NEW DELHI, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The state-owned Indian Railways has got a whopping 20 million applicants for about 100,000 jobs.
"So far, we have got 20 million applications. But the number is likely to swell by the time the deadline ends Saturday. More and more youths are looking for a stable career in government sector," a senior railway official said Wednesday.
The Indian Railways advertised the medium and low-level jobs last month, soon after deciding to sack some 13,000 of its 1.3 million employees.
"It's actually part of a massive recruitment drive of youths to spruce up the performance of the train network. In February, we decided to axe those employees who are inefficient and on unauthorised leave for a long time," the official said.
The Indian Railways is one of the world's largest train networks, criss-crossing the country from north to south. It operates some 9,000 passenger trains and carries 23 million passengers every day.
The vast public enterprise runs schools, hospitals, has its own police force and even construction companies, and has 1.3 million people on its payroll, making it the seventh biggest employer in the world.
However, train disasters are quite common in India as much of the colonial-era rail infrastructure is out of date. A number of people are killed in train accidents, mostly derailments, across the country every year.