Railway traffic affected due to student agitation between Matunga & Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, the agitators are demanding jobs in railways. Photograph:( ANI )
Scores of agitated students demanding jobs in Railways blocked tracks during peak morning hours on Tuesday,, forcing the railway to stop the suburban as well as the express train between Matunga and CSMT in Mumbai.
Why did protests erupt
The protests were carried out by activists of the All India Act Apprentice Association (AAAAA). It demanded to scrap of the 20 per cent quota for direct recruitment and jobs for local candidates in all states who have cleared the All India Railway Act Apprentice Exams.
They claimed they had taken up their demands right up to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who met them but there was no progress in the matter.
They claim that until now everyone used to be included in Group D but now they have fixed at 20% quota which was mainly for the new lot. The protesters claimed that they went on a protest at Delhi and Bhusawal, previously.
What Central Railway says
A Central Railway spokesperson said that there was no provision of giving the job to apprentices as per the Apprentice Act who are only trained for a specific period to hone their skills and gain experience.
"Stating that the notification is already issued with the last date of submitting an 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." Central Railway said.
The Railways has set a target of training 30,000 apprentices at its 17 zonal and seven production units in 2018-19, as part of the government's Skill India initiative.
Apprentice training comprises basic and on-the-job training/practical training. Basic training is an essential component of apprenticeship for those who have not undergone any institutional training before taking up on-the-job and practical training.