Anna University has indicated to students that with many companies easing their eligibility criteria, an arrear-free academic record is not a must to apply for placements. This measure comes as a welcome relief for students, who can now focus on employment, rather than brooding over missed chances due to arrears.
Arrears are a great obstacle to students, many of whom accumulate a lot of them over the four years of the course. Until recently, this would have prevented them even for appearing for campus recruitment tests. However, trends indicate that the situation seems to be changing, with not many companies bothered about what students normally call a ‘history of arrears'.
The placement season in engineering colleges that ended recently had many companies lowering their eligibility criteria and acknowledging this, P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice-Chancellor , Anna University said, “Earlier the same companies had very strict eligibility criteria but now the norms have become lenient. This should encourage students to focus more on getting the right job for themselves.”
Software bigwigs such as Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro Technologies and HCL Technologies have been major drivers of this trend. “Cognizant permitted students with two arrears while Wipro was also okay with it, provided the arrears were not in the current semester,” said a student, who got placed in Accenture .
Only in India
This seems to be a trend seen only in Indian IT companies, because those from the core sector and international IT domains still have very stringent rules. “For instance, Deloitte asks for a consistent 80 per cent in school and throughout graduation. Most core companies ask for an 8 point CGPA or above in all semesters, and recruit only three or four students, mostly the rank-holders,” said Dhanya, a civil engineering student.
“Besides, earlier companies would not accept your request to delay the date of joining so that you could write your arrear examination. Now they give you that time,” said a student, recruited by Infosys.
However, there are no relaxations on the rule for a minimum of 60 per cent in class X and class XII. “These are very essential filters. And companies have very efficient training systems. What they look for during campus recruitment is a university certified professional who can be trained to work in the industry,” said NASSCOM regional director, K. Purushottaman.
So does it mean good news for students? It is indeed, says Ganesh Murugan, who has accumulated five arrears and is in his sixth semester now. “I got these arrears in the initial semesters but once I entered the fourth semester, the focus shifted to core subjects, and I became more comfortable with the curriculum. I really want to get into a good IT company,” says the computer engineering student.
Kalyani, another third-year student says, “Students get arrears in engineering graphics and mechanical design that have no relation to an IT job. Once we get arrears, the world of placement is blocked to us. Many of us lose interest in studies midway, as there is no way we will land a job. This trend will help us stay a little more relaxed about clearing all our papers.”
Campus recruitment patterns have also played a role in the relaxation of rules. “Until now, we have never felt the need to recruit students with arrears in Tamil Nadu, because there are so many students across the country. But students from this part of the country are loyal to their employers and the attrition is slightly lower in the offices here, so the recruitment is also to meet the demand,” said a senior HR manager at Wipro Technologies.