• Indian Railways Remove Malayalam from the Recruitment Exam

    "This is an attempt to prevent Keralites from getting recruited”

    Newsclick Report

    February 19, 2018


    The Indian Railways has removed Malayalam as one of the languages for the recruitment exam for group D posts. Other than Malayalam all the other regional languages are intact. Now, apart from English, Hindi and Urdu, applicants can write the exam in Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Konkani, Odiya, Assamese and Manipuri. This practice was introduced by Mamata Banerjee when she was the Railway Minister. Prior to that, the question papers were in Hindi, English and Urdu for the railway exams.

    Currently, the railways are divided into 16 railway zones. The zones are further divided into divisions. In each of these zones when the recruitment exams are held, the question papers in the regional languages spoken in that area are also included. The Indian Railways has three zones catering to the five southern states – South Central, South Western and Southern Zones.

    According to Malayala Manorama , the Southern Zone with Chennai as the headquarters has advertised for 2,979 posts. This zone covers the Trivandrum and the Palakkad divisions that fall in Kerala. For this zone, the languages included are Tamil and Telugu but not Malayalam. The other southern divisions, Bengaluru and Secunderabad, where exams are being held, no languages are dropped. In Bengaluru, apart from Hindi, the exam would be held in English and Urdu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Konkani. At Secunderabad, the exam would be held in Telugu, Marathi, Kannada and Odiya.

    Many are asking why only Malayalam has been left out. Earlier in the day, M B Rajesh, CPI(M) MP from Kerala had written a letter to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, seeking urgent intervention to rectify the discrimination meted out to candidates who wish to write the exam in Malayalam.

    Speaking to Newsclick, the MP from Palakkad wondered how such a decision can be taken by the Indian Railways and said, “I suspect some ulterior motive. This will put candidates from Kerala at a disadvantage. This is an attempt to prevent Keralites from getting recruited”.

    Mr Rajesh said, “We will try to mobilise public opinion cutting across party lines on this issue and all Keralites across the globe should come out against this. This is not just an issue related to railways. It is an insult to our self-respect."


    First published in Newsclick.

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