AISA-RYA’s Protests Succeed in Rolling Back

Changes in Banking Exam Criteria

AISA and RYA spearheaded countrywide protest against the newly imposed criteria of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). As a result of the protests, the IBPS was forced to roll back the new criteria.

IBPS, which conducts a common entrance test for recruitment in almost all nationalized banks of India except SBI, changed its criteria for appearing in Bank P.O./Management Trainee Examination. The new criteria said

The Candidate must be having degree (Graduation) with 60% (55% for SC/ST/PWD) marks in any discipline from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government. Earlier it was a degree (graduation) in any discipline.

Minimum: 20 years Maximum: 28 years i.e. a candidate must have been born not earlier than 02.07.1985 and not later than 01.07.1993 (both dates inclusive). Earlier the maximum age was 30 years.

This arbitrary move would have excluded lakhs of students from the chance to even appear in the exam and elitise the whole process of selection in banks that is the biggest nationalized sector in India. Such arbitrary criteria had been brought in such a time when lakhs of student are preparing for this examination from last 3-4 years. Most importantly, IBPS took this step oblivious of the fact that it already has a standard entrance examination for recruitment. Banks like SBI have done away with such criteria.

As soon as the changed criteria came to light, AISA and RYA gave a call for countrywide protest on 12-13th July. On 12th July, protesters under the banner of AISA-RYA were lathicharged at Patna. Protests took place at Patna, Ara, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur in Bihar; and Banaras and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. On the 13th, students at Allahabad protested.

On 15th July, a delegation of AISA-RYA met the Under Secretary of Department of Financial Services at the IBPS Headquarters at Mumbai and have given him an ultimatum to take back IBPS’s arbitrary decision before the commencement of registration on 22nd July and warned that if this decision was not taken back AISA-RYA will organize nationwide protest and boycott the competitive exams at mass scale.

On 15th July, AISA and RYA assembled at Jantar Mantar and marched towards the department of Financial Services, Jeevan Deep Building on Parliament Street. Students from different localities of cities, who prepare for competitive exams, as well as students from Delhi University, Jawahar Lal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia took part in this protest demonstration.

On 16th July, around 700 students under the banner of AISA-RYA protested at Lucknow. On the same day, vigorous Rail Roko Rasta Roko protests were held at Patna, Ara, Darbhanga, and Bhagalpur.

Nearly a 1000 students participated in the march called by AISA and RYA on 19th July, gathering at India Gate and marching towards the Finance Ministry. A delegation of activists met the Finance Minister and presented the issues at stake.

On 23rd July, the IBPS announced a rollback in the criteria – a major victory for the struggle of students and youth across the country.

Dalits in TN Assert Defy Untouchability, Assert Right to Enter Temple

Pudukottai district in Tamilnadu is known for continued untouchability. CPI(ML) has waged struggles in this area for the rights of dalits since its inception.

Dalits were prohibited from entering into Azhageri Amman temple situated in Periakottai village since time immemorial. Com.Govindasamy, District committee member of CPI(ML) is the elected President of the Panchayat of this village now and dalits were determined to enter into the temple for the festival this year. Castiest forces belonging to all backward communities do not want this to happen, and they mobilised MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats behind them. When peace talks convened by the Tahsildar failed, he announced cancellation of festivities.

CPI(ML) declared that cancelling the festival means succumbing to untouchability or ‘untouchability by the backdoor’, and organised a wider campaign to pressurise the district administration to take a stand against the castiest elements.

After a few rounds of discussion with district administration and police authorities it was decided to give protection for dalits to worship. Strong police pickets were posted and thousands of dalits entered the temple. There were minor skirmishes but police restrained both sides. Com Asaithambi, CPI(ML)’s district secretary, State Committee member Valathan and other district committee members of the party played an active role.

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