When a northern Indian state announced a few hundred job openings for low-level office workers who run errands and make tea, they were staggered by the response.

About 2.3 million people applied for the 368 jobs with the government of Uttar Pradesh. They included hundreds of candidates with doctorates and other advanced degrees.

The massive number seeking the menial jobs reflects high unemployment levels in the state — India's most populous — and across much of the country.

Senior administrative officer Prabhat Mittal said Friday that the state government will conduct a written exam to screen the applicants because interviewing all of them would take four years.

The job pays about 16,000 rupees ($240) a month and requires a fifth grade education.