Students appearing for NEET and JEE 2020 were protesting against the government conducting these exams in the midst of a global pandemic when the country is witnessing the highest number of cases and floods in different states. Paying no heed to the students’ concerns, the government decided to go ahead with the exams. The amount of conversation that online movements can enable has given other students to put forward their concerns. From the last two days, #SpeakUpForSSCRailwayStudents is trending on Twitter.
Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is responsible for conducting exams for recruitment in various ministries and portfolios of the government. SSC conducts three important exams, one of them being the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) exam which is responsible for the recruitment in B and C grade officer level positions. CGL is conducted in four rounds.
Notification for CGL 2018 released in May 2018, and the tier one of the exam was conducted in June 2019, one year after the notification was released. The second tier exam was conducted on 29th December, 2019. The result of the second tier exam was scheduled to be released on 8th May, but the results are still awaited. It has been two years since the notification for CGL 2018 was released, and one tier of the exam is still left to be conducted while the result of the second tier is still pending. The delay in conducting the exam and announcing the results have made students anxious and they feel helpless.
Another exam which the SSC conducts is Combined Higher Secondary Level (CHSL) exam which is responsible for recruitment in positions of Lower Divisional Clerk, Postal Assistant, Court Clerk, and Data Entry Operator in the Central Government. CHSL is conducted in three rounds. The tier 1 consists of online objective questions, tier 2 is a descriptive exam, and in tier 3, data entry speed or typing speed of the candidates is tested. The CHSL 2018 result was announced in February 2020 and a lot of students expressed their displeasure with the results. Due to Unfair Means (UFM), 4560 students were ousted which resulted in the formation of a committee in August, 2020 and finally the revised result was announced on 27th August. This exam also saw a delay of two years between conducting the exam and declaring the result while the students’ futures were at stake.
The third exam conducted by SSC is Multi-Tasking Staff (MTS) which is responsible for recruitment in Grade C positions in different government portfolios. MTS is conducted in two tiers, the first one is an objective based exam, and the second is a descriptive paper. Around 96000 students appeared for the MTS 2019 Tier 2 exam, the result of which is still awaited. The exam was conducted in November 2019 and it has been nine months but there is no news of the declaration of results.
The case of Railway exams point towards what can be one of the biggest scams in the country. As the Lok Sabha Elections approached in May, 2019, in February 2019, government released an advertisement which said that there are vacancies for 35,208 posts in the Railways. These vacancies were announced for Non-Technical Popular Categories (NTPC) which includes positions like clerk, ticket clerk, goods guard, and station master among others. 1,26,00,000 people applied for these positions. The exam for this was scheduled to take place between June and September, 2019, but it has still not been conducted as these applicants wait for the announcement of the dates. Similarly, vacancies for 1,03,769 positions in Group D of Railway were announced which received around 1,15,00,000 applications. So, in total there are around 2,40,00,000 applicants for the Railway exam and no news about the exam even though it has been more than a year since they applied.
It should be noted that applicants paid around 200 rupees to 500 rupees to fill these forms. This also raises a question whether these vacancies were announced prior to the Lok Sabha Elections as an election strategy and in actuality it is a hoax as there is no news about when these exams will be conducted.
#SpeakUpForSSCRailwayStudents has been trending on Twitter for two days now but has not received coverage from mainstream media. Yesterday Ravish Kumar in his show PrimeTime with Ravish on NDTV talked about it which has given some hope to the students that they will be heard.
Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted in the evening,