STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 15 July
Hundreds of students today protested against the decision of the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IPBS) for scaling up the eligibility criteria to 60% marks for students appearing in bank PO examinations. The  IPBS has also lowered down the age criteria to 28 years against the earlier 30 years. IBPS conducts a common entrance test for recruitment in almost all nationalized banks of India except SBI. According to the new criteria the candidate must be a graduate with 60% (55% for SC/ST/PWD) marks in any discipline from a recognized university. The protesting students claimed that the moves of IBPS will exclude lakhs of students in banks jobs which is the biggest nationalized sector in India.   
The students said that when the Union Public Service Commission does not seek such criteria for selection in administrative services, the move of IPBS was illogical. "Only 60% marks in graduation does not guarantee a student’s excellence. Moreover, there are several universities in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh which delay so much so that the students get their degrees in five years, even if the students are regular. Hence, the lowering down of the age criteria is absurd," said Sandeep Kumar, AISA activist.
 The students alleged that the government is making such policies to exclude a particular section of people from the mainstream. "They say, this criteria is for all the students ~ irrespective of their class. We ask them to first reform the schooling system in our country. Let a child of a District collector study with a child of a peon in the same school with same infrastructure. If you can do this then propose this mode, we would not have any problem then," said Aslam of Revolutionary Youth Association.
The students said that IPBS’s decision is also non-viable because Delhi University has implemented Four Year Undergraduate Programme, adding one year to the existing timeframe. "Instead of increasing one year, they have decreased two years in age limit. This decision has made thousands of students disqualified even for appearing in the examination," said a student who was preparing for Bank PO examination in a coaching institute in Mukherjee Nagar. The students have warned that if the decision is not reviewed they will organize nationwide protest and boycott the competitive exams at mass scale.