World’s Largest Online Recruitment Drive: Indian Railways Drives 2.37 Crore Applicants for 1.2 Lakh Railways Jobs

Indian Railways
Indian Railways

Applicants arrive 12 hours before the exam and take over roads, footpath and traffic police stalls. The Indian Express spends a day at the largest exam centre where, as chances appear bleaker, hope must shine brighter.

In a black bag, Murari Lal says, he has been carrying his world around with him since past five years. His major stops involve examination centres. His contents include a gamcha, an umbrella, a mat, a folder with his BA and MA Marksheets, a mobile charger and the admit card for the Group D Railway Recruitment Board Exam he will be taking in two hours.

There is another thing he carries to all exams, he says, “Ummeed (hope)”; hope for a government job.

This time his halt is the footpath outside the swanky building of the Tata Consultancy Services iON Digital Zone in Noida’s Sector 62. It is the biggest exam centre for the “world’s largest recruitment drive”, being conducted by the Indian Railways.

Lal arrived the previous night, over 12 hours before his 4 pm test. “I don’t know anyone in Delhi-NCR and so decided to wait on the footpath.”

 largest recruitment drive
largest recruitment drive

There are many applicants like Murari Lal describing their struggle to get a government job in India.

Indian Railways is in its final phase of conducting the Computer-based Test for one of the world’s largest recruitment drives for 1,27,278 posts. The posts include Assistant Loco Pilots, Technicians and various Group D posts under 7th Pay Commission Level 1 Matrix. The group D posts include those of Gangman, Trackman, Gateman, Pointsman and Helpers among others.

ALP and Technicians

The CBT exams for ALP and Technicians were held in the month of August. The exam was held on different dates in three shifts. Earlier, there were only 26,502 vacancies. However, it has revised the number of posts to 64,371 which is around 143 per cent increase. It includes 27,795 ALP posts and 36,576 various posts of Technicians.

Group D

There are around 62,907 Group D posts. The exams were started on September 16 in three shifts. There are around 400 exam centres across India and the exam is being conducted in 15 languages. The last exam is on October 16. However, many candidates have missed their exams due to various reasons like Kerala floods and various protests in West Bengal. The Indian railways have decided to give these candidates another chance to appear in the exam.  The railways will give these candidates a chance to appear in the exam after October 16.

Number of Candidates

Over 47 lakh candidates had applied for 64,371 posts. On the other hand, over 1.9 crore candidates have applied for 62,907 Level 1 posts. Railways had said that over 4 lakh candidates had appeared in most of the exams a day.

Indian Railways – TCS tie up

Indian Railways had tied up with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to conduct the Computer Based Test. It had said that no two question papers will be alike.  Railways have also been running special trains to clear the exam rush and help the candidates reach their exam centres.


This time the only controversy the exam had faced was about allotment of the exam centres. Due to a large number of applicants, 17 per cent of candidates had been assigned centres outside 500 kilometres radius of their residences while 83 per cent candidates had been assigned centres within 500 km radius.

Do you think the world’s largest recruitment drive will help applicants like Murari Lal and many others to end up their struggle and start their dream job for the Government of India?

Let us know in the comments sections below.

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