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Railways favour scrapping of SCRA Exam

Railways favour scrapping of SCRA Exam
Railways has decided to close down the Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination (SCRA).

Started in 1927, the SCRA, one of the oldest programme in India involved selection of about 30 candidates by the UPSC to the undergraduate programme in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE) at Jamalpur.

Earlier, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has told the Railway Ministry that it is not inclined to hold the Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination (SCRA) and asked the public transporter to justify holding the exam.

"The Commission may not be inclined to continue with the examination unless full and proper justification is forthcoming from the Railway Ministry for such continuance," UPSC Secretary Ashim Khurana said in a letter to Railway Board Member (Staff) Pradeep Kumar in July this year.

The UPSC told the Railways that it is now finding the process of separate examination for a handful of candidates as "disproportionate effort" as the Commission is also conducting annual engineering services examination for selection to Indian Railway Services in Mechanical Engineering (IRSME).

Besides IRSME, UPSC conducts selection of engineers for Indian Railway Services in Electrical Engineering, Indian Railways Services in Engineers, Indian Railways Services in Signal Engineering and Indian Railways Services in Stores.

After examining the various aspects of the issue, the Railways decided in favour of discontinuation of the SCRA and communicated the same to UPSC.

"The matter has been carefully reviewed by Ministry of Railway in its entirety and it has been decided with the approval of Minister of Railways that recruitment of candidates for induction into Indian Railway Services in Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) officers will now be met through the engineering services examination (ESE)," Railway Board Member Pradeep Kumar has written to UPSC.

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In a release, Railways clarified that "there is no decision to close the IRIMEE at Jamalpur. IRIMEE shall continue as a Centralised Training Institute of the Ministry devoted to training Mechanical Engineers and other officers of the Indian Railways."

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