The Indian Railways is the country’s biggest job provider employing an estimated 1.4 million people. It also attracts applicants in droves with almost all recruitment drives seeing a massive rush. But , Indian Railway has abolished more than 92,000 posts of various categories between 2018-19 and 2021-22 financial years. Notably, despite the abolition of such a large number of posts, the railways still has around 2.98 lakh vacant posts.

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during last Parliament session had admitted that more than 92,000 posts were abolished between 2018-19 and 2021-22. According to official documents, a total of 92,090 posts, including 23,366 in 2018-19, 31,275 in 2029-22, 27,477 in 2020-21 and 9,972 in 2021-22 posts were either abolished at both zonal and divisional levels. In 2018-19, 3,296 posts highest among all zones — were abolished in the Northern Eastern zone, followed by 3,221 in the Northern Railway, 1,920 in East Central, 1,735 in Eastern Railway, 1,621 in Central Railway, 1,514 in Western Railway and other zones.

These positions belong to Group C and D categories. According to reports, these posts have become obsolete due to adoption of new technology and it has been decided not to fill them up in the future. However, those already employed for these operations are likely to be observed in different Railway departments. Despite its many promises, the digitization of rail also comes with a number of challenges, ranging from concerns over privacy and security to regulation, issues related to the ownership of data and proprietary systems, public acceptability, the impact on jobs, and the fear of investing in stranded assets.

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