Tens of thousands of graduates, post-graduates and those holding doctorate degrees have applied for the low-level jobs (AFP)

Authorities in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, say they have been overwhelmed after receiving 2.3 million applications for 368 low-level government jobs.

Prerequisites for the posts include having primary school qualifications and being able to ride a bicycle.

But, tens of thousands of graduates, post-graduates and others with doctorate degrees have also applied.

An official said it will take four years to interview all the candidates.

“These candidates only have to be interviewed but my estimate is that the entire process will take at least four years to complete even if there are 10 boards interviewing 200 candidates a day, for 25 days a month,” senior official Prabhat Mittal told BBC Hindi’s Atul Chandra.

Those who have applied for the posts, advertised in August, include 255 PhD holders and 152,000 graduates.

With the number of applicants, there are more than 6,250 candidates vying for each post.

The successful candidates will receive a monthly salary of 16,000 rupees ($240; £156).

Unemployment is a huge challenge in Uttar Pradesh where tens of millions are out of work.

The state, with a population of 215 million, is expected to have 13.2 million unemployed young people by 2017, according to one estimate.

Government recruitment drives have attracted massive responses in other parts of India, too.

Earlier this year, several people were injured in a stampede when thousands turned up to join the Indian army in the southern city of Visakhapatnam.

In 2010, one man was killed and 11 others were injured in the crush when more than 10,000 candidates gathered to join the police in Mumbai.

And in 1999, the government in West Bengal state was deluged with responses when they advertised 281 jobs and received nearly one million applications. (BBC)