Jobless Indian youngsters accuse government of ‘playing with our lives’

Niranjan Kumar, the eldest son of a small farmer in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, was one of 12.5 million youngsters who applied for 35,000 jobs when the railways department started recruitment examinations more than a year ago. The mathematics graduate, 28, and his dormitory mates did not even make it to a recently released shortlist despite preparing for years, a collective setback that triggered protests by a swelling army of unemployed youth in Bihar and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh last week. Infuriated by what they called a bungled recruitment process, tens of thousands of students, including Kumar and his friends, blocked rail traffic, while others vandalised trains and some even burned down coaches of a stationary train that had no passengers in it at the time.

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