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UPSC not inclined to conduct SRCA examinations for railways

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The Union Public Service Commission, told the Railway Ministry to conduct the Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination (SCRA). Earlier the examination was a part of UPSC curriculum.

According to the letter from UPSC Secretary Ashim Khurana to Railway Board Member (Staff) Pradeep Kumar, which stated,”The Commission may not be inclined to continue with the examination unless full and proper justification is forthcoming from the Railway Ministry for such continuance”.

The SCRA is one of the oldest programmes in India. It involves selection of about 30 candidates by the UPSC to the undergraduate programme in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur.

As the Commission also conducts annual engineering services examination for selection to Indian Railway Services in Mechanical Engineering (IRSME), it is now planning the process of serrating examination for a handful of candidates as superfluous efforts. Earlier, Additional secretary in the UPSC had also written to Pradeep Kumar drawing his attention to the need for abolishing the SCRA examination in May.

Ashim Khurana in his letter last month, stated, “I would like to draw your attention once again to the disproportionate effort involved in the conduct of the SCRA Examination by the UPSC, given the small number of vacancies identified and filled up. It is also a fact that the Commission conducts the annual engineering services examination (ESE) for selection to five services belonging to Railway Ministry including the IRSME”.

While seeking a review of the matter, the UPSC secretary wrote, “There appears to be little justification for continuing this practice only for one engineering stream, especially when recruitment is also being done through the ESE for IRSME. The Commission would urge that the entire matter may be reviewed by the Ministry with a view to doing away with the requirement of conducting the SCRA Examination annually”.

Besides IRSME, UPSC conducts selection of engineers for Indian Railway Services in Electrical Engineering, Indian Railways Services in Engineers, Indian Railways Services in Signal Engineering and Indian Railways Services in Stores.

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