First time in July 1942, as an experimental measure, a Service Commission with a Chairman and two members was established for recruitment of Subordinate Staff on the then North West Railway. The position was reviewed in 1945 and Services Commissions at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Lucknow were set up under Railway Board. These Commissions were introduced with two fold functions of recruiting class III staff and also tender advice to General Managers for dealing with appeals from subordinate staff on disciplinary matters.
In 1948, the Indian Railway Enquiry Committee reviewed working of commissions. While recommend-ing their permanency, suggested that the work related to appeals should be withdrawn so that commission can give undivided attention to recruitments. Chairman, Bombay Service Commission was given the supervisory role to Supervise Commissions at Calcutta, Lucknow and Madras. In 1949, due to financial constraints, a ban was imposed on recruitments on Indian Railways. Thus number of commissions was reduced to one and centrally located viz., at Bombay. In 1953-54, when Economic conditions of Indian Railways improved, four service commissions were again set up viz., at Bombay, Madras, Allahabad and Calcutta. In 1956, the Estimates committee generally approved the method of recruitment by the Constitution of the Railway Service Commissions. In 1973, to cater to the needs of the North Eastern Railway and to facilitate recruitment from the under developed areas of that region, an additional commission was set up at Muzaffarpur. In the same year a branch office of Calcutta Service Commission was opened at Ranchi. In 1978 one more additional Service Commission was set up at Secunderabad to cater to the needs of the then newly formed South Central Railway. Recruitment of staff for the needs of NF Railway was still being done through recruitment committee control by NF Railway . Thus in 1978 this job was entrusted to full fledged service commission with Head Quarters at Guwahati. Yet another service commission was opened in 1980 at Bangalore to cater to the needs of candidates from remote backward areas of Karnataka. In 1981 full-fledged service commission was opened at Danapur.
Creation of additional Service commissions:
In 1983, to cater to the needs of areas which were being neglected due to locations of the existing commissions, seven more commissions were set up viz, at Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhuvneshwar, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar with sitting at Leh and Trivendrum. In 1984 two more service commissions were set up at Malda and Gorakhpur. A full-fledged commission at Ranchi was set up to cater for exclusive needs of Scheduled tribes of the area.
Re-naming as Railway Recruitment Board:
In January, 1985 Railway Service Commissions have been renamed as Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs). Thus at present 19 Railway Recruitment Boards are functioning.
Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB):
Railway Recruitment Control Board (RRCB) was set up in 1998 in the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) with the following objectives;
Formulation of policy in regard to recruitment procedures.
Monitoring the activities of all Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) including expenditure incurred for recruitment.
Evaluating the performance of RRB’s and advise them on priorities.
Organising and managing information system for monitoring the work done by RRBs.