Of the 13 who were selected, 12 are college graduates and one is a 12th-class pass. The minimum qualification is to have passed 4th standard.
Mumbai: Amol Santoshrao Sambhare, 26, completed his BSc in mathematics in 2015. Four years on, after numerous failed attempts to get employment that fits his educational qualification, a frustrated Sambhare is preparing to start his first job — as a waiter in the Maharashtra government secretariat canteen.
The BJP-led Maharashtra government recently hired 13 people to work as waiters in state government canteens. Of these, 12 candidates are graduates and one is a 12th standard pass. The minimum educational qualification listed for the job is 4th standard pass.
This comes at a time when the national unemployment rate has touched a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent, according to the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO) annual household survey of 2017-2018.
Overall, there were nearly 7,000 applicants for the 13 positions, government officials said.
“Anyone who is educated up to the 4th standard and beyond that was free to apply. But yes, there were quite a few graduates among applicants,” a state government official told ThePrint.
Written entrance test for waiters’ jobs
According to the government advertisement, the job entails serving government officials and employees as per their demands, cleaning and cutting vegetables, cleaning tables, scrubbing utensils in the canteen, cleaning the canteen and so on.
The applicants had to first take a written competitive examination worth 100 marks — 50 questions of two marks each.
Ten questions tested the candidates’ knowledge of Marathi, while another 20 each were based on general knowledge and the intelligence quotient of the candidates.
The competition was so stiff that 522 candidates scored between 80 and 100 marks, with the highest score being 96. Another 1,310 candidates scored between 60 and 80 marks.
The newly-hired waiters will get a salary in the range of Rs 4,440 to Rs 7,440.
A bleak picture
“There is a lot of stress on my family. My parents expected that I will earn well after they educated me, but the competition is very tough,” Sambhare, whose parents work as farmers in Maharashtra’s Jalna district, told ThePrint.
“I first started applying for jobs where I can use my educational qualifications. Now, gradually, after several rejections, I have started applying for Group D posts because something is better than nothing.”
Before trying for the waiter’s position, Sambhare had attempted the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination three times, given an examination to join the police force, and tried to apply for technical jobs in the government. Each time, he missed the cut by a whisker, he said.
Applicants allege that despite vacancies, the state government advertises for very few jobs, and the ratio of applicants to the number of jobs is at least 500 to 1.
Umesh Jadhav, who is currently studying for his fourth MPSC attempt, said: “I completed my BA degree in 2016, but realising that the job scenario is very bleak, I started studying for an MA. But despite that, there seems to be no opportunity for me.
“I tried applying for a couple of private jobs, but got discouraged after seeing the huge number of applicants waiting for interviews for low-paying, unstable jobs.”
Jadhav, like Sambhare, said he is also considering applying for all Group D government positions that open up now.
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