Job seekers block Nilkhet to demand increase in age limit for govt jobs

A group of job seekers has blocked Dhaka's Nilkhet intersection to demand that the age limit for entry into all government jobs be permanently raised.

The protests started around 10:30 am on Sunday, bringing traffic in Nilkhet and its surrounding areas to a halt.

Their demands include steps to end corruption and fraud in the recruitment process, the publication of the marks obtained by candidates in the test results, and a maximum fee of Tk 100 for job applications.

The protesters also called on the authorities to introduce an integrated recruitment examination system instead of holding multiple tests at the same time.

Abdullah Al-Mamun, a protester, highlighted the Awami League's 2018 election manifesto, which said that reasonable measures would be taken to increase the age limit for government job seekers.

"But the election pledge has not been implemented yet despite our sufferings in the last two years due to the long session jam and the coronavirus pandemic. We demand the implementation of the manifesto."

At present, the age limit for entry into public service is 30 years.

Students and job seekers have been demanding an increase in the age ceiling for quite some time, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

In August 2021, the public administration ministry announced that the age limit would be extended by 21 months due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All government agencies that were unable to issue recruitment notices due to the COVID-19 pandemic will accept applications from job seekers who were below the age limit on Mar 25, 2020, until the end of 2021, the ministry had said.

The provision did not extend to jobs under the BCS.

However, the government did not agree to enhance the maximum age ceiling permanently. It relaxed the age rules to allow candidates who had aged beyond the limit after Mar 25, 2020, to apply.