Procedure for appointment of Substitutes on the railways

Railway Board Letter No
E[NG]-II/2008/SB/SR/15 dated 17.09.2010
Circular Subject
Appointment of Substitutes on the railways

1.            The issue regarding revision of provisions contained in Master Circular No.20/1991 issued vide this Ministry’s letter No. E[NG]-II/90/SB/10/Master Circular dated 29.1.1991 has been under consideration of this Ministry.  After detailed examination by the Board, it has been decided that in supersession of the following mentioned provisions/instructions:


[i]         Para 1512 to 1515 of Indian Railway Establishment Manual, Volume-I [1989 edition];

[ii]        Master Circular No.20/91 issued vide  RBE No.12/91 dated 29.01.91 including all the circulars numbering 54 quoted in Master Circular pages 8 to 10;

[iii]       Letter No. E[NG]-II/90/SB/10/MC dated 4.11.1992

[iv]      Letter No. E[NG]-II/2001/SB/2 dated 4.1.2001

[v]       Letter No. E[NG]-II/2005/SB/6 dated 12.09.2005 and

[vi]      Letter No. E[NG]-II/2008/SB/8 dated 24.06.2009


            The following instructions on the subject of engagement of Substitutes in erstwhile Group ‘D’ categories will be applicable :-


2. Definition:

"Substitutes" refer to persons engaged in Indian Railway Establishments on regular scales of pay and allowances applicable to posts falling vacant  and the process of filling up is delayed and the post cannot be kept vacant due to exigencies of work otherwise railway service may be adversely affected.


3.         Circumstances for engagement of  “Substitutes”:

3.1       Substitutes in erstwhile Group ‘D’ should be engaged with the prior personal approval of the General Manager, while those in Group ‘C’ shall require prior approval of the Railway Board.  They should be engaged only in the following circumstances:


[i]         The process of filling up of vacancies is delayed; and

[ii]        The posts cannot be kept vacant without adversely affecting the railway services;


3.2       Maximum number of Substitutes that can be engaged in a year in erstwhile Group ‘D’ posts


[i]         Maximum number of substitutes which can be engaged in a financial year in the following categories would be 10% of the vacancies calculated as on 1st April of the year to be filled up during the financial year;

[a]    Safety;

[b]    Train operations [operating staff of Operating, Mechanical, Civil, S&T and Electrical]


[ii]        For other categories, the maximum number of substitutes that can be engaged is 2% of the vacancies in these categories.


            Chief Personnel Officer [CPO] will calculate the 10% and 2% vacancies at the beginning of each financial year.


3.3         Substitutes in erstwhile Group ‘D’ should be engaged as per following practice /procedure.


[i]      Applications addressed to General Manager will be received in General Manager’s office from various sources

[ii]     Committee of three Senior Administrative Grade [SAG] officers, nominated by General Manager,  will scrutinize applications and make recommendations which will be put up for approval of General Manager through Chief Personnel Officer[CPO]

[iii]    The applications recommended by the Committee will be forwarded to the Personnel Department for verification of certificates, etc.

[iv]    After due verification of educational qualifications, certificates etc., the eligible applications along with the requirement of substitutes  received from DRMs/Heads of Units, through the Chief Personnel Officer, will be put up for General Manager’s approval,  by the Personnel Department.

[v]    Keeping the exigencies of services and suitability of the candidate, General Manager will decide the Department and Division /Unit  where the candidate is to be engaged as per para 3.2

[vi]   Formal  letter of engagement will be sent to the Division /Unit by the Personnel Department;

[vii]  To avoid any fraud/impersonation etc., the Division/Unit will get the letter verified/authenticated from CPO’s office and then issue Engagement Letter to the candidate

[viii] Proper records should be maintained with reference to the number of applications received, number of applications rejected etc. Records of the applications which are no longer required to be retained should be shredded/weeded out.

4.         Benefits:

4.1. Substitutes engaged should be paid regular scales of pay and allowances admissible to the post against which they have been appointed irrespective of the nature or duration of the vacancy.

4.2. They should be allowed all the rights and privileges as are admissible to temporary Railway employees on  attainment of temporary status on completion of four months continuous service.


4.3       The conferment of temporary status after completion of four months continuous service does not entitle them to automatic absorption/appointment to Railway service unless they are selected in the approved manner for appointment or absorption to regular posts.

4.4       The period of service of substitutes will be counted for full pensionary benefits from the date of completion of four months continuous service provided it is followed by absorption in regular service,  without break.

4.5       While regularizing the services of substitutes, age limit for recruitment to erstwhile Group ‘D’ posts may be relaxed to the extent of their total service rendered as substitute which may be either continuous or in broken periods subject to maximum of 40 years not exceeded in case of General candidates, 43 in case of OBC and 45 in case of SC/ST.

4.6       Substitutes who wish to apply for the posts advertised by the Railway Recruitment Boards may be given relaxation in  age to the extent of service put in by them, continuous or in broken spells subject to maximum of 40 years not exceeded in case of General candidates, 43 in case of OBC and 45 in case of SC/ST.

4.7       Festival/Flood advances: The substitutes who have attained temporary status and have put in one and half years of continuous service should be granted these advances on the same conditions provided they furnish two sureties from permanent Railway servants.

4.8. Substitutes are eligible for medical facilities for self only in the out-patient Department. The service cards etc. of the employee may be utilised as identification cards for this purpose.

4.9. When substitutes are selected for absorption in regular service and sent for medical examinations, the standard of medical examination should be of relaxed standard as prescribed for re-employment during service.


5.         Screening of the Substitutes for their absorption in regular service.

5.1       A person who is continued to work as a Substitute for prolonged period shall be considered for regularization of his/her services provided he/she  has put in a minimum of 05 [five] years of service.

5.2       A screening Committee should be constituted to screen the substitutes with temporary status for their absorption in regular posts.  Such screening Committee should consist of at least three Railway Officers of appropriate rank, one belonging to SC/ST communities and another to minority community.

5.3.      Screening/Empanelment of substitute for the purpose of absorption in regular employment be restricted to only those who are in the current substitute registers.

5.4       Though no roster is required to be maintained, the intake of SC/ST/OBC while engaging substitutes against each individual category in the various departments should not be below the prescribed percentage of reservation in favour of these communities. 

5.5       The Screening Committee should make good shortfall, if any, by resorting to direct recruitment from open market in each erstwhile Group ‘D’ category.

5.6       Screening of substitutes for absorption in regular employment may be made by the Screening Committee with reference to the vacancies available at the material time.

5.7       As long as it is established from records that the substitutes have been enrolled  within the age limit, relaxation at the time of actual absorption should be automatic.

5.8       In old cases, where the age limit was not observed, relaxation of age at the time of regular absorption should be considered sympathetically.  CPOs /DRMs are empowered to grant such relaxations.

5.9       Substitutes will be eligible for absorption in regular employment only if they fulfill the requisite eligibility criteria for the post in question.  Relaxation in educational qualification may be granted by retraining such persons as followed in case of Group ‘D’ staff on implementation of 6th Pay Commission. 

5.10    When called for screening, substitutes will be issued passes for their journeys and the period treated as on duty.

5.11    Gaps which may occur in service of Substitutes between two engagements should be ignored for the purpose of temporary status on completion of four months service. 


6. Date of appointment


The date of appointment of a substitute to be recorded in the Service Book against the column "Date of appointment" should be the date on which he/she attains temporary status after continuous service of four months if the same is followed by his/her regular absorption. Otherwise, it should be the date on which he/she is regularly appointed/absorbed.


7. Break in service.

The following cases of absence will not be considered as "break in service" for determining the four months continuous service for the purpose of absorption in regular employment:

a.        The periods of absence of a substitute who is under medical treatment with injury sustained on duty covered by the provisions of Workman's Compensation Act;

b.        Authorised absence not exceeding 20 days during the preceding six months.



  i.        The term "authorised absence" for this purpose covers permission granted by the Supervisory Official in-charge to be away from the work for the period specified.

ii.        Unauthorised absence or stoppage of work will be treated as a break in continuity   of employment.


c.            Days of rest even under HOER or under the statutory enactments and the days on which the establishment employing the substitutes remains closed will not be counted against the limit of 20 days authorised absence.


8.         Service Register

A register should be maintained for recording the names of all ''Substitutes'' whenever employed according to the Unit of recruitment, e.g. Divisions, Workshop etc. strictly in the order of their employment at the time of their initial engagement.


9.         General

9.1       These instructions will be in force from the date of issue of this circular.

9.2       Existing instructions regarding Bungalow Peon/TADK will continue to remain in force.

10.       Advance Correction Slip [ACS] to Indian Railway Establishment Manual   Volume-I will follow.