There were also reports of police action against protesters in UP, with sources indicating there are concerns and inputs that the protests may spread to other parts of the country. The committee has been set up with the mandate to receive the complaints and suggestions and to submit its recommendations by March 4.
The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) in February 2019 had called for applications for 35,281 posts under the Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) across six different pay levels. A total of 1.25 crore people had applied and 7.05 lakh qualified in stage-1 test.
Following new norms, which came into force in 2019, the railways shortlisted the candidates for the second test and their number was 20 times the total number of vacancies. Since candidates could apply for more than one category, many of them qualified for the second test in more than one category. The protesters have been raising questions primarily on the provision of the second test and allowing candidates to qualify for more than one category of jobs.
Appealing to protesters not to “damage and destroy” public property, railway minister Ashwini Vaishanaw said, “You are the future. You should preserve your property. I request students not to take the law into their hands.”
Responding to a question if the issue has become political, Vaishanaw said. “This isn’t a political issue. It’s a sensitive issue and we are confident of finding a solution.”