Thursday 26 May 2022
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Anger of Railways’ job aspirants explained

Candidates are opposing the Indian Railways' decision to hold an exam in two stages, claiming the second stage for final selection is tantamount to 'cheating'

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The Indian Railways has decided to suspend its Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) exam and Level 2 tests after violent protests by job aspirants over the selection process intensified in Bihar. A train was set on fire and demonstrations were staged at two railway stations today, marking the third day of unrest in Bihar. A crowd stormed the Gaya Junction, raising slogans, and set fire to the Bhabhua-Patna InterCity Express. However, nobody was injured.

Hundreds of railway job seekers squatted on railway tracks at several places yesterday, hampering train movement in the state. Several trains were cancelled or ran on alternative routes on account of the protests.

Candidates are opposing the Railways’ decision to hold the exam in two stages, claiming the second stage for final selection is tantamount to “cheating” those who appeared and cleared the first stage of the RRB-NTPC for computer-based test (CBT) which was released on 15 January.

About 1.25 crore candidates had applied for the exams that had advertised over 35,000 posts from Level 2 to Level 6.

The RRB-NTPC exams were held in seven phases between 28 December 2020 and 31 July 2021 to fill thousands of vacancies.

Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw urged the agitating job aspirants to not destroy their “own property” and said due process will be followed if the agitating job aspirants damage public property. “I am telling the aspirants that this is their own property. Why are they destroying something that is their own? However, authorities will follow due process if public property is damaged,” the minister said at a press conference.

Vaishnaw said the Railways is in touch with chief ministers and the issue is being handled “sensitively”.

“Videos of such activities will be examined with the help of specialised agencies and candidates/aspirants found indulged in unlawful activities will be liable for police action as well as lifetime debarment from obtaining a railway job,” the notice of yesterday stated and advised the job aspirants/candidates not to be misguided or come under the influence of such elements who are trying to use them for fulfilling their own selfish ends.

The government has formed a committee to examine representations by the candidates.

“A high power committee has been formed to look into the concerns and doubts raised by candidates in regard to results of 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT) of Centralized Notification (CEN) 01/2019 of Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) issued by Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) on 14-15 January 2022,” the Railways said in a statement.

“The committee will go to different parts of the and listen to the grievances,” the railway minister said.

The panel will give its recommendations by 4 March. The panel will accept suggestions and objections from candidates till 16 February.

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