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Jobs dry up at tech cradle

The economic slowdown has come a cropper for placements at IIT-Patna this year.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Patna has so far been able to place only 30 per cent students. Authorities here are apprehensive about further placements because the number of recruiters — particularly from the public sector undertakings (PSUs) — are giving hiring a cold shoulder.

Apart from public sector companies such as Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and GAIL, private players such as Tata Motors, Caterpillar, Maruti and others are yet to show up at the premier institution.

“We are worried since many firms have stated they don’t have employee requirement at present. But we haven’t lost hope,” IIT-Patna placement in-charge Suresh Prasad said. He blamed adverse market conditions for the reason behind the poor placement scenario. Claiming that only 30 per cent students have been placed so far, he, however, assured that the figure would shoot up by December-end. Placement at IIT-Patna continues till March end.

Low industrial output, confusion about the market conditions and likely turmoil in the market in the wake of the indecisiveness on policies because of the upcoming elections are said to be some of the reasons behind India’s weak economy this year.

However, upbeat about a change in situation, Prasad said: “Many firms would visit the institution for hiring our students in January and February.”

Sources said last year PSUs such as Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, BPCL, Tata Motors, Caterpillar and Maruti Suzuki India Limited had visited the institution. A good number of students were placed then.

Sources added that the PSUs are not visiting the institution also because of a high court order. In February 2012, an interim order passed by the Madras High Court had restrained PSUs from recruiting in leading colleges, including the IITs. The court later vacated the stay in September 2012 but the final order is pending. In such a situation, PSUs can visit the campuses on the condition that the decision on whoever is hired will be subject to the high court’s final directive. A negative decision, thus, could leave hired students jobless.

Apart from the PSUs and automobile giants, even financial companies, which the IIT-Patna administration has approached for campus recruitment, have not given consent to hiring from the technology cradle. Bank of India, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs are some of the companies who are yet to visit Patna this year. A final-year mechanical student said: “Last year, the situation was better compared to this year. The trend is prevalent in all the new IITs. But we are hopeful that the situation would improve.”

Amid all the gloom, few companies have already visited the institution and have offered students good packages.

Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC), which had visited Patna last year, has placed six students at a whopping package of Rs 18 lakh each this year. Last year, the MSIDC had offered a package of Rs 16.5 lakh. Bank of America, too, has visited this year. Cisco Systems, an American multinational corporation, Finisar, a Malaysian company that manufactures optical communication components have visited IIT-Patna this year.

Defence Research and Development Organisation, a unit of the defence ministry that manufactures defence equipment, too, has visited the institution. However, their placement list is pending. Sources said Infosys, IBM, L&T, LG and Samsung are some companies that are considering a visit soon.


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