Reported By: Nivedita Singh
Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee
Last Updated: March 15, 2023, 21:49 IST
Asia’s first female loco pilot, Surekha Yadav, also became the first woman to operate the Vande Bharat Express train on March 13. (Image: PTI)
The ministry also told Lok Sabha that there is no demarcation of domains in the Indian Railways and all kinds of posts are open for both men and women
The railways recruited only 12,409 women between 2018-19 and 2022-23 as compared to 1.64 lakh men in the same time period, as per official data from the ministry. There is no demarcation of domains in the Indian Railways and all kinds of posts are open for both men and women, the ministry told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The ministry of railways shared data for the number of women and men recruited in the last five years. Out of 12,409 women recruited, the highest were hired in 2019-20 at 8,957. In 2018-19, a total of 786 women were recruited by the railways. In 2020-21 (779), 2021-22 (276) and 2022-23 (1,611), the number of women hired were marginal.
The figures for men are a stark contrast. Out of 1,64,281 men recruited in the last five years, 1,28,570 were hired in 2019-20 alone. The ministry also listed the number of men recruited in 2018-19 (707), 2020-21 (4,779) and 2021-22 (4,336). The provisional figures for this financial year shows that 20,889 men have been recruited by the railways this year.
In a reply to a question from BSP MP Sangeeta Azad from Lalganj in Uttar Pradesh, the ministry said all posts notified for recruitment in the railways were open to both men and women.
“To encourage employment of women in the railways, application fee collected from female candidates is refunded to those who appear in the written examination. Further, the upper age limit in case of widows, divorced women and women judicially separated from their husbands who are not remarried, is relaxed up to the age of 35,” it said.
In addition, relaxation is provided in qualifying standards for the physical efficiency test (wherever conducted) in case of female candidates. Also, there is a provision of 10 percent horizontal reservation for women in Group C recruitment to the Railway Protection Force (RPF), it said.
On Monday, Asia’s first female loco pilot, Surekha Yadav, also became the first woman to operate the Vande Bharat Express train. She piloted the newly launched semi-high speed train between Solapur station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai.
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