992 PhDs among 19 lakh who took clerk-level Tamil Nadu job test

CHENNAI: The next time you visit a government office in the state, don’t be surprised if some of the clerical staff rattle off complex theories in basic sciences or speak about the intricacies of building bridges and power plants.

In an indication of the clamour for government jobs, a scarcely believable 992 PhD holders, 23,000 MPhil holders, 2.5 lakh post-graduates and eight lakh graduates were among the nearly 20 lakh applicants for the exam conducted across the state on February 11 by the Tamil Nadu Public Sevice Commission (TNPSC), seeking to fill 9,500 posts of typists, Village Administrative officers (VAO) and stenographers.

While data sourced from the TNPSC shows that 19.83 lakh applied for the exam, a top official in the commission said more than 15 lakh had appeared for the exam.

While the required qualif ication was securing a pass in Class X, the number of graduates who applied for the exam outstripped those who had only cleared Class XII or Class X. Non-engineering graduates

(6.2 lakh) accounted for the largest chunk of graduates among the applicants.

Experts: Difficulty level of Sunday’s exam was high
The exam was conducted for recruitment of 494 VAOs, 4,349 junior assistants and bill collectors, 230 field surveyors and draftsmen, 3,463 typists and 815 steno-typists, all Class IV posts offering a basic pay scale of ?5,200-?20,200.

Top government officials say this is a direct indication of the scarcity of private sector jobs and the craze for the security government jobs provide. “This trend was visible in the recent selection of police constables by TNUSRB where 4,000 graduates and around 500 post-graduates applied,” an official said.

Experts involved in coaching students for TNPSC and UPSC say that the difficulty level of Sunday’s exam was high. “For instance, there was a question on 5G wireless backhauling which could be answered only by those who had pursued electronics and communication engineering. There was a question on Indo-Maldives joint military operations, which is UPSC level,” said P Balaji, an advocate who takes classes for such aspirants.

Even match-the-following-type questions, which can be easily answered by Class X passouts, were difficult, he said. Many people preparing for UPSC also take these exams to test themselves, added Balaji.
~TOI

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