The placement season at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay is less than a month away and while hundreds of companies have registered with the institute, students are excited about the re-entry of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in the list of recruiters.
After only two companies offered a handful of jobs to last year’s IIT-B batch, four companies have already registered with the institute this year for the first phase and the numbers are likely to grow.
“Comeback of PSUs is the highlight of this placement season because the companies are from varied sectors and are open to hiring students from different departments including electrical, mechanical and chemical,” said a member of IIT-B’s placement cell. While the team refused to divulge names of the PSUs, they said that the companies are from the petroleum as well as the electrical sector.
While the PSUs have, for a long time, been keen on hiring IIT and IIM freshers, a temporary stay on this process was put in place by the Madras high court following a petition filed in 2014. This petition sought a ban on public sector companies opting for campus placements at private institutes, thus eating into chances of students from other government institutes vying for the same jobs. The ban was finally lifted in December 2015, allowing private institutes to approach more companies.
“By the time the ban was lifted, the first phase of placement at IITs was already over so PSUs were invited in the second phase. Companies like Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Coal India had conducted interviews on campus in the second phase and offered jobs to around 30 students. This year we are hoping that there will be a manifold increase in job offers,” said another member from the placement committee.
Senior IIT professors told HT that even with the ban in place, some PSUs were offering jobs to students via campus interviews but this stopped after the institutes received an informal circular from the Human Resource Development ministry, asking them to not encourage PSUs during campus placements.
Like every year, the first phase of placements will begin in the first week of December. Over 250 companies have already registered with IIT-B and the numbers are likely to go beyond 300, claimed sources from the institute.
Why the demand for ban on PSUs offering jobs by campus placements?
A petition filed by a Kerala based advocate contended that PSUs should not disregard job notifications and reservation policy rules governing them; that no recruitment could be done without first offering equal opportunity to all eligible candidates. The petitioner stated that holding campus recruitments in private institutions was against public employment policy and sought the cancellation of all such recruitments that had already been made and against Article 16(1) of the constitution of India.
The petition further stated that recruitment in PSUs should be done only through employment exchanges or through public advertisements inviting applications from eligible candidates from across the country. By recruiting candidates directly from college campuses, PSUs will not only be violating rules but also unwittingly contributing to the demand for private educational institutions which organize such placement drives. Equal opportunity in matters of public employment should not be denied to candidates entitled to participate in the selection process. This process cannot be confined only to educational institutions organizing campus placements, the petitioner said.
What is Article 16(1) of the Constitution of India?
There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State
The current status:
While the Supreme Court in May 2008 upheld the decision of Kerala high court to not interfere in PSUs hiring from campus placement programs in private institutes, another petition was filed at the Madras high court in 2014, seeking a ban on PSUs hiring from private institutes, following which a temporary stay was put in place by the court. IITs and IIMs had also received an informal circular from the Ministry of HRD to not encourage PSUs during campus placements. However, this stay by the Madras high court was finally lifted in December 2015 and IITs are now approaching more PSUs to hire students from their campus.