INDIA’S largest state-run bank has received 1.7 million applications for 1500 entry-level clerk jobs – and has promised to examine all of them.

State Bank of India chairman Pratip Chaudhuri attributed the huge interest to good marketing and attractive employment terms, with the number of applications underlining the appeal of “jobs for life” in the Indian public sector.

For positions in Mumbai, the bank offered a starting package of 69,000 rupees ($A1,245) a month.

Job opportunities in the Indian private sector have fallen in the past 18 months as economic growth has dropped to its lowest level in a decade.

The government forecasts that India’s once-booming economy will grow by five per cent in the financial year to March 31.

Last year, it grew by 6.2 per cent but even that rate is insufficient to create the jobs India needs for its fast-growing young population.

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a former economist, believes the country needs at least eight per cent growth to create enough jobs.

Chaudhuri said all 1.7 million applicants – more than 1,100 per position available – would be assessed.

“We have conducted such examinations in the past by hiring schools across the country. This time, we may have to do two shifts,” he told the newspaper.

Nine out of ten Indians are employed in the “informal” sector in jobs that offer no security, few perks and often illegal working conditions, government data shows.