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Locals collect coal from the dumpsite of an open coal field of Coal India Limited (CIL) at Dhanbad district in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. CIL plans to recruit about 9,000 people including 4,000 at the executive level to fill up the backlog of retired hands. (A representational image)Reuters file

Coal India Limited's (CIL) massive recruitment drive to fill up about 9,000 openings in the parent company and subsidiaries amid the gloom of a general economic slowdown and talk of stiff divestment target is cheering up the country's job market, reports say. Of the vacancies announced, 4,000 will be of executives in the parent company while the technical hands will be taken in by the company's eight subsidiaries, a report in the Economic Time said. CIL sources say this would be the biggest recruitment drive of the group in a decade.

CIL and its subsidiaries employ about 280,000 people, second only to the Indian Railways, including nearly 18,000 at the executive level. CIL is one of the public sector undertakings (PSU) that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has identified for raising Rs 3.25 lakh crore through divestment in the next five years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second stint in office. The target for the 2019-20 financial year is an estimated Rs 1.05 lakh crore.

"Coal India is recruiting so many executives in a single year in almost a decade in an effort to fill up all the vacancies that have been pending for several years. Last year, we recruited only about 1,200 people," the report quotes an unidentified senior Coal India executive as saying.

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Coal India Limited's (CIL) recruitment drive has cheered up the country's job market that has lately been hit by reports of an economic slowdown and divestment drive. (A representational image)Reuters file

"Of the 4,000 executives Coal India plans to recruit, 900 would be through advertisements and interviews in the junior category, another 400 would be recruited from campuses and some 100 would be miscellaneous like medical officers, etc. We have already recruited 400 executives most of whom are doctors. Another 75 have been recruited and would be joining soon. The company will recruit around 2,200 additional executives through competitive examinations."

The company's coal-producing subsidiaries will recruit 5,000 workers and technical hands including about 2,300 who will be recruited as part of a policy of offering jobs to families whose land was acquired for various projects. Another 2,350 people will be hired on compassionate grounds as part of the company's policy of offering a job to one family member of a deceased employee. About 400 openings will be of a non-technical nature, the report said.

Set up in 1975, CIL has been seeing mass retirement of a large number of employees at superannuation in recent years. The number of employees who have left this way in the last three years is pegged at more than 12,300. The posts have remained unfilled because of a general recruitment ban in the government. While not all posts will be filled up, the group companies need large-scale recruitment over the next few years to ensure an adequate workforce strength, the reports say.