What does the sales job look like in India

India: When 28 million people dream of the same job

With the equivalent of 225 euros a month, the salary is not exactly princely. Nevertheless - India's railways cannot save themselves from applicants. More than 28 million Indians have applied for almost 90,000 vacancies at the country's largest employer - this corresponds to around a third of the German population. As already reported, most of the advertised jobs include simple activities such as switchman, porter or machinist. But the selection process is as lengthy as many applications for a place at an elite university.

The application deadline ended at midnight on March 31. Late deciders had to struggle with their online registration because the website had collapsed under the load of inquiries in the past few hours. Nine million jobseekers alone applied in the last five days. "Quite a number of applicants are overqualified, and even professionals with a doctorate are applying for technical positions," said the New Delhi Ministry of Railways. India's railways are one of the largest employers in the world with over a million employees. The state-owned company transports more than 23 million passengers a day.

Government jobs are popular in India

Government jobs are extremely popular in India because they offer a high level of security and often privileges. A job on the railroad therefore seems like a dream job for many Indians. Accommodation is often provided for the whole family.

But who is viewing all the applications? No employee has to be used for this. Anyone who has registered as an interested party on the Internet and meets the basic requirements specified there is allowed to take the electronic test on the day of the examination in May. The answers are evaluated by the computer. There are test centers in 21 cities across the country.

Mathematical and scientific knowledge, intelligence and logical thinking are tested, but also general knowledge questions from politics and economics: for example about the winner of the Commonwealth chess tournament or the name of the newest Indian weather satellite. The 100 questions must be answered in 90 minutes.

But that is by no means all. The brightest applicants then have to take a fitness test at the railway administration, where the vacancy is. There, male applicants have to lift a 35-kilo weight and carry it 100 meters within two minutes without having to take it off. 20 kilos are required for women. If both tests are passed successfully, the aspirant must once again clearly prove his identity. Because it happens again and again that applicants for money send a smarter or fitter acquaintance into the race instead of themselves. However, honest applicants also repeatedly fall victim to crooks and fraudsters. In January, the police in New Delhi arrested eight men who had conducted false interviews in an otherwise unused room in the sprawling Ministry of Railways and who had asked candidates for the equivalent of 300 euros for alleged medical tests alone.

The flood of applicants at Deutsche Bahn says a lot about the job market

The flood of applicants for the railways is a sign of the crisis on the Indian labor market: Government jobs have been cut in recent years, but the private sector has also created significantly fewer jobs. The IT industry, for example, which has long been praised as the engine of economic development, only recorded 150,000 new jobs in 2017, compared with 300,000 in the previous year. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to create thousands of new jobs for India's growing population of over 1.2 billion prior to his 2014 election, but this did not happen. Automation and rationalization have also found their way into India. Even with the Indian railways: It is the first time that jobs have been advertised again in the past three years.

In the end, each railway directorate decides for itself who it wants to hire. And in autumn the lucky ones can start their dream job.