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    Tuesday, 13 October 2015

    SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT REGARDING SELECTION OF APPRENTICES FOR TRAINING UNDER THE APPRENTICES ACT, 1961: NFIR

    GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
    MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
    (RAILWAY BOARD)

    RBE No. 120/2015
    No. E(MPP)/2009/6/14
    New Delhi dated : 06.10.2015

    The General Managers
    All Indian Railways
    Including Production Units
    Sub:- System improvement regarding selection of Apprentices for training under the Apprentices Act, 1961
    Apprenticeship training programme in the industry was made statutory with the enactment of the Apprentices Act, 1961. The Apprentices Act, 1961 has the following objectives:-
    (i) To regulate the programme of training of apprentices in the industry so as to conform to the prescribed syllabi, period of training etc prescribed by the Central Apprenticeship Council; and
    (ii) To utilize fully the facilities available in the industry for imparting practical training with a view to meeting the requirements of skilled workers in the industries.
    As per the Act, it is not obligatory on the part of the Railways to offer any employment to the Apprentices on completion of their Apprenticeship training. Accordingly, the Act Apprentices imparted training in Railway establishments, will have no claim to seek employment on Railways on the basis of such training.
    2. Guidelines such as the number of apprentices to be engaged, schedule of engagement, age, etc have been elaborated in the Master Circular issued vide Board’s letter No. E(MPP)/2001/6/7 dated 22.07.2002 and as amended from time to time.

    3. On review of the entire system including procedure for engagement for imparting training, certain inconsistencies have been noticed, which has also drawn the attention of the Vigilance Directorate. In view of the above and as a system improvement measure, guidelines as detailed hereunder at Para 4 (A to G) are being issued, for guidance. Zonal Railway administration may keep these in view while deciding the procedure on their jurisdiction.

    4. A. Selection of Units:
    (i) The provisions of the Apprentices Act 1961 apply on the Railways to various units like Workshops, Production Units, Loco Sheds, Carriage and Wagon Depots and Electrification Projects and the number of apprentices to be engaged for training are decided through joint survey with RDAT and keeping in view the provisions of the Act.

    (ii) Instructions detailing the names of the Railway Establishments and the actual number of training slots (as decided through a joint survey with RDAT officials) have been issued vide RBE No 85/2012 dated 30/7/2012 and subsequently, on the basis of the joint survey reports, the slots of various railway establishments have been revised vide Board’s letter No. E(MPP)97/6/7/Vol.IV dated 15.2.2013, 07.06.2013, 01.08.2013, 30.10.2013 & 17.7.2014.

    (iii) The general philosophy would be decentralized notification by the Unit concerned, where Act Apprentices are to be engaged for training. However, General Managers of the Zonal Railways, Production Units and RE may decide if it is necessary to club various units for the purpose of selection of apprentices for training, and if so, the specific Units to be clubbed for this purpose. Where certain Units are clubbed, General Managers would also decide the nodal unit, which would issue notification on behalf of all clubbed units.

    (iv) Wherever, General Managers decide on centralized notification as opposed to decentralized notification suggested herein, guidelines for such Zonal Railways/PU’s shall be as under:
    a. A Centralized Notification for all the Units in the Railway may be issued. A JA/SG Grade officer of Personnel Department may be nominated by the CPO of the Railway to coordinate and monitor the work of issuing this notification. Indents from each Unit for the vacant slots to be notified trade wise/category wise will reach the nominated Dy.DPO in HQs at least one month in advance to facilitate timely issue of notification. The notification should clearly mention the last date of application, probable date of display of list of selected candidates and tentative date of commencement of training. Railways can call the applications online also. In case applications are called online, the procedure detailed below in Para B (v) and (vi) be followed.
    b. The notification should be sent to the CPRO of the Railway 10 days in advance for publishing in the local dailies of the region where the respective Railway training establishment is located. All the selection procedures mentioned below for decentralized notification, will also hold good, for centralized notification as well, with necessary modification for centralized notification.
    B. Selection Procedure for Decentralised Notification:

    As per the guidelines below for selecting Act Apprentices for training, notification is to be issued by each of the concerned Units individually where Act Apprentices are to be engaged for training and all the procedures for selecting Act Apprentices for training will continue to be handled by the units concerned in a decentralized manner.
    (i) A JA/SG Grade officer of Personnel Department may be nominated by the CPO of the Railway to monitor the issuing of notifications and to ensure that all Units whre Act Apprentices are to be engaged for training, issue their notifications timely. All individual notifications trade wise/category wise of individual units time be vetted by this nominated officer. A report giving compliance of issue of full notification by all the concerned Units in the Zonal Railway, Production Unit, RE where Act Apprentices are to be engaged for training, should be put up to General Manager for his information.
    (ii) The notification should clearly mention the last date of application, probable date of display of list of selected candidates and tentative date of commencement of training.
    (iii) The notification should be published in the local daily where the concerned Unit is located, where Act Apprentices are to be engaged for training. In addition, copy of the notification should be sent to local employment exchanges, SC/ST Associations of the Railway, controlling Board’s office of ITI’s and the recognized Railway trade unions for giving wide publicity and also for information to the prospective candidates. The applications from wards of Railway employees may be forwarded by the authorities prescribed by the Railway Administration.
    (iv) Receipt of applications will be done at one centralized place in each of the Units, where the Apprentices are to be engaged for being imparted training. Addresses of these Units in full along with pincode should be mentioned in the notification. A postal order/Demand Draft of Rs 100/- as processing fee which is not refundable is to be enclosed with the application form. No fee is required to be paid by SC/ST/PH/Women candidates.
    (v) Individual Units can call the applications online also. In case applications are called online, processing fee of Rs 100/- has to be paid online by the applicant using internet banking or debit / credit cards or can be paid through challan in any branch of SBI or computerized Post Office Pay-in-Slip. Applicable service charges will also have to be borne by the applicants.
    (vi) If the payment of the fee is made through a challan at SBI branch or computerized Post Office Pay-in-slip (Service Charges apply), the receipt of the same should be preserved by the candidates. The same would be called for verification at the time of Document Verification. Applications not accompanied with processing fee, wherever required, will be summarily rejected.
    (vii) Applications will either be received in sealed drop boxes kept at a suitable centralized location in the Unit concerned or by registered post or online as the case may be. The period for receiving applications will not be more than one month from the date of notification and should not to be extended by the Railway/PU/Unit concerned.
    (viii) After all the applications are received and collated at one place, they shall be opened in presence of a three member Assistant Scale Officers Selection committee, one of whom should be a Personnel Officer. The Committee will be nominated by the Head of the Workshop/Division/PU. One member of the Selection Committee should belong to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
    (ix) All applications received in the box shall be opened, serially numbered, stamped and the list should be signed by all the Committee members on all pages of the list.
    (x) Applications received by registered post will also be placed before this Committee to be duly opened, serially numbered, stamped and the list signed by all the Committee members. Where the Railway or the training unit decides to receive applications on on-line basis also, the above procedure in part or in full can be dispensed basing upon the need. However Railways would be required to devise suitable guidelines, for receipt of applications, online, with the approval of General Manager.
    (xi) Scrutiny of applications will be done by the said committee along with assisting staff nominated for the same.
    (xii) Zonal Railways/Production Unit have the option to prescribe one of the two educational qualifications listed below for candidates applying against the notification for the purpose of selection of Act Apprentices for training. However once the Railways/Unit decides on one of the options regarding educational qualification the same shall be applied uniformly for all applicants applying against the particular notification. In other words both the options regarding minimum educational qualification shall not be permitted in a Railway or Production Unit. Option number one would be to consider the candidature of the candidates on the basis of matriculation (with minimum 50% (aggregate) marks). Option number two would be to consider the candidate of the candidates by taking average of matriculation (with minimum 50% (aggregate) marks) plus ITI marks. It is reiterated that Railways, PUs may decide one of the two options listed above before notification is issued and the same would stand uniformly adopted in their Railway/Production Units for selection of Act Apprentices against this notification.
    (xiii) The selection of Act Apprentices by the Unit is to be made on the basis of merit list prepared in respect of all the candidates who apply against the notification. The merit list is to be made on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates either in matriculation alone or in matriculation and ITI combined, as the case may be as decided by the Zonal Railway/PU. Therefore, on a given Railway, merit list may be prepared either on the basis of %age of marks in matriculation (with minimum 50% (aggregate) marks) or merit list would be prepared taking the average of the %age marks obtained by the candidates in both matriculation (with minimum 50% (aggregate) marks) and ITI examination giving equal weightage to both. In case of two candidates having the same marks, the candidate having older age shall be preferred. In case the dates of birth are also same, then the candidate who passed matriculation exam earlier shall be considered first.
    (xiv) A merit list will be prepared by the Committee who will then place the result before the Head of Workshop/Unit/Division for approval. The result should be declared within 15 days of the closure of receipt of application. Call letters for scrutiny of documents will be issued to 1.5 times the identified slots. Railways or Units can prepare computerized merit list also.
    (xv) The panel of selected candidates shall be published and exhibited on the Notice Boards outside the Unit where training is to be imparted under this scheme, other Railway Offices situated in the area of selection, the concerned Workshops/Divisions, Zonal Railway HQ/PU and individual advise should also be issued to the selected candidates. The Railways could also display online, the list of selected candidates, on their Zonal Railway official website.
    (xvi) Certificate/Document verification/Scrutiny is to be completed within one month of declaration of result.
    (xvii) In the event of any slot not being filled up due to non-turning up of selected candidates in the first list of a candidate being declared medically unfit etc., the vacant slot shall be filled from the merit list strictly in the order of merit. Due process should be followed before cancelling the candidature of non turned up candidates. Waiting list stands cancelled after one month from the date of commencement of training.
    C. If it is noticed by the Railway Administration that an applicant has furnished wrong information/fake certificates, the Railway Administration reserves the right to discharge the candidate/selected candidate at any stage without notice even after his selection to undergo training.

    D. Reservation while selecting Act Apprentices for training:
    Reservation and age relaxation for various categories/communities shall be as per the Government of India Rules for the purpose and as revised by the Railway Board from time to time.

    E. Qualification:
    The Candidate should have already passed the prescribed qualification on the date of issue of notification.

    F. Physical Fitness:
    A person shall be eligible for being trained under the Apprentices Act, 1961 and Apprenticeships Rules-1992 as amended from time to time, if he or she satisfies the minimum standards of physical fitness as prescribed in the aforesaid Act and Rules and the standards prescribed for imparting training to the relevant trades which will be certified by a Railway Doctor.

    G. Age for Engagement of Act Apprentices for training on Railway:
    Candidates should have completed 15 years of age and should not have completed 24 years as on the cut-off date for receiving application. Age relaxation for various categories/communities shall be applicable as per rules as amended from time to time.

    It is desired that the selection of candidate for training purpose under the Apprentices Act 1961 as brought out in the aforesaid paras should invariably be followed in the Railways/PUs for batches notified after the issue of this letter.

    Please acknowledge receipt.
    Sd/-
    (Anuradha Singh)
    Director (TRG. & MPP)
    Railway Board

    NFIR
    National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
    3, Chelmsford Road, New Delhi – 110 055
    Affiliated to:
    Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
    International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

    No. II/94
    Dated: 09/07/2015

    The Secretary (E),
    Railway Board,
    New Delhi

    Dear Sir,
    Sub: System improvement regarding selection of Apprentices for training under the Apprentices Act, 1961-reg.

    Reg: Railway Board’s letter No. E(MPP)/2009/6/14 dated 30/06/2015.
    In this connection, NFIR has following suggestions to be considered for incorporating appropriately in the instructions.

    (i) The observations of Ministry of Labour who have been repeatedly bringing to the notice of Railway Board that the number of Apprentices being trained in Railway Establishments is significantly lower than the seats allocated by the Regional Directors of Apprenticeship Training needs to be included in the instructions.

    (ii) Depending upon the strength of skilled staff, the joint survey conducted by the Railway Officials and the Ministry of Labour. it is seen that nealy 16,772 Apprentices are to be trained and the seats allotted accordingly vide Board’s letter dated 30/07/2012 and modified para 3.3 of Board’s letter dated 22/07/2002. Therefore, the selection of units again as mentioned at ‘A’ of the draft instructions is not acceptable.

    (iii) NFIR desires to state that the draft instructions do not contain the provision that Railway should ensure that only those designated trades are included in the survey which have a potential for future recruitment/absorption. This is an important feature needed to be incorporated as the same is also based on Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Judgement in the case of UP State Road Transport Corporation V/s UP Berozgar Samiti and is already existing in para 3.2.1 of Board’s instructions dated 22/07/2002.

    (iv) Since the minimum educational qualification prescribed for recruitment in the lowest catagory i.e. GP 1800/- is 10th pass or its equivalent in all Government Departments including Indian Railways, the same should be made applicable for Apprentice also. This fulfils the condition mentioned in clause 3 (v) of chapter-II of the Act. There is thus no need for adding the qualification of ITI or giving any additional weightage for the same. The bench mark of 50% marks in aggregate taking into account the ITI qualification need not be prescribed. The merit list would however be prepared on the basis of marks obtained in matriculation or 10th pass or equivalent.

    (v) The selection of training as apprentices should be from following sources duly following Government of India's Rules for reservation and age relaxation for various communities/categories as revised by the Railway Board from time to time:-

    (a) Nearest Employment Exchange,
    (b) SC/ST & OBC Organizations,
    (c) Recognised Unions/Organisations,
    (d) Wards of Railway Employees.

    There is no need for centralised notification by the Zonal Railway. The job could be left for the concerned Divisions/Workshops to process and form lists according to merit among the eligible candidates.

    NFIR also desires that the proposal be discussed with the Federations further before formulating policy.

    Yours faithfully,

    Sd/-
    (Dr. M. Raghavaiah)
    General Secretary

    Source:- NFIR

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