They are not allowed to appear for exams to many positions

With over a 1,000 vacancies set to be filled through the TNPSC group 2 exams scheduled for December this year, engineering graduates are again a disappointed lot, barred as they are from writing exams for many positions.

Graduates with professional degrees, who are not eligible for jobs in fourteen categories in the group, have been demanding that the State government make provisions to enable them to get into the government sector. The demand assumes significance in the light of the slowdown in the IT industry and the difficulty faced by graduates in getting jobs.

Senthil Kumar, an engineering graduate from Dharmapuri, said he and his friends have been looking for jobs for three years, ever since they graduated. “The job market is quite bad. The government should no longer think engineers are not fit for these jobs. Many of us are from rural, poor families and struggled to pay the huge amounts needed to make it through college.”

The candidates are especially unhappy about missing out on the position of revenue assistant. Of the 1,065 vacancies, at least 370 are for revenue assistants. Most of the categories require only a basic degree but we engineers have been applying under ‘any other graduate.’ We don’t want any special concessions, just the opportunity to write the exam,” said K. Vetrimaran, another student.

Experts said candidates with professional degrees were barred from such posts as the requirement was for people who would not leave the positions. “There has to be policy-level change if engineering graduates are to be permitted to write the exam and it should be taken very carefully, considering all the issues involved. Engineering candidates might take up the job only as a back-up option and leave as soon as they get a better paying job. That might not work well for the system and for the other aspirants who could have been better for the job,” said an official. 

The candidates are however eligible for lower posts such as village administration officers and many higher posts. “But cracking the higher posts is difficult and takes many years of training,” said Senthil Kumar. “Over the years, the number of engineering candidates taking the exams has increased. The difficulty they face in getting jobs is a major reason,” said Raja Bhoopathy, a TNPSC trainer.