We all have heard of the #ArrestCoachingMafia trending all over the internet over the past few days. Let’s take a look at the full story behind this trending news.
Thousands of students who sat for the 2021 Railway Recruitment Board’s Non-Technical Popular Categories (RRB NTPC) exam carried out a protest at Bihar Sharif railway station on Tuesday alleging discrepancies in the results. Many of the protesters claimed that the recruitment process is “unfair”.
The seat allotment of railway recruitment is such that the existing 35,000 personnel seats have been divided into 5 groups based on the qualifications required to apply for the posts and the pay grade. The levels are 2,3,4,5 and 6; ranging from that of Train Assistant, Guard, Junior clerk, Timekeeper, and Station Master respectively.
To secure a level 2 job, the minimum qualification is 10+2 pass (starting salary being 19,000 Rs) and that for a level 6 post is graduation (35,000 being starting salary). Aspirants have alleged that during the computer-based test held last year, a lot of candidates with higher qualifications have appeared for level 2 or 3 exams instead of level 6, taking away the seats from the truly deserving candidates.
The aspirants have also alleged discrepancies in the examination results, which showed one candidate to have qualified from multiple regions. This angered the participants as according to the official rules, one candidate is allowed to qualify from only one region.
The protest, however, didn’t take much time to turn into a violent one. A crowd stormed the Gaya Junction on Wednesday and set fire to the Bhabhua-Patna InterCity Express. Luckily, no passenger was harmed. The police had to fire in the air to disperse demonstrators at the railway station in Sitamarhi. There were protests even in Patna, Nawada, Muzaffarpur, Buxar, and Bhojpur districts.
On Tuesday, hundreds of students blocked the Kolkata-New Delhi main railway line at Rajendra Nagar Terminal in Patna during the agitation. The central government declared that such protests which disrupt the train operations will now be considered as “unlawful activities” and may get one banned for life from obtaining railway jobs.
The police have arrested certain individuals based on the CCTV footage found from Patna railway station. On interrogation, some students revealed that they were supported, and in fact encouraged, to pursue violent means by some coaching institutes in Patna. After corroborating with multiple students and investigating their claims, FIRs have been lodged against 6 coaching institute owners.
Around 400 FIRs have been lodged against coaching institute owners and other people who instigated the aspirants onto a violent path. This is why #ArrestCoachingMafia is trending as these institutes are believed to have provoked young candidates for their own agendas putting the future of students at stake.
As for the Railway Ministry’s official statement regarding the incident, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said, "We cannot legally bar graduates from applying to posts which require 10+2 qualifications." The Railway Ministry’s take on the matter remains that no candidate has been declared qualified from two regions, it is merely a rumour.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, a highly qualified committee has been formed to handle and investigate the concerns and doubts raised by the applicants. The committee will be headed by Deepak Peter, the Senior Executive Director (Industrial Relations) of the Railway Board. Till then, the recruitment process has been suspended.
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