54,230 graduates, 28,050 postgraduates and 3,740 PhD holders have applied for 62 posts of messenger peon at the telecom wing of the UP Police, a post that asks for a minimum qualification of class V and a self-declaration by the candidate stating they know how to ride a bicycle. Only 7,480 of the 93,500 applicants have studied between class V and XII, reported the Times Of India.
For a post that is “like that of a postman’s, the person has to deliver police telecom department’s messages from one office to the other,” such a large number of overqualified candidates have prompted the officials to hold a selection test consisting of basic reasoning, general knowledge and basic mathematics. The test will be outsourced to a private agency.
The post offered is a full-time government job, with a starting salary of Rs 20,000. According to an official, the lack of jobs in the market is responsible for this trend of overqualified candidates.
Similar instances in other states
More than 2,000 MBAs, MTechs and law graduates were among the 4,225 new Haryana police constable recruitments announced in May.
Two lakh applicants including doctors, lawyers and engineers applied for 1,137 Mumbai police constable vacancies in April. In the same month, 11,000 people applied for 70 posts of a peon at Jadavpur University, West Bengal. The applicants included PhD holders, MSc, MTech, BSc, BTech graduates for a post with a minimum qualification of class VIII and a starting salary of Rs 15,000.
The Indian Railways is the country’s largest public sector employer with over 13 lakh employees as of 2017. However, receiving over 2 crore applications against vacancy of almost 90,000 posts in the railways in March in what was being called the world’s largest recruitment drive, there were almost 225 candidates competing for every single post. Again, a lot of overqualified individuals with PhDs and post-graduate degrees were seen applying for posts like engine, driver and technicians.
In February, the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) conducted a test to fill 9,500 posts of village-level clerks with a minimum qualification of class 10. Among the 20 lakh applicants for the test, there were 992 PhD holders, 23,000 M.Phil holders, 2.5 lakh post-graduates and eight lakh graduates.
In 2015, 23 lakh applicants including 2 lakh engineers and 255 PhD holders had applied for 368 entry level jobs in Uttar Pradesh.
Job Crisis in India
During his campaigning for the 2014 general elections, PM Modi had promised that if elected, their government would create 10 million new jobs every year.
The Economic Survey of 2016-17 shows the increase in the unemployment rate in the country from 4.9% in 2013-14 to 5%, with a decline of about 20,000 jobs by 2016.
According to Quartz India, there are about 17 million people entering the workforce every year, but only 5.5 million jobs are being created for them. The recruitments to government jobs are mostly done through UPSC and the Staff Selection Commission (SSC). However, the unemployment situation seems to be worsening with delays such as the one in conducting the SSC CGL exam this year- with no explanation or new dates announced even a month later.
Earlier this year, PM Modi had said that selling pakoras was also a form of employment.
“If we look at numbers for employment, more than 41 lakh formal jobs were created from September 2017 to April 2018 based on EPFO payroll data,” Modi said as reported by Swarajya, further adding that the informal job sector constitutes 80% of all jobs in India. “We also know that job creation in the formal sector can have a spinoff effect on job creation in the informal sector too. If 41 lakh jobs were generated in the formal sector in eight months, how much would be the total formal plus informal sector jobs?”
Former PM and renowned economist Dr Manmohan Singh has criticised the government’s approach to the unemployment situation in the country. The opposition continues to highlight the issue in light of the approaching 2019 general elections.
The Logical Indian Take
Such a high number of applicants for government posts is simply due to the job security offered by them. It is a monumental waste of the country’s resources to have such extremely qualified individuals being reduced to apply for low-level jobs. The leaders of the country need to stop hiding behind numbers and admit the ground level scenario of unemployment in the country.
Also Read: Unemployment At An All-Time High With 3.1 Crore Indians Without Job: Report