On 10th September 2019, NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar took to Facebook to talk about the rejection of the application in the RRB Group D exams. In the post addressed to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Ravish Kumar claimed that many students have been left behind and have not ben able to fill the forms of RRB Group D exams.
Ravish Kumar goes on to say that though several students subsequently got the chance to fill the form, several others have still been left out due to petty reasons like discrepancies in their photographs etc. He goes on to question whether rejecting forms for such petty reasons makes sense, and if it does, the students should be adequately communicated.
In his post addressed to Piyush Goyal, Ravish Kumar attached the photographs of some students who had allegedly reached out to him. He asked the Railway Minister to read the messages to understand how these students were having to shed tears for such petty reasons.
Politicising the issue, Ravish claimed that some of these students were even ‘BJP supporters’, insinuating that perhaps Piyush Goyal would be more predisposed to helping students who were pro-BJP. He said that since they are BJP supporters, Piyush Goyal should pay ‘extra attention’ and ended his message by saying that all students should get the chance to appear for examinations.
OpIndia.com reached out to official sources from the Railway Ministry to understand whether Ravish Kumar’s claims had any merit and why were several students’ applications rejected.
Railway officials in the know said that proper processing of applications has been undertaken and as a special case additional opportunity was given to the candidates for raising objections. These grievances were addressed with due diligence and that the RRBs are committed to holding fair and transparent recruitment.
The officials said that a full month was given to the candidates to understand the instructions and fill out the applications for the RRB Group D exams. Centralized Employment Notice (CEN) No. RRC–01/2019 was published on 23.02.2019 for recruitment to 1,03,769 posts in Level-1 of 7 CPC Pay Matrix. The online registration of application was opened on 12.03.2019 and the closing date for the same was 12.04.2019
96% of the candidates managed to fill the applications properly. OpIndia found that in total, 1.15 crores candidates filled the application and a total of 1.10 crores applications were found to be in order. In fact, as per CEN, the candidates had the opportunity to modify the application till the last date of the application by paying an amount of Rs.100.
Further, responding to the charge of all applications being rejected for “petty reasons” such as a discrepancy in photographs and signatures, the Railway official clarified that out of the rejected applications, only 4.1% applications have been rejected due to discrepancy in photographs and signatures. They also explained that the instructions were clear on how the application is meant to be filled and the photographs and signatures being correctly added are not ‘petty details’ but helps the officials conduct examinations fairly and avoid impersonation at all stages of the selection process.
The official further said, “To ensure that no candidate’s application is rejected on the invalid ground, all rejected applications are subjected to scrutiny by a Committee of Officers, before uploading on the net. The candidates whose applications were rejected were advised through e-mail and SMS were given an opportunity to represent against rejection through a link that was uploaded on websites on all participating RRBs. The link was available to the candidates from 17.08.2019 to 23.08.2019. Total 1,61,435 (which is 1.4% of the total applications) number of representations were received and the same were scrutinized by the three Member Committee and the applications (4482 no.) were found in order and accepted”.