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Indian Railways NTPC Result: From recruitment process to controversy, here’s everything to know

Even as aspirants, mainly in the state of Bihar, continued to protest on social media, the national transporter said all recruitment processes took place as per rules and no one group of aspirants would get any unfair advantage over others in landing a job with Indian Railways.

Indian Railways CBT-1 result controversy
Since these jobs were applied by 1.25 crore candidates, a common test was held by Indian Railways, called Computer Based Test-1, for all as a screening process.

Indian Railways NTPC Result Controversy: In protest against the Indian Railways’ Non-Technical Popular Category results that were released earlier this month, thousands of candidates who had appeared for the Railway Recruitment Board’s NTPC recruitment exam blocked trains in Bihar on Monday. Even as aspirants, mainly in the state of Bihar, continued to protest on social media, the national transporter said all recruitment processes took place as per rules and no one group of aspirants would get any unfair advantage over others in landing a job with Indian Railways, an IE report said. Here’s everything to know about the NTPC selection process, recruitment and the controversy:

What railway posts was the NTPC examination for?

Indian Railways is recruiting in a total of 35,281 vacant posts across various categories, which includes posts of junior clerk, guard, time keeper, train assistant, station master, etc., across its verticals in its zones. Nearly 11,000 posts of these vacancies require Class 12 pass as the minimum qualification to apply for the posts. The remaining posts are higher-pay posts that require graduation as the minimum qualification. The posts are spread from level 2 to level 6 pay grades.

How were the NTPC tests conducted?

Since these jobs were applied by 1.25 crore candidates, a common test was held by Indian Railways, called Computer Based Test-1, for all as a screening process. According to Indian Railways, this was done since legally, nothing would have stopped a graduate candidate from sitting for an exam meant for a Class 12 pass anyway held in the month of September 2019, but they were postponed to March 2020 with the Covid-induced lockdown hit in. Eventually, CBT-1 was conducted over 68 days in as many as 133 shifts with two shifts each day between the months April-July 2020. On 14 January 2022, the results for CBT-1 were declared. Besides, CBT-2 is scheduled for mid-February. According to the national transporter, CBT-2 will be conducted as per “graded difficulty” wherein a separate exam will be conducted at every level, fit for that level’s qualification.

What the controversy is about?

In a bid to ensure more people compete for these railway jobs, this time the national transporter had made a rule that for each level, the number of those who are qualifying, it shortlists for CBT-2 will be 20 times the number of vacant available posts. In the recruitment of 2016, it shortlisted 15 times the vacancy. Before that, the rule was to shortlist 10 times the vacancy. That’s why this time, the total number of “applications” shortlisted for the next round (for 35,281 vacancies) is over 7 lakh. But, for the second round, the real number of candidates who have been shortlisted is not really 7 lakh but 3.84 lakh. According to Indian Railways, shortlisting of candidates would be based on applications, which means if a candidate has applied for level 2 as well as level 5, then, based on his/her scores, the candidate will be counted in both categories when the shortlist is made with 20 times the number of vacant posts. Thus, the agitators are of the view that the candidates with higher qualifications will get a shot at cracking railway jobs, which are meant for those with lower qualifications as well as spoil their chances.

What is the argument of Indian Railways?

The national transporter has decided that while someone shortlisted for CBT-2 at multiple levels is allowed to sit for the tests, that does not mean that person actually gets multiple jobs. According to Indian Railways, this is because, in the final round, which is called document verification, the national transporter will hold the process for the top level posts, Level 6 being the first, followed by Level 5 and so on. No candidate who is empanelled to get a railway job at one level will be considered for the subsequent level. Therefore, no one can hold two confirmed offers in two different levels at a time.

The Chairman of an RRB was quoted in the report saying that the document verification will be held for the higher levels first. That way, if someone qualifies for the job of, like the job of a Station Master, the person will no longer be considered for the subsequent lower level railway jobs. In case, a candidate says that he does not want a higher pay job and would rather opt for a lower level job, then that is their choice, but that is highly unlikely, the Chairman added.

How is Indian Railways addressing the concerns of the protestors?

To explain that everything is happening as per the rules, the national transporter has taken to social media several times. Moreover, all the conditions governing the recruitment and screening are published in the detailed notification for the recruitment drive concerned, it mentioned. According to the report, to negate any controversy, Indian Railways discloses the screening exam’s answered papers to all its candidates. Also, candidates are allowed to raise objections which Railway Recruitment Boards (RRB) clarify. It is only after this process is over that the result is declared as well as candidates are shortlisted for the next round, the report added.

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