Statistics, chauvinists and South Western Railway

In the wake of a violent and vociferous campaign by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike demanding priority for local candidates in the recruitment of “D” group employees, South Western Railway has released the breakup of what transpired before the process was suspended. And the numbers, as always, tell an interesting story.

One out of every six candidates who was found eligible for the physical efficiency tests was a Bihari, but nearly half the eligible candidates were from the three neighbouring States of Karnataka.

Total number of applications received by SWR for the 4,700 openings: 400,000

No. of candidates found eligible for the physical efficiency test: 360,000

No. of eligible candidates from Karnataka: 1,03,262

No. of eligible candiates from Bihar: 61,309

No. of eligible candidates from States other than Karnataka and Bihar: 195,429

Total number of candidates who have qualified in the first 6 days of the tests: 1,746

No. of qualified candidates from States other than Karnataka: 998

No. of qualified candidates from Karnataka: 623

Success rate of candidates from Karnataka: 38 per cent

No. of qualified candidates from Bihar: 124

Success rate of candidates from Bihar: 8 per cent

So, did only 1,03,262 candidates from Karnataka desire the 4,700 railway jobs? Of the 40,000 who were found ineligible for the physical efficiency tests how many were from the State? Did more Kannadigas not apply because they didn’t know about the vacancies or didn’t they care?

If the 38 per cent success rate of candidates from Karnataka is accepted as a benchmark, how many more Kannadigas should have applied for the 4,700 posts to be filled up by Kannadigas? Are there as many desirous Kannadiga aspirants? Will they get interested given the very visible campaign? And, above all, despite SWR’s claims of transparency and fairplay in the recruitment process, would the results have turned out this way sans the protests?

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Aren’t Biharis Indians?