No takers for 86 MSRTC drivers’ posts reserved for women

For the 86 vacancies of bus drivers reserved for women in Pune division, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) couldn't find a single eligible woman candidate and the 187 applicants shortlisted for the posts reserved for women are men.

The transport body, which is on a recruitment drive, has for the first time reserved 30 per cent seats for women. But it is clearly struggling to find women candidates for the post.

The MSRTC recently announced the results of the written test conducted in October for recruiting 8,948 drivers, 6,247 conductors, 1,936 junior clerks and 2,658 assistants in the state. For all the four posts, 30 per cent vacancies have been reserved for women.

While there was an encouraging response for the other three posts — conductors, junior clerks and assistants — MSRTC found no women for the tough job.

In Pune division, there are 356 vacancies for the post of junior drivers, out of which 86 are reserved for women. For the rest 270 posts — open for both men and women — 366 male candidates have been shortlisted.

Though there are some women conductors working with the MSRTC currently, there are no women drivers. With the 30 per cent reservations this time, the transport body was hoping to get women to steer the popular buses throughout the state.

A senior official from the Pune division of the MSRTC, who did not wish to be named, said that an eligibility criteria of having at-least an experience of driving heavy vehicles for four years has kept the women away from applying.

"Now, we do not have any women drivers. This time around due to reservation there was a strong possibility that women conductors might come. But criterion of having a 'minimum experience of four years of driving heavy vehicles' to be eligible for the post of a junior clerk has ensured that the women keep away from applying. While the rule is appropriate for male candidates, this experience clause for female candidates ensured that the posts may lie vacant for set of another three years at least," said the official.

Another official said the four-year clause is a guideline by the RTO and not formulated by the transport body by itself.

"We will have to stick to the experience clause and can't give any concession to women as we would be blamed of not sticking to the RTO guidelines if any accidents happen in future by women drivers," officials said. Despite repeated calls on their cellphones, MSRTC managing director Deepak Kapoor and spokesperson Mukund Dhus did not respond.

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