With reference to Rajya Sabha Unstarred Question No. 615, the Ministry of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has revealed official statistics regarding the recruitment of Physically Disabled candidates in various divisions of the Indian Railways. Minister of Commerce & Industries, Mr. Piyush Goyal present official statements in answer to the queries raised against the Rajya Sabha Question in reference. As per official records, 2405 PWD candidates have been recruited into various divisions of the Indian Railways during the period 2017 to 2021.
In response to Professor Manoj Kumar Jha’s queries regarding the number of PWD candidates recruited into the Indian Railways during the last three years and the current year (and other associated queries), the Railway Ministry published the official statements in the PQARS portal (pqars.nic.in). As per official records, during 2017-18, 417 PWD candidates were appointed in different divisions of the Indian Railways. Since 2017-18, these figures have increased in the next two years. 621 PWD candidates were appointed in the Indian Railways during 2018-19 while 1053 candidates were appointed in the Indian Railways during 2019-20. During the current year (2020-21), 314 PWD candidates have been appointed in various divisions of the Indian Railways till now (see image below).
The official statements went on to address other queries raised as a part of the Rajya Sabha Question in reference. Minister Piyush Goyal also clarified that the Railways have not encountered any case of a reported violation of the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. This act replaced the earlier PWD act i.e. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
The records presented by the Ministry also clarified that the Indian Railways have diligently implemented the Supreme Court’s order to extend 3% reservation for PWD candidates. In addition, the official statements also included records of the Indian Railway’s efforts to ensure adequate representation of PWD candidates in the Indian Railways.
In the aforementioned context, Minister Goyal clarified that the Indian Railways has provisions for exemption/relaxations and other benefits for open market recruitment of PWD candidates to fill up non gazetted posts of the Indian Railways. For instance, PWD candidates are charged a discounted fee of Rs 250 for railway recruitment examinations. On the contrary, unreserved candidates are charged as much as Rs 500 as exam fee. PWD candidates are also refunded the exam fee if they appear in the concerned examination.
PWD candidates of all categories are entitled to relaxation of up to 2 marks in minimum qualifying marks of railway recruitment examinations. Furthermore, besides category-wise relaxation in the upper age limitation for Railway recruitment, PWD candidates are also provided with an age relaxation of 10 years. PWD candidates are also exempted from appearing in Physical Tests for Level-1 recruitment exam. In addition, PWD candidates of several disability categories are also provided with the facility to write recruitment examinations with the help of a scribe.