NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways is looking at re-skilling its manpower, and moving away from unskilled jobs, maintaining that the exercise will not result in “net” job reduction.

Owing to technological intervention, the profile of jobs is expected to change. “We won’t curtail jobs. Job profiles may change, but there won’t be job cuts,” Anand S Khati, Director General, Human Resource at Railway Board said in a web interaction with reporters on Friday.

Meanwhile, in a separate letter issued on Thursday, the Railway Board has directed all zonal railways to freeze new posts, apart from those in the safety category.

The directive called for “reviewing of posts created in the last two years and if, recruitment has not been done against this post, reviewing the same for surrendering.”

The move is part of the rightsizing exercise of the Indian Railways that began last year, Khati said.

The Indian Railways’ FY 20 capex on IT infrastructure was 1.5 lakh crore while that for FY21 is pegged at Rs 1.61 lakh crore. When the focus is on modernization and automation, it may have some impact on manpower, Khati said.

“Modern technology has resulted in needs arising in many new areas, thereby reorientation and repositioning of resources is an imperative,” a railway ministry spokesperson said.

Surrendering of non functional , non-safety vacant posts would help in creating additional safety posts for new Railway Infrastructure Projects being developed at fast speed, the spokesperson said. “No net job reduction in railways,” he added.

As of now there is a backlog of 2.90 lakh posts in Indian Railways of which recruitment process for around 1.46 lakh has begun since 2018. Of the notified vacancies, 72,274 are for the safety category, and 68,366 are non-safety category posts.

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