Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, July 13:
Hundreds of applicants who had come from across Odisha and outside today failed to sit for the common written examinations conducted by Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), Bhubaneswar for the posts of Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP) and various other posts of Technician Grade-III.
The only reason for the authorities not allowing these applicants to sit for the examinations was that they had come with duplicate call-letters downloaded from the official website of RRB, Bhubaneswar.
A notice in this regard was published on official website on May 20 this year stating that candidates, who do not get the original call-letter sent by post must paste their self attested latest colour photograph at the space provided in the downloaded call-letter and bring one valid photo identity proof (voter card, passport, Adhar card, driving license, Pan card) in original with them for verification of their genuineness at the examination centre, without which, the downloaded call-letters are not valid for appearing in the written examination, informed a deprived applicant Pradyumna Swain of Salepur in Cuttack district.
“After following all instructions as per the notice along with my downloaded call-letter I had come to apepar in the exam but the invigilators at the centre did not allow me inside the hall saying my roll number is not valid,” said Swain accusing the Railways officials for deliberately misguiding applicants.
Like Swain, hundreds of students gathered in front of the Rail Sadan, East Coast Railways Headquarters under Chandrasekharpur police limits here seeking explanation from the officials over their disqualification but the security prevented them as well as the media from entering into the premises.
Aggrieved applicants flayed the Railway authorities for undue harassment as well as the faulty and misleading process that deprived them of even sitting for the exam.
“We had prepared hard all these month and spent time and money to reach the exam centre from far off places. Now we do not know what to do. How can a government organisation behave in such manner,” asked an angry applicant.
On the other hand, officials at the Railway headquarters said that due to some technical reasons, the downloading of call-letters has been disabled in the official website and therefore are not valid documents to sit for examination.
“A notice on July 9 was published in the website of RRB Bhubaneswar stating that eligible applicants must collect duplicate call-letters from the RRB office here by the scheduled date. The original and duplicate call-letters issued by RRB were to be the only valid documents for applicants to sit for the written examination,” a senior official told OST..
Deprived students held the RRB responsible for the confusion and blamed it for its failure to publicise the notice as the new information was not published in newspapers or aired through the electronic media.
Approximately 62,000 students from across 21 regions of the country including Bhubaneswar had filled up the forms to appear in the examination for 26,570 vacant posts available for Assistant Loco Pilot, and technician posts.
RRB Bhubaneswar had conducted the exam in eight centers in Odisha – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Choudwar, Puri, Khurda Road and Sambalpur.
Today applicants with I to R alphabet range call-letters sat for the examination. The next group of applicants with call-letter range from R to Z will appear in the examination scheduled on July 20.
A to H have already appeared in this exam on June 15.