File image of students queuing up for an exam | Representational image | ANI
File image of students queuing up for an exam | Representational image | ANI
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New Delhi: Amid widespread protests against the government’s decision to conduct NEET and JEE amid the pandemic, social media is witnessing another student agitation. Government job aspirants are protesting against the delay in declaration of results of the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) exam and recruitment notification, and also the delay in issuance of admit card for the Railway Recruitment Board’s Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB NTPC) recruitment test.

The hashtag #speakupforSSCRaliwaystudents has been trending on Twitter for the last 24 hours, with over 3 million posts in support of the aggrieved students.

The CGL exam, organised by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), was conducted in 2019 but students are yet to receive their results, while the RRB NTPC test has not even been conducted, more than a year after registrations began in March 2019.

Ranjeev Yadav, a 23-year-old student from Bihar, had applied for both the SSC CGL and the RRB NTPC in 2018 and 2019, respectively, but both failed to translate into government jobs for him.

“I lived in Patna for two years to prepare for these exams. My family has high hopes from me. The two years I spent in Patna coaching for these exams were difficult years. I funded my stay and education so that my family does not feel burdened. After this delay, it feels like all my efforts have gone waste,” Yadav told ThePrint.

Yadav, who said he wanted to become the first government employee in his family, is one of many such students who are still awaiting their results or the chance to sit for these exams.

Since the bar of qualification for these jobs is low, several applicants from rural and semi-urban areas appear for these examinations.


Also read: In India’s quest for jobs, here’s what Modi government’s policy agenda should be


What are SSC CGL and RRB NTPC exams?

The SSC CGL is a recruitment exam for lower category government jobs. The Staff Selection Commission, headquartered in Delhi, is an attached office of the Department of Personnel and Training, and it is responsible for the recruitment of non-technical posts in ministries and government departments.

The SSC had announced the official notification for the 2018 SSC CGL on 4 May 2018. The first round of exams was conducted on 4 June 2019, while the descriptive main exam was held on 29 December 2019. However, the results of these exams are yet to be declared.

The commission has now announced tentative dates for the declaration of results. According to the notification released Tuesday, they will be declared on 4 October.

The NTPC exam is conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board to recruit commercial apprentices like goods guard, traffic assistant etc. for the Indian Railways.

The official notification for the examination was issued on 1 March 2019 after which a portal was opened for registrations. Over 1.5 crore applications were received for 90,000 jobs. However, more than a year down the line, no admit card has been issued to the applicants.

According to railway ministry spokesperson D.J. Narain, the delay has been caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In March 2019, we received over 1.5 crore applications for just 90,000 jobs. This process is always divided into two steps. To undertake such a massive process of analysing 1.5 crore people, we were planning to phase it into parts. Currently owing to the pandemic, we can not call applicants to centres. The pandemic has brought our planning back to the board,” he told ThePrint.

Narain added that the ministry has taken note of the grievances of applicants and will ensure that the process is completed as soon as possible.

The Union Cabinet had on 19 August approved the creation of a National Recruitment Agency to make the entrance exams for central government jobs easier. The NRA is to conduct a Common Eligibility Test to select candidates for majority of central government jobs, allowing job aspirants to save costs and time spent on taking multiple tests.

Union minister Jitendra Singh said Monday those who were earlier unable to appear for various recruitment tests would now get another chance, adding that a maximum of 3 crore job aspirants across the country are likely to benefit from the CET.

Dates for the test, to be held in at least one centre in every district, are yet to be announced.


Also read: Cabinet clears National Recruitment Agency to conduct common test for Central govt jobs


Protest on Twitter

The students are now airing their grievances on social media to draw the government’s attention towards their plight.

Hansraj Meena, a socio-political activist who has a relatively large following (166.9k followers) on Twitter, told ThePrint, “A lot of students reached out to me saying that they wanted their grievances heard and hence we decided to help them stage their grievances on Twitter.”

His team members and several others tweeted about the issue. And with about 3 million tweets, the hashtag #speakupforSSCRaliwaystudents was one of the top trends in India Tuesday.

The students also received support from Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and B.P. Singh.


Also read: IITs won’t lose if JEE is postponed. Delhi, Allahabad universities show the way


 

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