Changes in Railways Group D eligibility criteria: Students to hit streets again

Bhubaneswar: Railway job aspirants are likely to resort to agitation again from next week protesting changes in the eligibility criteria for Group D posts.

The students had on February 17 staged dharna in front of the Rail Sadan in the Capital city protesting changes in the eligibility criteria. Later, they called off the stir after getting assurance from the concerned authorities to bring their demands to the notice of the government.

“We got assurance from the railway officials that a decision in this regard would be taken within seven days. If the government fails to meet our demands, we will sit on dharna again,” said an aspirant, Brajesh Jha.

Another aspirant, Shiva Meher said, “The injustice done to the lakhs of students by the government will not be tolerated. We will intensify our agitation if our demands are not fulfilled.”

It is worth mentioning that 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 and decreased the age limit to apply from earlier 32 to 31 years.

Besides, the students allege that 10th pass had always been the basic criteria to apply to apply for the Group D posts but it was changed for the maximum number of posts following which a candidate now 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.

The students allege that due to the changes, Graduates and Plus 2 students are unable to apply for maximum number of posts under Group D.

Meanwhile, RRB has relaxed the upper age limit in the exam for assistant loco pilots and loco pilot. The revised upper age limit for the unreserved category has been fixed at 30 years while it was 28 earlier. For OBCs, it has been revised to 33 years from the earlier 31 years. Similarly, for the SC and ST category, the age relaxation has been fixed at 35 years from the present 33.

In case of Group D exams for unreserved category, the upper age limit has been fixed at 30 years from 28 years. For OBCs, the age limit has been revised to 36 years from 34 years and for SC and STs, it has been hiked from 36 years to 38 years.

However, no changes have been made so far in relation to the educational qualification to apply for the Group D posts.