NEW DELHI: The railways on Thursday was left red-faced after a private catering contractor working with the Indian Railways catering wing - the IRCTC, put out a recruitment advertisement to hire 100 male candidates belonging only to Agarwal and Vaish communities.
Following the controversial advertisement, the Indian Railways said the HR manager of the catering vendor has been sacked and the contractor has apologised.
The Brandavan Food Products, known as RK Meals, a private contractor headquartered in national capital's Okhla area which is a caterer for at least 100 trains, gave an advertisement in a prominent English newspaper on November 6 stating that it requires 100 men for various managerial positions in departments such as the railway food plaza, train catering, base kitchen and store manager.
But the selection criteria was controversial as it said that men from Agarwal and Vaish community and those having a good family background only needed to apply.
Following the controversial advertisement, there was outrage on social media.
Following the controversy, the Indian Railways responded saying that the particular contractor has been asked to refrain from giving such advertisements that discriminate on caste, creed and religious grounds.
A railway ministry official said that the HR manager concerned has been removed by the contractor, as the IRCTC took a serious view of the matter.
The ministry official said that the contractor has been asked to refrain from giving notice on caste lines but to recruit suitable persons belonging to any caste/creed/religion or region.
"It has been confirmed by the contractor to Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) that the HR manager responsible for the advertisement has since been removed from the job," the official said.
RK Meals, also issued a statement that read: "We're supposed to place two advertisements - one for the recruitment of staff on trains, another one for the recruitment of staff for our social welfare function.
"Due to some clerical mistake this advertisement has been placed publicly. We did not realise what had happened until we received so many calls regarding the same."
The caterer also apologised for the advertisement saying their objective was not to hurt anyone and not to offer the job to any specific community and they were open to offer jobs to the suitable, eligible candidates.