Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The transportation and commercial departments cover a wide range. Porters and other unskilled workers about the stations are usually recruited by station masters or traffic inspectors. The latter also appoint pointsmen, signalmen, shunting porters and other semi-skilled labour, while artisans and other skilled workers are appointed by senior subordinates. We recommend that, as in the case of the engineering department, appointments to and dismissals from all these posts be reported and proper registers kept and examined. Similar procedure should be adopted for the appointment of fitters, cleaners and similar workers in the locomotive sheds. We further recommend that firemen, shunters and drivers should be selected for appointment and promotion by selection boards or committees as is already the practice on some railways for signallers, assistant station masters, guards, goods and coaching clerks, and other literate employees who are required to pass examinations. We are informed that the system of recruitment by selection boards or committees is now being more generally adopted in the case of the staff required to fill those categories classed as literate and also classes in which employees start as apprentices. This system should tend to eliminate possibilities of personal bias and favouritism. We therefore recommend that it should be put into force on all railways in connection with both recruitment and promotion of employees in all these classes. We welcome the increasing provision of opportunities for training and apprenticeships as the extension of these facilities will be of immense assistance in securing increased efficiency. Sons and other near relations of railway servants, particularly those living in railway colonies, have a special claim to enter the service, and we therefore recommend that, wherever possible, facilities for suitable education and training be afforded them. Elsewhere the question of education of workers and their children is dealt with: but, in view of the policy formulated by the Railway Board as the result of the recent enquiry by an officer of the Indian Educational Service, our opinion is that existing facilities should be continued until such time as suitable alternative provision is made.