It may be recalled that Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) had advertised through their centralized CEN 02/18 notification for around 63000 vacant Level-1 posts in early February,2018. Consequent to the notification of the revised Divyangjan Act (RPWD Act, 2016) and orders of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in a case filed by an organization for one of the Divyangjan categories, a corrigendum was issued on Feb 28, 2018. An extended one month window was provided to enable the Divyangjan categories included in the revised Act, including candidates with identified Multiple Disabilities (MD) to apply for the examination. Around 1.17 crore candidates including around 1.54 lakh Divyangjan appeared at the Computer based written tests. The number of vacancies reserved for Divyangjan is over 2400, with around equal number reserved for the four Disability categories of Locomotor Disability (LD), Visually Impaired (VI), Hearing Impaired (HI), and Multiple Disability (MD). MD refers to candidates having more than one Disability among the other three Categories of LD, VI and HI.
The vacant posts notified for any Zonal Railway are being filled in as per merit position among those who have opted for that zonal Railway and have secured the minimum qualifying threshold marks and qualified in the Physical Efficiency Tests (PET) conducted by the Railway Recruitment Cells (RRC) of the respective Zonal Railways. Divyangjan candidates have not only been fully exempted from PET, but have been accorded 2 marks relaxation in minimum qualifying cut-offs as well. Their final selection, subject to Document Verification and Medical Examination, is therefore based on their merit position in the Computer Based Tests for their Disability category and Zonal Railway they had opted for.
While over 1025 Divyangjan candidates have already been finally selected and several more candidates’ cases are under verification/medical examination, it has been observed that the MD category has remained mostly unfilled in all Zonal Railways. It is a fact that this Category has been included as per the revised Act fairly recently and the CEN 02/2018 is among the earliest recruitment notifications to incorporate this Disability Category.
In this context, several Divyangjan candidates & groups have represented that due to unfamiliarity with the revised Categorisation and application protocol, they have filled in only Single Disability (either LD or VI or HI) option in the application form, instead of two or more of the Disabilities that they are affected with. Due to this inadvertent exercise of option, such candidates have therefore been considered only against the respective single Disability Category of LD or VI or HI as per option, and not as MD to which they actually belong.
The above representation has been considered in the Ministry of Railways, and it has been decided to allow a window period for such candidates to represent for considering them against MD Category vacancies. Accordingly, those eligible Divyangjan MD candidates who actually have more than one benchmark Disability among the three single Disability categories of LD, VI and HI but have inadvertently opted for only a single Disability Category in their application forms for the Level-1 CEN 02/2018 recruitment notification will now get another chance to be considered against unfilled MD Category vacancies of the Railway zone they had originally opted for. Such eligible Divyangjan MD candidates, who have a score of 38 or more in the written Computer Based Test (28 or more for Divyangjan of SC/ST/non-creamy layer OBC) will be able to represent to the RRC of the Zonal Railway they had opted for with proof of their belonging to MD Category. The notification and format for representation is scheduled to be available in the relevant RRC/RRB websites from 23rd December 2019 for around a fortnight. From amongst the eligible applications so received and scrutinised, shortlisting for further processing for filling up the unfilled MD vacancies will be done as per merit position. Indicative notice has already been published in newspapers for advance information of the eligible MD Category Divyangjan in this regard.
Indian Railways continues to remain committed to the cause of empowerment of Divyangjan and in following all applicable laws and provisions in this regard in letter and spirit. The dispensation being adopted above is an illustrative example in this regard.