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Mumbai: Train services resume on Central Line as students call off agitation

By Deepika
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    Train services on Central Line have resumed as students have called off their agitation. The services were badly hit on Tuesday morning after scores of job aspirants protested on the tracks demanding employment in Central Railways.

    Students protest demanding employment

    Railway officials, who were engaged in talks with the agitators, have claimed to have ended the stalemate.

    Further discussions to be held over government jobs: Piyush Goyal

    Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said they will hold discussions with the students who are working as apprentices in different technical workshops of the Railways.

    Recruitment in Railways is underway at a large scale. On directives of Supreme Court, Indian Railways has made a recruitment policy that is unbiased & transparent. The agitators have called off their protest and further discussions will be held, said Piyush Goyal.

    "We have reserved 20 per cent quota of seats, for those who have done an apprenticeship under different establishments, under the section 22(1) of the Apprentices Act. We have also followed the judgement given by Supreme court from time to time. Apprentices who have completed the apprentice course have been given an age relaxation equal to the period of apprenticeship. This is the single largest recruitment ever undertaken by any organisation in India. I appeal to the students to apply and join the process of recruitment so that all applicants get a fair chance to serve the country," he added.

    Was in touch with officials: Devendra Fadnavis

    "Was in continuous touch with officials. No rules have changed, 20% seats are reserved for apprentices but they are demanding more. Lathi-charge was done after agitators started pelting stones, no one was injured," Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said in the State Assembly

    No provision of giving jobs to apprentices: Central Railway

    Meanwhile, the Central Railway has released a statement on the protest and has said: "There is no provision of giving jobs to the apprentices as per the Apprentice Act."

    "They are given only training of a specified period to improve their skills and experience of having worked in the field. However, Ministry of Railways have taken a decision and reserved 20 percent of the seats filled through direct recruitment."

    "The notification is already issued with last date of submitting application as 31.3.2018. Apprentices can apply against this notification and Special Examination will shortly be held for Apprentices who have done training in Railway Workshops under Apprentices Act."

    "There has been no recruitment since last four years. We are struggling from pillars to post. Over 10 students have committed suicide. We cannot let such things happen," a student who was part of the protest said.

    "We will not budge from here until and unless Railway Minister Piyush Goyal come and meet us. Our several prayers made to DRM (Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division) have failed," another student said.

    "Mumbai police along with GRP and RPF jawans are having talks with the students and railway's first priority was to clear the track first," Chief PRO of Central Railway Sunil Udasi said.

    Students shouting slogans against railways held a placard in their hands demanding one-time settlement from GM quota and said that they demand jobs from government.

    Meanwhile, News18 reported that Shiv Sena leaders will meet Piyush Goyal over the protests in Mumbai. Congress has also come out in "full support of the protest of agitating students".

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