Indian Railways known as the 'Lifeline of our Nation' is the World's fourth largest railway network, spanning more than sixty four thousand kilometers of track. This major mode of transportation for both freight and passengers, were first introduced to India in 16th April 1853, when the train with 14 railway carriages and 400 guests was flagged off from Mumbai to Thane. Administered by the Railway Board, Indian railway has a financial commissioner, five members and a chairman. It is divided into seventeen zones which is headed by a General Manager (GM) who reports directly to the Railway Board. Each of these zones are further sub-divided into certain number of divisions - under the control of Divisional Railway Managers (DRM), each having a divisional headquarter. Every division has certain number of technical and non-technical departments, which form the base structure on which the railways function. Technical departments comprise of civil, technical and mechanical engineering, signaling and telecom, and several others dealing with similar discipline. The non- technical departments include general services such as accounts, personnel management, Railway protection Force (RPF) or security and traffic services. Further down are the Station Masters who control individual stations and the train movement through the track territory under their stations administration. Every year, Indian railways generate lot of jobs openings to a large number of Indian nationals. It requires a variety of people at the administrative, technical and non technical operations, to work together for the smooth functioning of the rail systems. Candidates with qualifications ranging from 10th standard to engineering graduates can find job openings in the varied operations of the Indian Railways. Eligibility Those who want to make a career in Indian railways need to pass the Combined Civil Services Examination, conducted by UPSC or an allied examination by the Railways Recruitment Boards (RRBs). These examinations are held from time to time to select a wide variety of personnel. The broadly divided zones of Indian railways and its divisions have technical and non-technical service departments, categorized under the groups namely A, B, C and D. Group A and Group B posts are gazetted posts which falls under the officer cadres. Selection to the posts in the Group A services are made through Civil Services Examinations/ Engineering Services Examination/ Combined Medical Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), New Delhi. The minimum eligibility required for the Group A services is graduation in any discipline or an equivalent qualification (for civil service); Degree in Engineering or M.Sc Degree or its equivalent (for engineering service); Degree in medicine- M.B.B.S (for medical service) from any recognised University. Besides Engineering Service Examination, a Special Class Railway Apprenticeship Examination (SCRA) is also held for the selection of mechanical engineers. HSC or equivalent with PCM, is the minimum qualification for SCRA exam. No special examinations are held for Group B officers. They are directly promoted from Group C staff. Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) make appointments to Group B services posts. Group C and Group D are non-gazetted subordinate posts. Group C comprise of the clerical staff, supervisors and skilled labour while unskilled and semi-skilled labour falls under the Group D class. Group C and D employees are recruited through 19 Railway Recruitment Boards, located at different parts of the country, which are controlled by the Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB). Some of the posts and its qualifications are given below : Enquiry-cum-Reservation Clerk (Qua : Degree) Accounts Clerk (Qua : Matriculation) Jr. Accounts Asst. (Qua : Degree : Eng. typing 30 wpm, Hindi typing 25 wpm) Prob. Astt. Master Rly. Station (Qua : Degree/ Diploma in Traffic & Management preferred) Trainee Asst. (Qua : Matriculation and Driver (Elect/ Diesel) Cert. from ITI) Apprentice (Qua : Mechanic Dip in Elect. Engg. (DH/ Elect.)) Apprentice (Qua : Mechanic Dip in Mech. Engg. (DH/ Mech)) Apprentice Signal Inspector (Gr. I) (Qua : B.E. (Elect/ Electro/ Telecom)) Apprentice Signal Inspector (Gr. III) (Qua :Dip. (Mech/ Elect/ Electro/ Telecom) or B.Sc. (Physics) ) Skilled Artisan (Qua : Matriculation and ITI Cert.) Stenographer (Eng) (Qua : Matriculation and proficiency in Eng. Stenography 80 w.p.m. Eng. Typing 40 w.p.m.) Trainee Elect (Qua : BE (Mech/ Elect/ Foreman Electro)) Apprentice Inspector Apparent. Permanent way Inspector (Gr.lll) (Qua : Dip. (Civil/ Mech/ Electro)) Apprentice Train Examiner (Qua : Degree) Guard (Qua : Degree) Law Asst. (Qua : Degree in Law) Statistical Astt. (Qua : MA/ M.Sc. with Eco/ Stats/ Maths) RRBs also recruit teachers, physical instructors, doctors in various departments, nurses and paramedical personnel through countrywide written tests. Personnel Attributes: Aspiring candidates for jobs in railways, should have good physical and mental health. Railway employees should be prepared to spend long periods away from home. Other essential pre-requisites are ability to interact and work as a team, accountability, discipline, patience etc.