Indicating the sorry plight of the Indian Education sector, some 255 PhD scholars were among the 2.3 million applicants for 368 ‘ job openings’ for the position of a peon in the state of Uttar Pradesh. What’s probably equally frightening is to fathom the level of unemployablility in the market, considering the fact that 2.3 million people (1% of the state’s 210 million population) are in the race for a mere 368 positions. To put things in perspective, half the city of Lucknow (population: 4.5 million) applied for the job, if taken in absolute numbers.
Of the 2.3 million applicants, over two lakh applicants are at least graduate with BTech, BSc, MSc, MCom and PhD degrees. The position, officially known as a peon, involves mostly carrying files from desk to desk and running errands. It requires a fifth grade education and the ability to ride a bicycle. Candidates have their reason for applying. “It’s better to work as a peon than to roam without a job,” said Alok, an applicant who holds a PhD degree. Graduate Ratan Yadav added, “there is nothing wrong in taking up menial work.”
Many factors like better remuneration, stability, benefits and massive unemployablility in the market is said to be the reason for so many people applying for the job. The figures come from department of Sachivalaya Administration which would be conducting the appointment. Prabhat Mittal, secretary, informed that candidates had to apply online against the advertised posts. “We were shocked to see the response,” Mittal said.
It has also created a huge administrative problem of interviewing all the applicants, as organising interviews for over 2 million people seems like a mammoth task. The hiring process involves only an in-person interview. It is estimated that it will take four years to go through all applicants and make a final decision. “However, we cannot allow as long as four years to interview these candidates. The incredibly massive response from candidates has created a sort of crisis. We have to find out a solution how in a best way we can tackle this deluge of applications,” an unnamed officer said.