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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Railway job aspirants on Friday staged dharna in front of Rail Sadan in the Capital city protesting changes in the eligibility criteria for several Group D posts.

The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) had recently released a notification to recruit nearly 62,907 candidates to fill different posts lying vacant in its Group D section.

Reason of Protest

As per the notification, RRB has decreased the age limit from 32 to 31 years to apply for the posts.

Besides 10th pass which had always been the basic criteria, has been changed for the maximum number of posts (as per the released notification).

Now, a candidate needs to have a National Apprenticeship Certificate (NAC) granted by NCVT along with matriculation by any recognised board or 10th pass along with ITI certificate from institutions having NCVT / SCVT recognition.

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What aspirants have to say

“The Railways is not releasing recruitment notifications on regular basis for which we are facing a lot of problems. Besides, some students are facing serious problems due to changes in the age limit and delay in recruitment process,” said an aspirant, Dhiraj Sahu.

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While students who have completed Class 10 and ITI can apply, those who have passed 10+2 and graduation (without an ITI certificate) cannot apply for the post, Sahu said, adding that with these new criterion the government has pushed the future of many railway aspirants to darkness.

Another aspirant Brajesh Jha said, “The government has changed the criteria taking into view that when graduates and highly qualified get appointed into a Group D post, they often quit the job creating problems for the national transporter, the railways. But changing the existing criteria is not the way to solve the issue. The government could have brought in stern rules where a candidate after getting posted, finds it difficult to resign.”

Without bringing in an alternative to the problem, the government is on the path to mar future of lakhs of railway aspirants, Jha added.

RRB’s reply to students

The concerned officials at the Rail Sadan, Bhubaneswar assured the protesting students to bring the matter to the notice of the concerned officials of Government of India and RRB.

However, the officials refused to give any assurance on any possible changes in the Group D eligibility criteria.

Protest across India

Students from across the country have also been protesting at different RRB offices like Patna and Allahabad.

Meanwhile, the students have threatened to intensify their agitation if the government does not pay heed to their demands soon.

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