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Learn About Railways Career in India and Indian Railways Entrance Exam

The rising number of government entrance exam coaching institutes in India offering training for Railways Entrance Exams is testament to the growing popularity of the Indian Railways as a serious career choice.


Overview of Indian Railways
The Indian Railway System is among the largest railway networks in Asia. It ranks among the biggest railway network system in the world. Each of these zones is controlled by a different Railway Board. Most of the jobs in Indian Railways are within the respective Boards wherein the jobs are spread across different niches, including technical, clerical and quota-reservation based jobs.


Entry into Indian Railways
Direct recruitment in Indian Railways is for posts under Class I and Class II, i.e. for the non-technical services. This includes:
•    Indian Railway Traffic Services (IRTS)
•    Indian Railway Personnel Services (IRPS)
•    Indian Railway Accounts Services (IRAS)
•    Railway Police Service


Apart from recruiting officers in various departments, RRB also recruits physical instructors, health care professionals and teachers apart from paramedical personnel through nationwide tests. For getting these jobs, the applicants need to pass the all-India Union Public Service Commission examination or Combined Civil Services Examination. The eligibility for the UPSC exam is being a graduate in any field. However, those wanting to work for the Railway Engineering Services being an engineering graduate or having an equivalent degree is required. Students who are enrolled with the Railway Engineering Services are provided training across the five, main (centralised) railway training institutes. For working as mechanical engineers with the IR, students need to pass the Special Class Railway Apprenticeship Examination. The chosen candidates then required to complete a 4-year probationary training period. The minimum eligibility for appearing in this exam is the higher secondary examination with PCM.


The Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
This branch of Indian Railways is concerned with transportation and commercial matters related to the transportation department. This branch is divided into:

•    Commercial Division—this division of the Indian Railways handles all the commercial responsibilities like catering, ticket-checking, administration and other, management-related matters like reservation systems, announcement roster and man-management of platforms.

•    Operations Division—this division of the Indian Railways handles controlling the movement of trains. This means ensuring that the incoming/outgoing train schedules and detachment/attachment of wagons is properly organized. The responsibilities require the individual to have qualities like patience and diligence required for supervising workers and offices.


Career in the IRTS begins with probationary training that lasts for 3 years. The training for this course is provided for two years by the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration, Mussourie. There are some other Zonal training centres wherein job training for IRTS is provided. During the final year of training, a regular appointment is issued. Upon completing the training period, some departmental examinations are held. This can get appointment as an Assistant Commercial Superintendent (ACS) or Assistant Operations Superintendent (AOS). After completing four years in the service, these officers get promoted to the position of Divisional Operations/Commercial Managers. The next scheduled promotion is at the divisional level. Here, the officer is promoted to the Senior Divisional Operations/Commercial Managers.


Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
This brand of the Indian Railways is concerned with accounting and finance operations. Here, employees of Indian Railways need to handle financial transactions. Thus, they should have thorough knowledge of accounting procedures.


Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
Officers in this branch of Indian Railways handle matters related to:
•    Handling increments
•    Recruitment
•    Promotions
•    Training
•    Staff transfers
•    Staff welfare operations


Railway Protection Service/Railway Protection Force
This branch of the Indian Railway Services operates as para-military forces, securing the railways against possible and existing sources of hazards such as terrorism and natural disasters. They are also responsible for maintenance law and order on the railways’ premises.

Railway Engineering Services
This is the technical branch of the Indian Railways. It is engaged in installation, construction, maintenance and organization of railway routes, buildings and infrastructure such as bridges and underpasses.


Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE)
People working in this department of the Indian Railways are usually Civil Engineers. These professionals are required to plan and implement railways routes, plan construction of railway stations, tunnels, bridges and railway housing colonies. These officers are required to work upon projects offered as a part of the Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd—IRCON and RITES.


Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME)
This department of the Indian Railways recruits Mechanical Engineers. These professionals are required to maintain machinery like locomotives and engines and the take care of the rolling stock. They also take care of projects aimed at seasonal overhauling of engines or carrying out maintenance/repair work of carriages or bogies.


Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE)
This department of the Indian Railways looks after proper networking of the various technical departments functioning across the country and are responsible for updating the technology to ensure that Indian Railways is at par with global standards.


Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE)
The Indian Railways has one main, Electrification Headquarters at Allahabad. This department is responsible for coordination of various developmental activities wherein electrification works are involved. Thus, Electrical Engineers are recruited for this profile. They are also responsible for maintenance of electrical works in coaches and for handling power generation and distribution networks and monitoring the electrical supply.


Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS)
Professionals working in this department are responsible for planning the expenditure of various departments of the Indian Railways under each of the five-year plans. This department also handles planning bulk or emergency expenditure for procuring materials required for day-to-day functioning of various IR departments. People recruited for the IRSS are trained at the Railway Staff College (Vadodara) and this training is followed by short stings in various depots. For instance, the trainee might be asked to work for a few weeks in the headquarters of Supply & Disposal department and take care of basic infrastructure like workshops and sheds.


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