‘Tired of waiting’: Railway job aspirants urge govt to speed up recruitment

Many aspiring candidates took to Twitter under the #JusticeForRailwayStudents campaign, seeking clarity over delayed exams and results for recruitment in jobs notified in February 2019.
Railway job aspirants urge government, Railway Recruitment Board, to speed up recruitment through Group D and NTPC
Railway job aspirants urge government, Railway Recruitment Board, to speed up recruitment through Group D and NTPC
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Job aspirants looking to work at the Indian Railways have been conducting a major online campaign over the past few days, protesting the delay in the recruitment process by the Railway Recruitment Board. The #JusticeForRailwayStudents campaign had lakhs of aspirants tweeting in protest of the delay in announcing exam results and further updates for the RRB NTPC (Non Technical Popular Categories) Exam, and exam dates for the Group D exam. 

Several aspirants added the prefix ‘berozgaar’ (unemployed) to their Twitter handles in protest. Lamenting that it has been over 1000 days since the job notifications were issued in 2019, many aspirants spoke of financial difficulties and lack of other job opportunities, urging the Union government and railway authorities to speed up the recruitment process. 

Addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, an aspirant named Divyanshu Kumar said, “The Group D and NTPC notification was issued in 2019 for nearly 1.3 lakh posts. Three years have passed, and there’s no word on the exams. All of us candidates are dejected. My mental and financial status is not good. My father is a farmer. Students who prepare for Group D are often from low-income families.” He urged RRB officials to release the exam calendar soon. 

While the notifications for both the NTPC and group D recruitments were released in February 2019, there has been little progress since then. According to Hindustan Times, more than 2 crore candidates have applied for these exams.  

In the case of NTPC posts, while the first stage Computer Based Test (CBT-1) was conducted from December 28, 2020, to July 31, 2021, candidates have been lamenting that there has been no update over the declaration of results or the next steps in the selection process, although five months have passed. 

Aspirants have also been demanding an update on the exam date for Group D recruitment. More than two years since the Group D notification was issued, the RRB merely announced on November 26 that candidates applying for level 1 posts whose application has been rejected due to an invalid photograph or signature will be able to modify their application. However, there was no word on exam dates. 

The delay on behalf of the Railway Recruitment Board has the job aspirants worried, as many of them have remained unemployed while waiting and preparing for the exams, while some of them have also passed the age of recruitment in this period. 

Scores of people have been taking to Twitter to bring attention to the plight of these candidates. BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Thursday, December 2, highlighted a lack of government employment opportunities for the young and wondered how long they should keep patience, saying a sense of frustration is seeping into them.

"First, there are no government jobs. Still, if some opportunity comes along then the paper is leaked, if an exam is conducted then there is no result for years, or it is canceled due to some scam. Over 1.25 crore youngsters are waiting for the railway Group D job results for two years. The same is the case with Army recruitment. Until when should the youth of India keep patience?" he tweeted.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also extended support to the candidates seeking jobs in the Railways, with the hashtag JusticeForRailwayStudents. He called for stopping the "injustice" towards them. In a tweet, he also claimed there are now "no jobs" in the Railways. 

"Earlier a job in the Railways was an honour, today there are no jobs in the Railways. Soon, the Railways will no longer be what it was earlier. Stop the injustice to the people. We want #JusticeForRailwaysStudents," he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Many aspirants shared their stories of distress on Twitter, speaking of financial difficulties and lack of other employment avenues. 

“We have been waiting since 2019, now 2021 is coming to an end … I am tired of preparing for the exam for four years. My parents’ dreams have been shattered … Please clear the exam dates for Group D and results for NTPC,” another aspirant Sudhir Kumar said. 

Candidates have also demanded that the first Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS) exam be held soon. The Indian Railways had earlier decided to merge eight of its major cadres into one single service called IRMS, for which it was announced that fresh recruitment would be done through a UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) exam from the next recruitment cycle. 

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