A government job vacancy for 62 peons with a technical wing of the Uttar Pradesh police has attracted a massive 93,000 applications -- that's an average of 1,500 applicants per post. Government officials say while the job itself has minimum educational qualifications, they have seen a deluge of application from graduates, post graduates and even PhDs.
Around 3,000 of the applicants are holders of research degrees, over 20,000 are post graduates and another 50,000 are graduates. These applicants are way too qualified for a job where the minimum qualification required is studies up to Class 5 and knowing how to ride a bicycle.
But for people like Rajat Mishra -- in his mid-twenties -- an MTech degree holder and an unemployed certified professional as he describes himself, there were no second thoughts about sending an application.
"Now, say you want an IT job in the private sector. It has become restricted. Even if you get a job it is in Delhi or Bangalore. With the money I'll get, I will only be able to manage to pay rent and eat. What is the use of doing a job like that? A government job is a government job. The future is secure," he said.
Senior police officer Pramod Tiwari, in-charge of the department's telecom services, claims the deluge of over-qualified applicants has not surprised him.
This is not the first time in the last few years that research scholars and business school graduates have applied for posts of sweepers or peons.
In 2015, 23 lakh people had applied for 368 posts of peons at the UP state secretariat in Lucknow, 250 of them had a research degrees.
According to data in the public domain, from the government's annual employment-unemployment survey for 2015-16, Uttar Pradesh had an unemployment rate of 7.4 per cent, which was higher than the national average of 5 per cent.
"I'm not surprised at all that so many people have applied. The work here is quite technical in nature. The more qualified people are, the more we can use them at senior positions later. I have inspectors here who are PhDs or have a Masters' degree in engineering. Their work makes us a very professional department," Mr Tiwari said.
Two days ago, at a function hosted by a newspaper in Lucknow, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was asked about the unemployment situation in the state.
His response was to quote recent statistics, where he said only 40,000 applicants managed to pass exams for about 68,000 posts of primary school teachers. This, the Chief Minister said, means "We do not have qualified people who can come and take these competitions and get the jobs".