The railway recruitment cell of Northern Railway conducted the written examination for ‘Group-D posts’ (class 4 employees) in railways amid protest by students at various places here on Sunday.
The exam was conducted under the supervision of assistant divisional railway manager (ADRM), Ferozepur division, Mahavir Singh in 62 centres.
This was for the first time that Ludhiana was made a centre for the examination. Earlier, for the Ferozepur division, which includes candidates from Punjab, Haryana, J&K and Himachal Pradesh, Jammu was made the only centre.
Total 30,000 students were registered in the first phase of examination, of which only 8,593 sat for the exam, taking the attendance to 28.6%.
The main reason for low attendance was latecomers. Hundreds of students reached their respective examination centres after 10.50am — the prescribed time of entry — and were denied entry as per the norms.
The students protested and raised slogans against the railway outside Spring Dale School, Government Senior Secondary School, Sargodha, and many other centres.
Ashish, a student who had come from Jammu and Kashmir, said, “I reached the station before time, but it was difficult to locate the examination centre as it was too so far from the station. I lost my way and reached nearly 15 minutes late but still they rejected my plea and did not allow me to sit in the exam.”
There was also a rumour about paper leak.
Raman Malhotra, chief welfare inspector, railways, said, “The exam went on smoothly. Candidates who came late protested, but it was their fault only as it was written on the admit card that no entry will be allowed after 10.50 am.”
ADRM Mahavir Singh said the exam would be held on five consecutive Sundays of November as total number of applicants had reached nearly 1.5 lakh. In the first phase, 30,000 students were registered. The total number of posts in northern railway is 8,000, of which the Ferozepur division had a share of nearly 1,500 posts. He said the attendance could have been more if all applicants would have reached on time.
He said the applicants who would be giving exams in next phases should ensure that they reach on time.