So you thought only Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon offered IT jobs by hundreds? Think again. Smaller cities are emerging fast in the area, and Chandigarh is one of the most prominent such destinations in the north. The city’s suburbs such as SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Panchkula are fast developing as IT hotspots.
The Chandigarh administration has projected that the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park has the potential to employ 60,000 IT professionals by the year 2010.
Some 4,000-5,000 IT professionals are already working in SAS Nagar. “There is great potential in the city. But a lot depends on the government and its policies to attract IT giants here,” said Dr Sanjay Tyagi, director, Software Technology Parks, SAS Nagar.
An IT park is also coming up in Panchkula, and is expected to generate employment for 12,000 IT professionals. According to a senior official of the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, the project would see the light of day by December.
According to a recent study conducted by the Panjab University, there are nearly 80 call centres operating in Chandigarh, and they employ some 65,000 people in all.
Everyone, however, agrees that much more needs to be done. Companies in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh do not offer engineering students the pay they can command in, say, Bangalore. That’s why students of reputed engineering colleges from the region are forced to move out.
ML Gupta, placement officer at the Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, says, “Some 400 of our students get employed every year. But most of them prefer to move out of Chandigarh, as this place does not have much to offer.” But even as Chandigarh plays catch-up with Bangalore and Hyderabad in terms of pay, the city’s engineering talent is getting 100 per cent placement.