pana new-1643279268238
Students stop a train during protest against results of Railway Recruitment Boards Non-Technical Popular Categories Exam, in Patna. Image Credit: ANI

Patna: Terming the committee formed by the federal Railway Ministry to look into the concerns raised by the aspirants of alleged irregularities in Railway Recruitment Board’s (RRB) Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) stage 1 exam results as a “hoax”, student union All India Students Association (AISA) and other youth organisations have called for “Bihar bandh” on Friday and refused to bog down despite the formation of the committee.

AISA General Secretary and MLA Sandeep Saurav, along with others, in a press statement said that the committee formed by the ministry is a “conspiracy” to postpone the matter till the elections in Uttar Pradesh.

“There is no doubt on the questions being raised by the candidates. This massive movement of student youth, who are facing extreme unemployment, has arisen at a time when there is an election in UP. Under the pressure of this, this proposal of the Government and Railways has come and a conspiracy is being hatched to postpone the matter till the elections,” they said.

Earlier, all Chairpersons of RRBs were directed to receive the grievances of candidates through their existing channels, compile these grievances and send the same to the committee. Candidates are given three weeks time up to February 16, to submit their concerns and the committee after examining these concerns will submit their recommendations by March 4.

Exams suspended

Meanwhile, in view of the students’ protests, the Railway Ministry has decided to suspend both the Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) and Level 1 tests scheduled to be held on February 15 and February 23.

According to a spokesperson, the Railway Ministry has constituted a committee that will listen to the views of the candidates who cleared or failed and following that the committee will submit its report to the Ministry of Railways. Only after that, the Railway Ministry would take a decision regarding the exam.

The job aspirants blocked the New Delhi-Kolkata main railway tracks and some others protested in Bihar’s Arrah and Sharif Railway station. The protesters also allegedly set a train on fire in Arrah.

In the wake of FIRs lodged against several teachers of coaching institutes here, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Thursday said that such a step can further intensify the students’ agitation.

“FIRs against teachers like Khan Sir could provoke students for undeclared agitations in Bihar. The time has come for the governments to talk on unemployment or the situation can turn out worse,” Manjhi said.Manjhi is a part of the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar in Bihar which had a poll promise to provide 2 million jobs to youth of Bihar during the 2020 Assembly elections.

Thousands of job aspirants, unemployed youths and students are currently protesting against RRB and NTPC following the latter’s change in the examination pattern.

What's the issue?

RRB-NTPC has issued a notification for the jobs in 2019 and a large number of students have applied for it. Several students have passed the examinations. Now, RRB and NTPC had issued fresh notifications a few days ago with a provision of two examinations. Those who have passed the earlier examination and are waiting for the posting have been asked to clear the mains examination. The previous examination will be treated as a preliminary examination.

The students claimed that this is absolute cheating by the central government. It does not want to give jobs to unemployed youths.

Khan Sir, a prominent teacher of Patna, pointed out the same in the media. He said: “You have put an additional exam burden on those who have passed the earlier examination. Suppose, they are ready for mains examination, how could they prepare for it in less than one month’s time. Preparing for the mains examination is not possible in less than one month.”

Following his statement, he along with 15 other teachers of prominent coaching institutes, were booked for provoking students.