New Delhi, Feb 21: There was no hike in the examination fee for the railways, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said today. Addressing the concerns of the candidates who are set to apply for the 90,000 posts, for which the national transporter had advertised in January and February, the minister said the exam fee was fixed at Rs 250 for the exempted categories and Rs 500 for the general category to ensure that only serious candidates applied.
Earlier, those in the exempted category appeared in the exam for free, while the general category candidates had to pay Rs 100. "I want to make it clear that the hike in the fees is because we realised that many people fill the form and then do not turn up for the exams. The government spends a lot of money on the exams. So, those who appear will get their fee refunded. Those who have paid Rs 250 will be refunded the entire amount and those who have paid Rs 500 will be refunded Rs 400. So, in effect, there is no hike. We want only the serious candidates to appear in the exams," Goyal said. He added that all the candidates would be allowed to sign in a language of their choice in the application form and not only in hindi or english.
On February 18, after protests in Bihar and Kerala, the railways had to relax the upper-age limit for employing people in various categories. It had also clarified that the option of taking the recruitment exam in regional languages, including bengali and malayalam, would be made available. In a statement, the railways had said that for the exam for the posts of assistant loco pilots and loco pilots, the revised upper-age limit for the unreserved category was fixed at 30 years, while earlier, it was 28.
For OBCs, it has been revised to 33 years from the earlier 31 years and for the SC and ST category, the revised upper-age limit has been fixed at 35 years from 33 years. Similarly, for Group D exams for the unreserved category, the upper-age limit has been fixed at 30 years from 28 years. For OBCs, the age limit has been revised to 36 years from 34 years, for SCs and STs, it has been hiked to 38 years from 36 years.
Online applications were earlier invited for nearly 90,000 Group C Level I (previously Group D) posts (track maintainers, pointsmen, helpers, gatemen, porters etc.) and Group C Level II posts (assistant loco pilots, technicians -- fitters, crane drivers, blacksmiths, carpenters etc.) through the Railway Recruitment Board's website.
The recruitment drive is open for candidates who have passed Class 10 and ITI for Group C Level I posts and Class 10 and ITI or diploma in engineering or a graduation in engineering for the Group C Level II posts. While the candidates from Kerala had demanded that they be allowed to take the exam in malayalam, those from Bihar had taken to violent protests over the reduction of the upper-age limit.