At 27, Santosh Kapate knows exactly what sort of career he wants - he would like to become a civil servant. He has a master's in Political Science, a diploma in Computer Management, another diploma in Computer Applications, but he is trying today to be selected as a bus conductor in Pune.
He may be over-qualified but he has a reason for seeking a job that will pay him Rs 12000 a month. "There is no point in getting degrees. We don't get jobs...many courses should actually be stopped. At least a government job will be stable and will give me some respect," he says.
He is in competition with more than 5000 other graduates, many of who are in line with him at a municipal transport office in Pune, waiting to be interviewed.
The city council is not looking for permanent employees so the 1600 jobs on offer come with Rs 423 for a day's work with an allowance of Rs 20 for meals. Bus conductors in the city are required to have passed Class 10. "We are giving first priority to graduates and post graduates, so that they can handle passengers well and be like the face of our organisation," says Praveen Ashtekar, one of the people in charge of hiring.
1450 women also have applied for jobs as bus conductors.