More than five million young people apply for 60,000 police jobs in Indian state

Unemployment proliferating in most populous state Uttar Pradesh as well as across the country

More than five million young people have applied for 60,244 police constable vacancies in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, as joblessness there and across the country proliferates.

Officials of the Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board said the number of applicants for the job, which carries an initial salary of 21,700 rupees (€240) and is open to candidates aged from 18 to 25, exceeded their expectations by about 1.8 million. About 1.5 million of those who applied are women.

Such overwhelming odds for jobseekers in India have burgeoned in recent years.

In 2018, for instance, about 20 million aspirants, including postgraduates and some with doctorates, applied for about 100,000 lowly-paid jobs with the state-run Indian Railways. The company said many of the hopefuls were ”overqualified” and rejected their candidatures.


A few years earlier, also in Uttar Pradesh, some 2.3 million people bid for 368 low-ranking vacancies in various government offices, jobs that required a high school certificate and the ability to ride a bicycleh. Potential candidates included some 200,000 science and commerce graduates and post-graduates, and 255 with PhDs.

Last week thousands of skilled workers including masons, electricians, plumbers and farmers flocked to government-sponsored recruitment rallies last week in Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Haryana, organised to enlist 10,000 workers to take up jobs in Israel, which faces a a labour shortage due to its ongoing Gaza offensive.

This recruitment drive followed a pact India signed with Israel last year to provide it with 40,000 workers in the construction, agriculture, nursing, care-giving and related sectors.

“There is unemployment here and it’s because of it that people want to leave,” mason Lekh Ram told Reuters last week at a recruitment camp at Rohtak, 66km from New Delhi. “If it’s in our destiny to die, then we can die here or there,” he said.

Labour activists accused the Indian government of bypassing mandatory contractual protection measures applicable to all domestic workers engaged in conflict zones overseas. Officials from of the All India Trade Union Congress said they planned on seeking legal redress to protect Indian workers before their departure for Israel.

Unemployment and underemployment remain endemic across India, but getting to grips with the scale of the problem in the world’s most populous country, with more than 1.42 billion people, is difficult and complex.

According to financial analysts India’s informal and largely unrecorded sector employs about 83 per cent of the country’s vast workforce of which, in turn, some 92 per cent have no formal contracts or attendant benefits. And in the organised employment sector, Bloomberg recently reported that the overall unemployment rate was 7.95 per cent.

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