in group C. The RRBs periodically notifies vacancies in newspapers for recruitment into Group C posts. The candidates are selected through a written test followed by document verification of the successful candidates. There is no viva voce for selection into group C posts in railways. The written test usually consists of multiple choice objective type questions on general knowledge, logical reasoning and language ability. In some specific cases where a candidate’s technical knowledge needed to be tested, additional question on concerned subject will also be included. The preparation for such tests should be exhaustive and should be started well ahead of the test. A sound language ability is prerequisite for such tests.

Earlier, RRBs also conducted recruitments into Group D posts but to provide greater autonomy to respective zonal railways, Ministry of Railway’s had delegated powers for recruitment to Group D posts to Railway Recruitment Cells from July 2005. The RRCs publish notification for employment in well-circulated newspapers and the Employment News.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column]

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