TCS launches ‘Campus Commune' a portal for students to get a feel of the industry
A million questions haunt people like S. Sriram, an engineering graduate all set to join a software firm after six months. “Some say they filter half during the training while others feel the recession has set in so they will not call people who cannot speak English fluently. What happens if, after a year, I get a good offer from another company? My friends say the company has extended its notice period to six months..,” and so on and even worse, every query on some online forum is met with ten diverse answers.
As the apprehension of new recruits might best be understood by their peers and in recognition of the dire need for interaction among engineering students, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), on Friday launched ‘Campus Commune,' a portal for students to know about the IT industry. “It is not about TCS or IT alone. It is an attempt to increase their learning abilities and facilitate quality knowledge sharing,” says K. Ganesan, global HR Head, TCS.
Online engagement helps students learn by themselves and that too at their own pace and more thoroughly, says Philip Praveen, director, Training and Placement, Rajalakshmi Engineering College. While the facility was launched at the college and extended to over 18 colleges here, it will soon be offered to students in other campuses too. Besides interactions among students, the portal will also have online games, videos, events and competitions that give them a feel of what life in the IT world is. And students can register for networking among themselves, without having to depend on their placement directors, said TCS officials.
Recently, TCS also launched its communication training programme in college campuses called Poise that would blend verbal games, communication workshops and personality enhancement programmes with engineering curriculum in some colleges. The faculty too would be trained.
“The ability to articulate and some consistency in academic performance is what the industry looks for,” said Mr. Ganesan.
The scheme would be of use to students who have a tough time at interviews due to language problems. “We have Technical English as a subject in first year [of engineering] but it is not taken seriously,” says A. Raji, a chemical engineering student of Anna University.
These are just part of a larger trend of software firms seeking more intervention in college campuses. “This can be to improve their own intake of students and also to brand themselves. Either way it is a good exposure for students,” says Pramod Devanathan, an IT consultant.
Companies, including Wipro, have also started lending help in project evaluation, and some, including TCS and Cognizant, offer regular training programmes to faculty members. “These often help us in evaluating student projects,” says S. Malini, a computer science faculty in a college here. However, some senior professors wonder whether such intervention might shift the focus from engineering studies. “It should not be an attempt to reduce their training overheads and shift the responsibility on us,” says N. Krishnan, professor, Anna University.
According to NASSCOM sources, nearly three lakh students have been recruited by software companies across the country this season.
“Tamil Nadu, with 40,000 recruits has the highest number of students placed this year,” says K. Purushottaman, regional director, NASSCOM. Of these, 16,000 were recruited from 25 engineering colleges across the State. While TCS has recruited the most number of students, Cognizant comes a close second, followed by Infosys, Wipro, Accenture and HCL. The numbers are not close to those of the recruitment boom seen in 2000 but the speculations of an impending recession are not a cause of concern, he says.
“The dynamics and the way the industry works have changed. The standards have increased and the companies want people who can be put to work soon and easily,” he says.