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Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010
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Railways, UIDAI in talks for possible use of database
Revamp on cards:The Railway Recruitment Board Chairman, Mr Vivek Sahai (left), with the Executive Director, Mr R.C. Jat, addressing a press conference, in the Capital on Tuesday.
New Delhi, June 22
The Indian Railways has had a discussion with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday to discuss the use of its database in various areas including ticketing. The discussion also included the manner in which the Indian Railways' 13 lakh employees can be brought into the UIDAI database.
“The UIDAI has given us a presentation on what could be done. This has to evaluated,” Mr Vivek Sahai, Chairman, Railway Board, said here today, when asked.
The UIDAI would issue unique identification numbers to the residents of the country based on the demographic and biometric data of the individual. Mr Sahai said they are also exploring the possibility of using the unique database in its ticketing system.
The possible use for Railways could particularly for using the UID of a person as a proof of identity while extending low-cost tickets through various discount schemes. Railways extend discounts to different marginalised sections of population including senior citizens, in which the UID could be used as another proof of identification.
IRON ORE CHARGES
Also, Railways faces the problem of “bogus booking” of tickets and this too can be addressed through the new system.
On possible changes in freight rates for iron ore export movement, Mr Sahai said that there is a clear linkage between prices of iron ore export and the extra charge levied on the rail transportation of the commodity.
He indicated there may be a drop in freight charges of iron ore exports now that there is a drop in prices.
“We have a clear cut formula. The decision will be based on it,” he said.
TO REVAMP EXAM SYSTEM
Speaking about the recent CBI raids with regards to the railway recruitment scam case in the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) examination, Mr Sahai said that the Railways is working on bringing in new checks and balances into the current examination system.
The checks and balances that the Ministry is evaluating are likely to include reducing the powers of Chairmen, Railway Recruitment Board, particularly while setting the question papers. Also, Mr Sahai said there will be steps taken on how to reduce loopholes after examinations – during evaluation of the papers.
“We had already taken steps to plug loopholes in the transit stage,” Mr Sahai said.
One of the options being considered is to have all chairmen design question papers and allot the papers randomly across centres. Each centre has a different set of question, though from the same syllabus. Railways, which has vacancies of about two lakh posts across various levels, had started the recruitment exercise of filling about 50,000 posts of Group C post in phases.
The Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, after taking charge, had handpicked 21 RRB chairmen last year, based on their performances and level of efficiency for the post. The CBI had on June 19 claimed to have unearthed a multi-crore Railway recruitment scam and had arrested eight persons, including the son of Chairman, RRB, Mumbai.
He added, “Our loading targets are growing by the day and we require staff urgently to run the goods train, which could have been done through the railway recruitment board (RRB) examinations.”
He claimed they were alerted by the vigilance about the leakage of the question papers before the CBI busted the scam. “We were conducting an internal inquiry soon after the vigilance report till the CBI unearthed the scandal,” Mr Sahai said.
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