Indians are crazy for government jobs, and here’s why

We all hear stories in the news that postgraduates, Ph.D. holders, B.Techs, and even MBAs are applying for menial jobs like peon or security guards in some government departments. One can’t help but wonder why is there such craze among highly qualified (on paper, at least) individuals for a government job in India, let’s find out.

Recently while attending a seminar at a university (I don’t want to name the university here), I was exchanging views with a group of students who graduated this year. In the conversation, I tried to know their career goal, and I was shocked by their answers. Most of them clearly expressed their preferences for government jobs. They had no clear choice and will happily accept a job from either central or state government or a PSU. Furthermore, they had no particular job profile in their mind; it seems all they care about a “government job” and don’t give a damn to the job profile. An MBA clearly said his primary goal is to secure a teaching job at any government running school, though he would be happy to be a lower division clerk nevertheless. I curiously asked them, why aren’t they considering an appropriate job profile in any private organization. And again, to my surprise, they would look for private jobs only if they don’t get a government job.

This conversation set me thinking about the general perception towards job preferences at the eighties and nineties. At that time, fresh graduates, engineers, MBAs were in the race to join multinationals and big corporates. That was the time when IT was booming worldwide, and so in India. Young talents from various educational backgrounds were eager to join MNCs in the fields like pharma, IT, construction, etc. With such a vast pool of talented human resource, companies expanded and flourished extensively at that time, and they are still enjoying the benefits of those brilliant brains in today. However, things got changed drastically it seems, and today, the situation in the job market is entirely different.

And the reasons behind this huge demand for government jobs are not very difficult to guess. First of all, due to recessions, employment opportunity in the private sector has been reduced to a great extent. And on the other hand, the government is always hiring. Be it central government, or state governments, or PSUs, most of them have posts vacant in every department. However, regarding government jobs, there are some myths or misconceptions in the mind of today’s youngsters too. For some reasons we don’t know why they assume that government jobs are not demanding like the Ctet, private sector, a government employee is not bound to any target to achieve and government job has much more benefits than any private company no matter how big it is. And most importantly, they think government jobs are “secured” even if they don’t perform up to the mark. Needless to say, that all of these assumptions are far from the actual truth, a government job can be similar, or even more demanding than a private job, depending on the profile and position.

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