India, the world's second most populated country, is stumbling with the unemployment crisis. The overall employment scenario in India is really disturbing, while the crisis has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic with many people having lost their jobs, companies closed and the private sector freezing recruitment.
In a sign of deep jobs crisis, several PhD scholars, postgraduates and engineering students in West Bengal have applied to the post of forest assistants, the qualification required for which is class 8 pass. The government of West Bengal is recruiting 2,000 'Bana Sahayaks' or forest assistants on a contractual basis to guard wildlife and stop man-animal conflict.
As per recruitment notification issued by the West Bengal Forest Department, candidates seeking to apply for the job should be at least 8th class passed from a recognised school. The selection will be done on the basis of evaluation-cum-interview and personality test. Candidates will be examined on their ability to read Bengali (30 marks), ability to write Bengali (30 marks), ability to read English or Hindi (10 marks), general knowledge (20 marks), and personality fitness for forestry works (10 marks). Selected candidates shall be paid Rs 10,000 per month.
"Many highly-educated applicants have applied for the job and told us that they don't have any hang-ups," said Subir Kumar Guha Neogy, the range officer of the Malda Forest Division, reported PTI. Among those who applied for the jobs are PhD scholars and people having master's degrees, he said.
Sudeep Moitra, a post-graduate in History who applied for the position, said that he would prefer a government job even if it is contractual and requires a much lower qualification given the uncertain environment amid the coronavirus pandemic. "The situation of the job market is dismal. The crisis has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic with many people having lost their jobs, companies closed and the private sector freezing recruitment. I want to do any kind of government job even if that is contractual," he said.
Raktim Chanda, an MSc in Economics, said, "Being employed with a salary for a few thousand of rupees is better than doing nothing given the present economic situation."
"What can we do if highly-qualified people such as researchers apply for the job, which is much beneath their academic credentials. We can't prevent them," a senior forest department official in Kolkata said.
By Chitranjan Kumar