Indian Railways
CreativeCommons/Belur Ashok

In a move that is likely to see many employees losing their jobs, the Indian Railways has started a disciplinary drive, under which it is set to sack about 13,000 employees who have been on long unauthorised leaves. The 13,000 employees reportedly make up about 1 percent of the establishment's total workforce.

The decision has been made on the orders of railways minister Piyush Goyal, who told officials to weed-out absentee employees. Officials then found out that the railways had about 13,000 such workers.

"A massive drive to identify long-term absentees in various establishments of Railways has been initiated. As a result of the said drive, Railways have detected more than 13 Thousand employees out of about 13 lakhs employees who are on unauthorised absence for a long time," the Press Trust of India quoted a statement from the railways.

"The establishment has initiated disciplinary action under the rules to terminate services of such absentees."

Explaining the decision, the railways said that this would improve the performance of the organisation and was also a good way to boost the morale of employees who are regular to work, sincere and efficient.

The move has been lauded by several people on social media.

The Indian Railways is one of the world's largest employers with about 13 lakh employees.

While officers and supervisors have also been informed of the drive and have been asked to identify such employees, the railways haven't revealed when and how it plans to fill these posts.

Just a few days ago, the Railway Recruitment Board invited applications to fill 26,502 posts of assistant loco pilots and technicians. It also released a city-wise vacancy list and cities such as Allahabad, Secunderabad, Ranchi, Bhopal, Kolkata, and Mumbai have a large number of posts lying empty.

Candidates applying for the post should have completed matriculation/ SSLC with ITI/diploma of engineering and must be within the age limit of 18-28. They will then be selected on the basis of their scores in a computer-based test aptitude and document verification, reported NDTV.