Apr 19, 2012

What a colossal waste of paper!

Come April and you begin to see a flood of recruitment advertisements in Indian newspapers for college teachers. Most ads ask the applicant to send the application by post - and this is the important bit - alongwith copies of certificates and marksheets for the educational qualifications mentioned in the application.  All over India there are about 1000 such ads. Every ad has on an average 10 vacancies advertised. Each vacancy receives anywhere between 500 - 2000 applications (say 1000 average).  And each applicant has atleast 5 certificate copies to attach. All this requires good quality clean papers for xeroxing.

Now do the math. 1000 x 10 x 1000 x 5 = 50,000,000 papers wasted annually!
How many trees are sacrificed for this?

This is just a ballpark calculation and the number might be considerably higher if you take into account the fact that the reserved category also has to submit xerox copies of their caste proof. I have also not considered school advertisements here.

When will the AICTE, UGC, Universities and other eminent bodies stop  this colossal wastage by advising colleges to ask for email applications only? If Universities can conduct online examinations and take online applications from students then surely they can ask for online applications from prospective employees too.

Recommended solution: 
# Once  the final selection is complete the selected candidate should be asked to submit the xerox copies and given the appointment letter subject to submission of valid certificate copies.
 # Principals, directors, HR personnel and other administrative staff should be trained in working with emails, opening and saving attachments to enable them to process the applications.


  1. This will go on, till our country management is in the hands of least educated of the lot.
    You must have heard the story - the best, brightest students become doctors and engineers, the second class students study economics, finance etc and become finance , marketing managers who earn more than the first category. The third class students have no alternative so they become MBA s and businessmen and become boss of first 2 categories.and those who dont study at all
    , and the scum of the society,they enter politics and rule everybody else.
    But wherever we are working, it is upto us to use the best practices...40 years ago, when I got my first job in Philips India, I DID NOT HAVE TO PRODUCE ANY PAPER document or certificate. I even did not give copy of my graduation certificate.

  2. Very true Vidyut ji. In fact this practice is followed by many corporates. There are some Mgt institutes nowadays that do accept email applications, and ask for certificates only from the applicants called for interview. But these are few.