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Students protest in Bihar and poll-bound UP over railway recruitment board exam: All you need to know

The protests, that began earlier this week, have been reported from Bihar and poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The two states account for a bulk of the candidates who appeared for the common test for the Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) posts.

January 28, 2022 / 04:53 PM IST
Protesters block roads in Patna in support of bandh called by various political parties over alleged discrepancies in RRB NTPC results (Image: ANI)

Protesters block roads in Patna in support of bandh called by various political parties over alleged discrepancies in RRB NTPC results (Image: ANI)


Protesters blocked roads and burned tyres in Patna on January 28 in support of a bandh called by students' organisations and political parties over alleged discrepancies in recent railway recruitment examinations.

A number of students’ organisations, including the Left-affiliated All India Students Association (AISA), had extended support to the bandh call against the alleged irregularities in the Railway Recruitment Board's Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB-NTPC) exam 2021.

The protests, which began earlier this week, have been reported from Bihar and poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The two states account for a bulk of the candidates who appeared for the common test for the Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) posts.

Bihar and UP

In Bihar, at least eight persons have been arrested for vandalism, while many, including teachers of prominent coaching institutes, have been booked for inciting violence. 

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In Uttar Pradesh, three policemen were suspended a day after a crackdown on a group of students who allegedly tried to stop a train in Prayagraj on January 25. Three named and 1,000 unidentified protesters have been booked for rioting and stone-throwing during the protest.

In Bihar, protesters torched four empty coaches of a stationary train in Gaya and blocked rail traffic between Gaya and Jehanabad on January 26.

Popular teacher and YouTuber “Khan sir” (Faisal Khan), has also been booked on charges of inciting violence during a protest in Patna earlier this week.

The Trigger

The protests began after several groups of students claimed that there were discrepancies in the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) recruitment process.

The government had decided to conduct two computer-based tests (CBT) for the RRB Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC). The results for CBT-I of Group-D was released on January 15, shortlisting candidates for CBT-II.

The protesters alleged that the two-test criteria for recruitment was not mentioned in the RRB notification issued in 2019. They said that the government had mentioned only one exam in the notification. The protestors also alleged that the results released on January 15 were inaccurate.

The Government’s version

The Ministry of Railways has refuted the allegations and said that the second stage of the examination (CBT-II) had been mentioned in the recruitment notice.

“It is reiterated that the procedure for shortlisting of candidates for the second stage computer-based test (CBT) had already been given elaborately under Para 13 of the original notification i.e., CEN 01/2019 published on 28.02.2019),” the RRB said in its clarification.

Political reactions

The protests triggered reactions from political leaders from Bihar and UP where assembly elections are beginning next month. 

In Bihar, the alliance of Opposition parties has announced support to the student-led bandh call. Many parties part of ruling Nitish Kumar-led NDA government have also urged the authorities to withdraw all complaints against the protesters.

In UP, the opposition blamed the Yogi Adityanath government for atrocities against students. This after videos emerged from Prayagraj of police using “excessive force” on protesters. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was among the first politicians to support the students. "Every youth is free to raise voice for rights. Remind those who have forgotten that India is a democracy," he tweeted while calling for calm.

"I am and will be with you in favour of the truth against the policies of the BJP government. But violence is not our way," he said.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, who is also party’s general secretary in-charge of UP, came out in support of the protesters.

"The arrested students should be released. The order banning protesters from jobs [in Railways] should be withdrawn," she tweeted.



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