Sub: Exemption of Railway employees appointed on or after 01/01/2004 from the application of National Pension System(NPS)- reg.
Ref: (i) MS’s do. no. 2012/F(E)III/1/4Pt. dated 04/03/2015 addressed to the Secretary, DoP&T, North Block, New Delhi.
(ii) Adviser, MoF (Department of Financial Services) New Delhi do. no. 08-01/2014-PR dated 15/05/2015.
(iii) Railway Board’s letter No. 2015/E(LR)II/ 13/3 dated 28/07/2015.
- Indian Railways is the complex transportation system fully owned by the Government.
- The Indian Railways plays crucial role in economic growth of the country, ensuring transportation of various commodities including food-grains, perishables besides eco-friendly transportation of passengers. The services provided by Indian Railways also include rapid movement of army and the para-military forces from one comer to another in the times of crises and when the security of the country is at stake.
“During the colonial period, the Railways was conceived and operated as an auxiliary wing of the Army, primarily because it provided the transport muscle that enabled rapid movement of troops across the Indian sub-continent. There was, however, another less visible but important reason for the close linkage with the Army. The colonizers realized that the Railways, by virtue of its complex nature, required a high degree of discipline and efficiency to be able to perform its role as the prime transport mode. This, in turn, meant a system of working more closely allied to the ArmedForces than the sometimes lax civilian forms. Thus historically, Indian Railways (IR) has functioned differently from other Government Institutions.”
|(a) Railway employees||1600||8700|
|(c) Unmanned Level crossing||723||690|
- hazards induced by job environments, working conditions and capital health which are totally uncommon. These conditions prevail only in Armed Forces,
- Rigorous medical standards, periodic updating of skills, workforce to prepare itself to match with changed technological up-gradation-Unique to Railways.
- Railway employees job profile have built in integration of performance-cum-safety, execution-cum-self certification besides extended duty hours demanded by critical operational regime,
- Like Armed Forces, the Railway employees are expected to remain at their Headquarters/ Stations even while availing periodic rest and they should report to duty in exigency or emergency and in the event of any untoward eventuality. Without prior permission they cannot leave Headquarters even during Rest Day. This system is not prevailing in any other Central Government Organization,
- Even when ‘they avail leave, they are expected to give the ‘address on leave’ facilitating the Railway management to summon them to take up duty at a short notice. This is akin to that of Armed Forces.
- Railway employees are expected to rise to the occasion in the event of any crisis like accidents, floods, sabotage etc., voluntarily even while on leave and assist the system.
- While performing duties whether running the trains, maintaining Tracks/S&T assets and attending to under-gears of the rolling stock (the staff sneak in between two rails, for maintenance purpose for ensuring train formations fit to run).
- Continuously working under open Sky, in remote/jungle areas facing inclement weather conditions, susceptible to air pollution and high decibel noise which are unique so far as hazardous working conditions faced by vast majority of railway employees similar to the conditions faced by army personnel during conflicts with enemy.
- Vast majority of Railway employees work at remote places, jungle areas and road side stations where amenities and living conditions do not exist – this is similar to that of Defence forces,
- Nature of Railwaymen’s working is against cultural harmony, biological clock i.e. round the clock working in shifts, continuous night duties resulting into irregular living like that of military/para-military personnel.
- Railway employees are exposed to attacks by anti-social elements in the course of performing duties similar to the situations faced by para-military staff,
- Railway employees are liable for criminal prosecution in case if accidents as their duties are connected with the movement of trains round the clock with high degree of,safety standards while ensuring punctuality – a peculiar situation which is not faced by the staff of any other Ministry/Department of Central Government,
- The duties of Railway employees are strenuous as Indian Railways is an operational transportation network. Continuous stress and strain in the course of performing duties has been resulting in health hazards like Hyper-tension, diabetes, Ulcer, Cardiac problems leading to premature deaths, medical invalidation at a scale larger than Armed/para-military forces. It is reported that the number of deaths while on duty or in service or on leave/sick is nearly 10000 per annum. This alarming number of deaths is due to various difficult and unbearable working conditions.
- Rail work force are expected to possess quick reflexes like that of armed forces for ensuring safe and efficient train operations.
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