Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination (SRCA), which was part of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) curriculum, would now have to be conducted by the Railway Ministry as the body has shown no interest in further conducting the examination.
According to the letter which was issued by the UPSC Secretary Ashim Khurana written to Railway Board Member (Staff) Pradeep Kumar, “The Commission may not be inclined to continue with the examination unless full and proper justification in forthcoming from the Railway Ministry for such continuance.”
Through the SCRA examination the UPSC tends to select 30 candidates for the undergraduate programme in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalpur. It is one of the oldest programmes in India which selects eligible and deserving candidates for the seats. The commission at this moment conducts annual engineering services examination for selection to the Indian Railway Services in Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) and thus wants to end the SCRA examination to choose a handful of candidates with such amount of effort from the commission’s end. The Additional Secretary has also written previously to Pradeep Kumar regarding the matter and wanted his attention towards the abolishment of the examination in May.
Ashim Khurana in his letter mentioned, “I would like to draw your attention once again to the disproportionate effort involved in the conduct of the SCRA examination by the UPSC, given the small number of vacancies identified and filled up. It is also a fact that the commission conducts the annual engineering services examination (ESE) for selection to five services belonging to Railway Ministry including the IRSME.”
The UPSC secretary has demanded a review in this matter and further wrote, “There appears to be little justification for continuing this practice only for one engineering stream, especially when recruitment is also being done through the ESE for IRSME. The Commission would urge that the entire matter may be reviewed by the Ministry with a view to doing away with the requirement of conducting the SCRA examination annually.”