Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mamuni Das New Delhi | July 10, 2019

Technology adoption and jobs can coexist, says Minister Goyal

With privatisation of the Indian Railways, trade unions fear that moving people and goods by trains will become more expensive affecting the entire country and there may be paring down of permanent employees.

Santosh Roy, President, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the protest here today that there were apprehensions that there could be large-scale employment of contract workers in the Indian Railways while permanent workers lose their jobs.

Earlier, other trade union bodies like the All India Railway Federation and National Federation of Indian Railwaymen also sought a clear bluebrint on how the Railways intended to turnaround production units by corporatising them.

Referring to the Indian Railways’ proposal of running Tejas train through private operators, Roy said the railways were run through private firms during British days. They were also against the implementation recommendation of NITI Aayog.

The AICCTU noted that already there is a sharp drop in number of people employed by the Railways from pretty over 16 lakh employees to some 11 lakh employees. Despite increase in outsourcing, there has not been a corresponding improvement in services. The AICCTU said the government should have stated its privatisation plans before the elections.

Incidentally, the Indian Railways is also on its largest hiring spree. It started the process about a year ago for the first round of hiring in several phases to hire over one lakh employees, for which it got over one crore applications. Earlier this year, the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had also announced his plans to hire four lakh people in advance.

Recently, in a related question on how the Indian Railways will balance the two conflicting goals of adopting technology and largest number of people being hired, Goyal told BusinessLine that the growth of the Indian Railways will make it possible for the national transporter to absorb people and adopt technology.

Referring to the Indian Railways’ proposal of running Tejas Express train through private operators, Roy stated that the Railways were run through private firms during British days, and were used to move only the army.

“Why did the government not share their intent privatise railways before the elections,” asked Roy.
Cabinet move to motivate RPF

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will get an Organised Group A service, following a Cabinet approval by the Narendra Modi-led government here on Wednesday. The RPF will end stagnation, improve career progression of the officers and keep up their motivational level. Eligible officers of RPF will get benefited, it added.

High Court of Delhi vide its order dated December 4, 2012 had directed the Railways to grant Group ‘A’ Service status to RPF. Same was upheld by the Supreme Court on February 5, 2019. Accordingly, the Railway Board had proposed for grant of Organised Group ‘A’ Service status to RPF.

Published on July 10, 2019

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