Reflecting a grim picture of employment in the country, the Uttar Pradesh government has received as many 23 lakh applications for 368 posts of peon in the state secretariat. Significantly, 255 of the applicants are PhD (doctor of ​philosophy) holders.

The minimum qualification required for a candidate to apply for the peon's post is class five pass and the ability to ride a bicycle.

"When we categorised the applications viz a viz a qualification, we were surprised to find that 255 doctorates have applied for the job," a senior secretariat administrative official told PTI.

As per the UP government advertisement, of the 368 openings 268 are meant for general category, while the remaining are reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes in the age group of 18-40 years.

Graduates and post graduates have also applied for the jobs in large numbers. While there are over 1.5 lakh graduate applicants, the number of post graduate candidates stands at 24,969, the official said.

Surprisingly, the number of class five pass applicants stands at only 53,426 of the 23 lakh applications.

The maximum number of applications--over 11.21 lakh--were from those who are high school pass or equivalent. The number of applicants having 10+2 qualification is over 7.5 lakh.

At first, the recruitment process was planned to be carried out through interview, the official said.

However, with the number of applicants being huge, the selection will now be done through written examination and interview, he added.