Bank in India recruits for 1,500 jobs, receives 1.7 million applications

DEAN NELSON
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

State Bank of India

Pedestrians walk past the State Bank of India’s Mumbai head office on March 12, 2013. India’s largest state-run bank has received 1.7 million applications for just 1,500 entry-level clerk jobs. Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

India’s main state bank is to test a record 1.7 million young people who have applied for just 1,500 jobs as “probationary officers.”

Senior officials said Tuesday they were overwhelmed by the response to the State Bank of India‘s first major recruitment drive for officer jobs in seven years.

The number of applications – almost as many as the entire population of Northern Ireland, and three times that of Glasgow — reflects how highly government jobs are coveted in India, despite the country’s rapid economic growth and rise of many of its top companies to global domination.

Officials said they now have five months to whittle down the applicants, all aged between 21 and 30, to just over 7,000 and then pick the 1,824 brightest from interviews. The process will begin with examinations in schools during the next few months.

Each candidate has a one in 233 chance of getting an interview and only one in 932 will land the job.

M K Rekhi, a spokesman for the bank, said it had received 3.6 million applications when it advertised for 11,000 clerks in 2009, but the latest response appears to be the highest number of applications received for senior jobs.

Pratip Chaudhuri, the bank’s chairman, told the Times of India he believed the bank’s salary and perks package had lured so many to apply.

The successful applicants will receive a monthly salary of $1,300 and an accommodation allowance of $585 — more than double the average banking sector salary of around $566.

Dilip Cherian, one of India’s leading business advisers, said a government job remains greatly sought after in India because applicants believe they will have greater security and workplace rights.





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