The Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronic and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, quashed all speculations regarding the privatization of the Indian Railways during a session in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Vaishnaw categorically stated that there is no proposal to privatize the country’s lifeline, Indian Railways. Responding to a question raised by a Lok Sabha member during the session, Minister Vaishnaw clarified the government’s stance on the matter, putting to rest any rumors and concerns among the public.
Indian Railways, being one of the largest railway networks in the world, plays a crucial role in connecting the vast and diverse nation. Its transportation services have been instrumental in ferrying millions of passengers and tonnes of freight across the country annually.
The Minister also provided important details related to the recruitment and employment status within the Indian Railways. He disclosed the empanelment numbers by Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) for various Group ‘C’ posts, including Level 1 positions, from 2020 to 2023. As per the provided data:
In the fiscal year 2020-2021, 5450 candidates were empanelled while in the fiscal year 2021-2022, 4612 candidates were empanelled. In the fiscal year 2022-2023 (provisional data), a significant increase in empanelment was witnessed, with a total of 85,888 candidates securing positions.
In the current fiscal year 2023-2024 (up to 30th June 2023, provisional data), 50,885 candidates have been empanelled so far.
Furthermore, the Minister revealed the number of contractual workers engaged by the Railways during the same period. In the fiscal year 2020-2021, 4079 contractual workers were engaged.
In the fiscal year 2021-2022, the number of contractual workers engaged rose to 8823. In the fiscal year 2022-2023 (provisional data), the number of contractual workers engaged was 5013.
The Minister emphasized that the government is committed to maintaining and improving the quality of services provided by Indian Railways, which requires both recruiting new talent and engaging contractual workers as per the necessity.
This statement by the Minister puts to rest any concerns or speculations about the privatization of the Indian Railways and provides transparency on the recruitment and employment practices within the organization. Indian Railways continues to be a vital public sector entity, playing a crucial role in the nation’s development and connectivity.
The Lok Sabha session witnessed a sense of relief among several members after the Minister’s assurance and clarity on the matter. The government’s commitment to the improvement and development of the railway network was also appreciated during the session.