Authorities of a state-run medical college in West Bengal are in a quandary following a rush of applications by a clutch of post-graduates, including PhDs, for a post that requires them to handle dead bodies.
While the opposition CPI-M is calling it a reflection of the state's job market condition, the Malda Medical College and Hospital authorities are attributing it to a "misunderstanding" over the job profile.
Of the 325 applications received till last Friday by the college-hospital, for the Group-D post of hospital morgue assistant (known as "dome" in colloquial Bengali), around 10 per cent are postgraduates including a couple of doctorates.
"Around 30 to 40 are postgraduates. Of them a couple are PhDs. The minimum eligibility is Class 8. So there is no upper limit as per educational qualification. As per age, the criteria is 18 to 40 years. I think there was a misunderstanding about the profile," Medical Superintendent cum Vice Principal Amit Dan told IANS.
Dan said perhaps the numbers reflect the demand for government jobs.
"The job offering was for two persons only. It is not right to view it as a stark reality of the job market. We believe they were not adequately informed about the profile," he said.
But the authorities are yet to take a call on whether they will interview these "over-qualified" candidates.
"We have not decided yet. We may as well interview them and provide complete information about the profile. In all likelihood, they will refuse once their misunderstanding is cleared. We can't stop them from applying," he added.
Communist Party of India-Marxist veteran leader Sujan Chakraborty said the development offers a glimpse into the present situation in the state.
"PhD, MSc, MA students, all applied to work as Gr D in the morgue at Malda medical college.D present situation in West Bengal @MamataOfficial," Chakraborty tweeted.
About 13.9 per cent of people (15 years and above) with post graduate degrees, and 9.8 per cent of people with graduate level qualification are unemployed in West Bengal as per the Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey Report for 2015-16.