Students from various universities and colleges on Saturday staged a demonstration at the city’s key Shahbagh intersection demanding raise in the current age limit for government employment to 35 years from 30.
The three-hour demonstration by the students, united under the banner of Bangladesh General Students’ Council, started around 11am. At one stage of their programme, they set several tyres afire.
Winding up their programme, the demonstrators gave the government a seven-day deadline to accede to their demand. They threatened to undertake tougher programmes if their demands are not met.
Around 1:30pm, the demonstrators barred a Dhaka University bus passing the area resulting in a scuffle between the demonstrators and the university students.
The demonstrators had earlier held a human chain programme from 9am to 11am in front of the National Museum.
The council’s President, Dhaka University student Mohammad Istiak Hossain, said they will force-close all the universities and colleges of the country if their demands are not met before the 34th Bangladesh Civil Services tests.
He defended the movement saying a student becomes around 28-year-old when s/he finishes university education. “As a result, they get only two to three years for preparing for government jobs, which is insufficient. So, the age limit should be increased.”
The council’s General Secretary, Jagannath University student Md Al Ameen Raju, argued the age limit to enter a government job is 35 in developed countries like the UK, the US and India. The age limit in Bangladesh should also be increased, he said.
The student body’s Joint Secretary, Md Khorshed Alam Sumon, asked when the government had increased the retirement age from 57 to 59 years in Dec 2011, why the entry age should not be increased.
In September last year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Administration Ministry suggested examining the possibility of raising the age of entry into the government services by two years – from 30 years to 32 years.