The number of women constables in the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is less at present and the government has decided to fill up 50 per cent of the 9,000 vacant posts notified with lady constables, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha Friday.
"At present, the percentage of lady constables in RPF is 2.25 per cent. The number (of women constables) is less in the entire Railways. Keeping this in mind, the prime minister gave a direction for recruitment," Goyal said during the Question Hour in the Upper House.
As a result, the government is recruiting 9,000 more.
"We are focusing on hiring lady constables. We are going to recruit 4,500 lady constables, 50 per cent of the total vacant posts notified," he added.
Responding to a query if the Centre will consider 35 per cent reservation for women in government jobs in line with the one given by Bihar government, the minister said, "No such reservation has been decided at the central level. So there is no question of backlog."
Law and order is a state subject. RPF looks into protection of railways infrastructure, while the Government Railway Police (GRP) takes care of law and order and it is under the state government, he said.
Still, the RPF was tagged with the GRP for last two years and did a good job in the area of women safety and addressing child abduction cases, he added.
Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said the recruitment process is going on.
"Adequate lady constables are recruited by our government. Already adequate lady constables are there," he said.
To another supplementary question on providing walkie talkie to women constables, both Goyal and Angadi said the matter will be examined.
Goyal, in a written reply, said the recruitment process started in 2018. Out of 8619 and 1120 vacancies notified for constables and sub-inspectors, respectively, 4216 and 201 vacancies, respectively, were reserved for women.
"This process is likely to be completed soon and this will further increase the number of lady constables and officers in RPF," he added.