New Delhi: Several ‘Divyangjan’ and their supporters had staged a sit-in protest near Mandi House in New Delhi since October 23rd, 2019 against perceived irregularities in the filling up of posts reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities (PwBD) in the recent Level-1 recruitment exercise of the Indian Railways.
Indian Railways had issued a centralized recruitment notification in February 2018 for around 63,000 posts on different Railways. This notification also included posts for persons with benchmark disabilities (PwBD).
Subsequently, based on the provisions of the revised PwBD Act that mandated 4% reservation for PwBD categories (including newly introduced Multi Disability category), an additional window was notified for candidates to apply. Thereafter a clear 1% distribution of vacancies for each of the four PwBD categories for the recruitment exercise was made increasing the total number of vacancies reserved for PwBD to around 2500.
Complaint of the protesters before the Court of Chief Commissioner For Persons With Disabilities (Divyangjan) was about this revision in the vacancy percentage and specific grievances of some Divyangjan candidates in some Railway zones as regards communication on qualifying marks and calling for Document Verification.
Five written representations in this connection came up for hearing before the Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPWD) on 23rd October 2019.
A detailed meeting with representatives of the protesters with senior Railway Board officers was also held in the office of Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice on 24-10-2019 to understand the grievances, explain the Railways’ position and actions taken, and assure the protesters that all grievances would be examined and those genuine addressed in a time-bound manner. Indian Railways reiterated its commitment to follow the all extant instructions regarding recruitment of persons with benchmark disabilities (PwBD).
The matter was thereafter heard in the Court of CCPWD on 25-10-2019.
The qualified PwBD candidates would be appointed as per their merit/turn in their respective Railway zones as per vacancies notified for the different classes of Divyangjan.
Any unfilled vacancies would not be filled by other non-PwBD candidates.
Position regarding category-wise qualifying marks/cut-offs for each Railway/RRC will be displayed on relevant websites.
Candidates can give their grievances and it will be examined carefully and expeditiously. The recruitment process is still underway and more PwBD candidates, would come up for appointment in the coming weeks. Under no circumstances will any vacancy for Divyangjan be filled by any other categories. In certain circumstances, where the vacancies of PwBDs are not filled up, the same is carried forward to the next recruitment cycle/notification.
Indian Railways has a clear commitment to recruit Divyangjan against the posts identified for them as per quota prescribed.