If things go the way it is, then one might be able to discuss technology, history, philosophy and psychology with people fetching tea, drinking water and files in the Uttar Pradesh Secretariat.
Over 23 lakh candidates, including 2.22 lakh engineers and 255 Ph.D. holders have applied for 368 posts of peon in the State Secretariat. Thousands of candidates with Masters degree in Commerce, Humanities and Sciences are also among the applicants, something which indicates the gravity of the unemployment situation in the State.
The recruitment to the posts was opened after a gap of 12 years. The selections were scheduled to be made through interviews. Given the huge number of candidates, officials said that it would take four years to interview all the 23 lakh candidates.
According to Ambika Chaudhary, Minister in Uttar Pradesh government, the process of recruitment may be changed. “We may change the process of recruitment in this extraordinary situation as it will take about four years to complete the process of hiring just 368 peons, if one were to interview the 23 lakh candidates. We may ask for fresh applications with a new recruitment process,” the Minister said.
The population of Uttar Pradesh is 21.5 crore. Going by the logic of numbers, every 93rd person in the State applied for the post which carries with it a salary of Rs.20,000, along with the perks of a government job.
Interestingly, the eligibility criteria for the job are a pass in the fifth standard and the ability to ride a bicycle.
According to Prabhat Mittal, Secretary to the Department of Sachivalaya Administration, the process of application was online. “We were absolutely shocked to see the response,” he said. “Only 53,000 of the applicants are fifth pass and about 20 lakh candidates have completed their school education,” he said.
Despite several attempts, senior officials refused to comment on the exact number of applicants and the unemployment situation in U.P. But Alok Chaurasiya, an electronics and communications engineer by education, who applied for the peon’s job, said, “There are no jobs in the market. In this crisis, having a job is much better than being without one. After all, no work is small.”