Greater Noida: Such is the high level of unemployment that graduates and even postgraduates - including an MSc in agriculture - are queuing up to apply for jobs as sweepers in in this satellite town of the national capital.
They must even wield the broom to clean dirty roads and drains as part of the practical test.
Following an advertisement for 397 sweeper posts by the district administration of Gautam Budh Nagar, 1,076 applications were received.
Among the applicants are more than a dozen postgraduates and graduates.
Those selected would get jobs as sweepers in the villages of Gautam Budh Nagar.
The district administration is surprised with such applications. They. however maintain that no preference would be given to those who are more qualified.
The minimum requirement for the jobs is to have passed class 5.
"We have received 1,076 applications for the 397 vacancies of sweepers. There are several applications from graduates and postgraduates," said Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Gautam Budh Nagar, Shivakant Dwivedi.
The selection process that started Aug 25 ended Aug 30.
"The selection process includes document verification, practical test on cleaning and then an interview," said an administration official.
A list of the candidates selected will be issued soon.
The practical test is to ensure that those selected don't shy away from cleaning work once they get the job.
"We understand that job security must have driven these highly qualified people to apply for jobs as sweepers, but we conduct practical tests too and those who can sweep properly and don't shy away from cleaning even sewers would be selected," an official added.
Many wonder if the highly qualified applicants will shy away from work, if selected.
One postgraduate applicant, Satish Sharma, 33, is an MSc in agriculture countered that by saying, "Don't we do the cleaning work at home; I am not shy of working as a sweeper. Also this job provides me with job security."
Sharma, a resident of Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, is married and has two daughters. He works as a helper in a pathology lab.
Another graduate candidate, Anita Nagar, 20, said: "I don't have any problems in working as a sweeper."
ADM Dwivedi said: "All those with any kind of experience in such kind of work would be given preference over others."
The administration believes the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission in December is a major factor in getting so many applications from overqualified candidates.
"Currently the total salary of a sweeper is nearly Rs.5,500, but after implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, it would touch around Rs.10,000.
"Probably they thought it is better to work as a sweeper than to remain unemployed," an official added.