Railways puts Non Technical Popular Category drive, Level 1 on hold, Amid Protests

New Delhi: The law and order situation is worsening in Bihar. The intelligence inputs indicating protesting job seekers were mobilising in other states as well, the Railway Ministry buckled under pressure and decided to put on hold its recruitment drives and talk to the agitators first.

A committee is being headed by Deepak Peter Gabriel, Principal Executive Director (Industrial Relations) in the Railway ministry, was formed on January 26. This committee will hold a talk with willing volunteers from protesters and engage with those who have qualified as well as those who could not.

They have made an email id: where the candidates can raise their concerns and give suggestions to the committee. Candidates are given three weeks time from February 12 for the submissions. By March 4 the committee will submit their recommendation. 

As per The Indian Express sources, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has taken a decision on Wednesday amid the worsening law and order situation in Bihar where train services have been disrupted by job seekers over the past few days.

The effect of this incident is being spilled in the other parts of the country as well. “The situation was just going out of our hands and spilling over other parts of India. They were mobilising through Telegram groups, WhatsApp and other social media,” said a senior Railway official.

At the Nawada region of Bihar the railway property was dismantled by the protesters and rolling stock were damaged elsewhere as well. Railway ministry officials remained in constant touch with the Bihar government on Tuesday assessing the situation.

The NTPC Recruitment Drive whose second round of exams was scheduled to start from February 15, is now on hold. Sources said there is a chance that some of the grievances the job seekers have about cut-offs being high etc may also be looked into following discussions with the protesters.

The Level 1 Group D drive which would have had two-stage exams, is on hold. In the Level 1 recruitment drive, Railways had decided to hold a two-stage exam, something that was not mentioned in the original notification for the drive. Protests had started over this as well. Railways put that also on hold as a pre-emptive measure.

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