UPSC keen to abort SCRA examination

The Union Public Service Commission has directed the Railway Ministry to conduct the Special Class Railway Apprentice Examination (SCRA) . Earlier this examination was a part of the UPSC curriculum.

As per the letter from UPSC Secretary Ashim khurana directed to Railway Board Member (staff) Pradeep Kumar stated that “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”.

The SCRA is one of the oldest programmes in India and it involves the selection of around 30 candidates by the UPSC to the undergraduate programme in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Jamalpur.

UPSC claims that the SCRA test has no valid justification.

The Commission also conducts the annual Engineering services Examination for the selection to Indian Railway Services in Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) and is planning to serrate the SCRA examination as a superfluous effort. Prior to this the Additional secretary in the UPSC had also written to Pradeep Kumar bringing his attention to the need for abolishing the SCRA Examination in May.

Last month in his letter Ashim Khurana stated that “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”.

Seeking a review of the matter the UPSC secretary wrote that, “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”.

Aside from IRSME the UPSC also conducts the 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.

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