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Colleges to activate placement cells

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: The higher education department has instructed all universities and autonomous colleges in the state to activate their placement cells within a month.

Officials of the department said the decision was taken keeping in view the gloomy job scenario for students who have completed self-financing courses.

“They are hardly gaining anything from the sponsored courses. Many colleges have asked them to cough up money, apart from their course fee, to facilitate placements,” said Satyakam Mishra, director of higher education.

Now onwards, the placement cells would function on public-private-partnership (PPP) mode and specialised staff would be roped in by the private agency running the sponsored courses to tackle staff crisis in such cells.

The department would collaborate with OJAS Education, a private company, to compile details of students and integrate it with national and international companies.

“The cells should be effectively organised and integrated with job portals. Regular information would be sent to the government directly regarding placement of students,” said Mishra.

Sources said that though most institutions charge large sums of money for enrolling in self-financing courses and promise candidates jobs, the ground reality was very different.

The lack of dedicated staff to provide necessary information to students about job opportunities and prepare them for the placement sessions had been a constraint in achieving recruitment to the full potential. Principal of BJB (Autonomous) College, S.C. Pattanaik said: “Our college is a hot spot for headhunters and we have been achieving satisfactory placement records. But as far as students of self-financing courses are concerned, our hands are tied because our role is limited to providing infrastructure and conducting exams. The private agency involved has to take the initiative to invite various companies to the campus.”

Placement officer of Utkal University here, Sarit Panda admitted that it was difficult to ensure a job for every student as the varsity ran 17 sponsored courses.