The job that 2.3 million people applied for

Requirements for the assistant role include having finished primary school and being able to ride a bike

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The Independent Online

About 2.3 million people applied for less than 400 office assistant jobs with a district government in northern India during one month of open applications from August to September.

Prabhat Mittal, senior government administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh, a northern state with a population of over 200 million, said that the volume of applications was "unbelievable".

"This is an astoundingly high number of applicants," senior government officer Alok Ranjan said.

"This reflects the condition of the job market in India and shows desperation of the youth who despite being highly educated is ready to do a job where he has to run errands and wash tea cups and saucers," Mr Ranjan said.

The candidates for the low-level job, which offers 16,000 rupees (about £150) a month, have included 255 people with doctorates, over 200,000 others with graduate degrees, and at least 30 trained computer engineers.

Mr Mittal said that the applicants will complete a written exam as to interview them would take at least four years.

The number of applicants is 16 times the level in 2006, when the Uttar Pradesh government last recruited for similar roles.

Bureaucratic jobs are seen as very attractive to Indian workers as they provide a much higher level of security over private sector professions.

Last month, the Chhattisgarh state government cancelled plans to fill a small number of government jobs after being flooded with 75,000 applications.

The high level of applications reflects the unemployment levels in India, Asia's third-largest economy, where according to the National Sample Survey Organisation, the state is expected to have 13.2million unemployed young people by 2017.

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