CM Devendra Fadnavis has been trying to console the student protesters in Maharashtra. The students were protesting demanding permanent jobs in the Indian Railways. The students had organised a rail roko for the same purpose on 20th March.
Fadnavis wanting to dispell fears held talks with Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The protest took place in the morning between the Matunga and Dadar stations to raise their demands. Local commuters found it hard with the protests going. Up to 500 students came to join the protest from several surrounding states, they were all those who had done apprenticeships with the Indian railways.
Fadnavis said that the reservations for apprentices in the railways have been raised from 10 to 20 percent. The protestors were demanding a 100 percent reservation and Fadnavis said that the railway administrations was in talks with the protestors to find a solution to the problem. The youth were also lathi-charged, injuring many. Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil claimed that the administration should have shown sensitivity towards the protestors and conveyed their demands to the Centre instead of opposing them.
Piyush Goyal also told the protestors to join the recruitment drive going on until March 31st. The protests that began at around 6:30 went on till 10:30 in the morning. It’s not certain whether the demands will be met. The government has so far sent out multiple notices about vacancies in the Indian Railways. The issue for the apprentices is the sheer proportion of apprentices to the number of openings. Many become apprentices with the sole aim of joining the Railways and if in such a case they are not given that chance or opportunity it’s bound to create tension. What will be the outcome of the time and energy spent on gaining skills for a particular when you don’t have a chance of getting. Even if the reservation is pegged at 20 percent, there will hundreds without jobs and that defeats the whole purpose of an apprenticeship or training.