More than 66,000 graduates and 15,000 postgraduates have applied to join Punjab Police as constables in the ongoing recruitment that began on July 27 and will continue until the end of September. The minimum educational qualification for the post is 10+2 or its equivalent from a recognised education board or university, and the maximum number of applicants have only this qualification.
A Punjab Police constable is paid in a scale of Rs 10,300-34,800, plus other allowances taking the total salary to over Rs 30,000. This salary is paid only after three-year probation. During the probation, recruits are eligible only for a fixed emolument equivalent to the minimum end of the payscale, and will not be eligible for any allowances.
“Their starting salary would be less than Rs 15,000 for three-year probation period,” an official said. But going by the huge response to the recruitment — more than 5.87 lakh candidates applying against 7,416 (6,252 male and 1164 female) available posts – that appears to have had a little impact.
While graduates and postgraduate applicants taken together account for more than 81000 applicants (including over 1,000 graduate applicants from ex-servicemen category), there are more than 13,000 applicants who have a diploma in one subject or the other, but appear to have decided that they might be better off as a constable. Data compiled by Punjab police about the applicants has placed 8000 applicants as having “other” qualifications, indicating that the possibility that even postgraduates have applied for this job.
“It could be the craze to become a cop that there have been so many applications. But getting employed with government appears to be the top priority,” said Additional Director General of Police Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, who is the Chairman of Central Recruitment Board constituted to make the recruitments.
Former professor of Sociology at Guru Nanak Dev University Ranvinder Singh Sandhu said, “The number of applicants indicates the problem of unemployment. As far as candidates with higher qualifications are concerned, a number of private universities offer degrees. At entry level, college lecturers are getting merely Rs 15000 or little more. In comparison, a constable is considered better placed in the long run,” said Sandhu.
The total number of aspirants who have the basic minimum qualification of 10+2 as their highest qualification are to the tune of nearly 4.78 lakh. Agewise, applicants having an age of 19 years led in terms of maximum number of applications (more than 80,000 applicants), followed by 20 year age (more than 79000 applicants) , 21 -year-age (more than 74000) and 18 year (more than 72000 applicants).
As per the essential eligibility requirement, as on January 1, 2016, the minimum age should be 18 years and maximum age 28 years. There is a relaxation of five years in upper age limit for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes categories.