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Protest cloud over exams

Classes were hampered and ad hoc employees distributed examination forms at most colleges in the city on Wednesday because of a strike called by non-teaching employees.

The strike called in support of 11 demands, including payment of salaries and increasing the retirement age, started on Tuesday. On the agitation’s second day, at least 33,000 members of Bihar State University and Colleges Employees’ Federation hit the functioning of different colleges.

Constituent colleges of Magadh University in the city were among the worst sufferers. Classes were suspended and difficulties were encountered in the distribution of admit cards for Intermediate examinations scheduled to start from February 16.

Earlier in the day, classes were suspended at AN College (a constituent college of Magadh University) as the agitating employees sat on a dharna at the college gate.

At JD Women’s College, ad hoc employees distributed the admit cards in absence of the non-teaching employees.

Bhavna Priya, a final-year Intermediate student of JD Women’s College, said: “We are lucky that we got our admit cards, but conducting the examination would not be easy for the university without the co-operation of the non-teaching employees.”

The non-teaching employees concurred. Shyam Babu, the president of the non-teaching employees’ association at JD Women’s College, said: “The college administration arranged some ad hoc employees to distribute the admit cards. The real challenge would be conducting the examinations from February 16.”

The employees’ federation of the state’s universities and colleges are demanding salary according to the Seventh Pay Commission, clearing pending salary under the Fifth Pay Commission and increasing age of retirement to 65 years from 62 among other issues.

Classes at the constituent colleges of Patna University, including Patna Science College, were not much affected.

In Gaya, around 3,000 employees from 44 constituent colleges of Magadh University went on strike. Although the non-teaching employees at the university headquarters did not go on strike, they extended support to their colleagues.

The Magadh zonal secretary of Bihar State University and Colleges Employees’ Federation, Rajnandan Singh, said: “The government had agreed to meet our demands after a dialogue with the federation’s officer-bearers in 2007 and 2010 but to no avail. This has forced us to go on an indefinite strike.”