The placement season at Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) that began with a bang on Saturday with nearly 200 high-paying companies, will not have public sector undertakings (PSUs) recruiting students from the campus this year.

The move follows the Madras High Court restraining PSUs from hiring through campus placements in February. A public interest litigation (PIL) in the Court slammed PSUs for holding campus recruitment in private institutions, saying the practice was opposed to public employment policy and that the recruitment should be done only through employment exchanges or through public advertisements inviting applications from eligible candidates from across the country.

In September, however, the Court in an interim order vacated a stay granted on a PIL seeking cancellation of campus recruitments by PSUs in private institutions and the IIT-M. “It is just an interim order. The offers are subject to final judgement so most PSUs have avoided going to IIT campuses this year,” said an official at IIT-M.

Last year, nearly nine PSUs were at IIT-M for recruitment of which many were ‘A’ grade employers paying close to Rs. 10 lakh a year. They recruited over 21 students. Most of the students had to join other companies or wait for a long time to get on board. Appointments of many students across IITs placed in PSUs before February have been put on hold, said sources.

The enthusiasm among students to join PSUs is not that great either, though many are of the opinion that having them in the list of recruiters does make a difference.

“The number of PSUs who come for campus recruitments is few and they have high recruiting standards. Not many students secure placements easily in PSUs. The postgraduate students are the ones who are keener to get into them,” said a B. Tech mechanical student.

B. Nagarajan, deputy registrar, training, placement & public relations, said, “There is not much different in the placement logistics because of the absence of the PSUs. We have more companies this year offering postings in both Indian and foreign locations. So the students have enough opportunities.”

The PSUs, on the other hand, seem to be comfortable with the idea of recruiting students though the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) administered by the IITs.

Companies such as Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), Power Grid, NTPC Limited, Gas Authority of India Limited and National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) have already announced their vacancies and eagerness to recruit high scorers of GATE.

An HR manager at one of the PSUs said, “More than 50 per cent of the core division strength comes from engineering campuses in many reputed PSUs. Recruiting through GATE is a good idea but we may also lose out on IIT graduates who can add much to the quality of processes here.”

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