The DMK leader’s sharp criticism comes after only five from Tamil Nadu cleared the recent internal exam for promotions, despite 3,000 candidates from the state attempting it.

Only 5 TN candidates qualify in railway exam Stalin condemns systemic discriminationFile Image
news Controversy Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 16:06

DMK President MK Stalin, on Monday, condemned the skewed ratio of Tamilians getting recruited for railway jobs. His tweet comes after news reports stated that only five candidates from Tamil Nadu had cleared the most recent internal exam for promotions, despite 3,000 candidates from the state attempting it.

In February-March this year, Southern Railway conducted promotion exams internally (General Departmental Competitive Exams – GDCE) for the post of Guard in goods trains to be posted in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh. The online test, which only existing railway employees were eligible to take, was to fill up 96 vacancies in Southern Railway. According to a report, around 5,000 candidates wrote the exam of which around 3,000 were from Tamil Nadu. The report also stated that only five candidates from Tamil Nadu cleared the exam and the remaining 91 candidates were from north India.

Condemning the skewed proportion of people from Tamil Nadu getting selected for job postings in Railways through exams, Stalin said that it was proof of the existence of systematic discrimination against those from Tamil Nadu. Urging union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to intervene and review the recruitment process, Stalin tweeted, “Shocked to learn that only 5 candidates from Tamil Nadu qualified for Goods Guards in the Southern Railways. This is further evidence of systematic discrimination against Tamils. Urge the Hon. Minister @PiyushGoyal to review this recruitment process and ensure social justice.”

This is, however, not the first time a controversy has broken out around Railway recruitments. In September 2019, the Ministry of Railways announced that the question paper for GDCE will be available only in English and Hindi. The announcement had come after South Central Railway raised a query about the languages in which the GDCE question paper would be set.

“All departmental promotion examinations for serving employees are set in Hindi and English only. Accordingly, there is no necessity for a vested right for GDCE question papers (where such GDCE is conducted separately from the examination for Direct Recruitment from open market) to be set in languages other than Hindi and English,” the ministry had responded. With the announcement sparking controversy, the Ministry of Railways revised its announcement to add that the GDCE exam will be conducted in local and regional languages as well, in addition to English and Hindi.

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