Overqualified candidates can’t be appointed to menial jobs

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Chennai: The Madras High Court has ruled that candidates whose qualifications are higher than the requirement for any particular job cannot be given that job. The ruling came in a case filed by a woman who had been rejected for a job by Chennai Metro because she was overqualified.

In 2013, Lakshmi Prabha had applied for the job of a Train Operator in Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). The basic qualification for the job was a diploma, but Lakshmi Prabha had an engineering degree. CMRL rejected her application in July 2013. She had then taken the issue to court.

The case came up for hearing on Thursday before Justice Vaidyanathan, who ruled that despite the prevalent widespread unemployment, the petitioner’s claim that her rights were infringed upon by CMRL could not be accepted. CMRL representatives told the court that existing employees who are deemed to be overqualified could be dismissed.

In a different case, Madras HC had said overqualified candidates cannot be appointed to menial government jobs. It also directed the Tamil Nadu government to prescribe maximum qualification for Group III and IV services. The court had rejected the plea of a candidate with an engineering degree for appointment to the post of assistant.

This is not the first time the issue of overqualified persons applying for seemingly menial jobs is hitting the headlines in Tamil Nadu. In February, there was furore after the government released a full list of candidates who had applied to become sweepers and sanitary workers in the Tamil Nadu Assembly Secretariat. The controversy had centred over the fact that a number of the applicants had degrees like BE, BTech and MTech.

The job requirements for the sweeper jobs at the Assembly had had not included any educational qualifications, and had only called for able-bodied candidates over the age of 18.

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