This is the general trend in technical institutions: NIE principal

Slow industrial growth and the downturn in the economy have impacted campus recruitment in engineering colleges, which is evident from the low turnout of employers at the annual headhunt.

While some reputed companies have kept their trysts with prestigious institutions, such as the National Institute of Engineering (NIE) or the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE), the overall number of jobs on offer has come down. These companies have cut ties with second-rung engineering colleges altogether.

Admitting that recruitment was slow compared to the earlier years, G.L. Shekar, principal, NIE, told The Hindu that this was the general trend in all technical institutions. Mass recruiters do conduct campus recruitment tests at NIE but have issued job offers to only 50 per cent of the candidates shortlisted.

H.S. Prasanna, who heads NIE’s training & placement division, pointed out that there was no appreciable increase in the number of companies conducting recruitments. During 2011–12 more than 80 companies visited NIE and recruited 92 per cent of the 535 undergraduate students and 100 postgraduate students. This year, about 40 companies visited the campus and only 300 out of 525 students were placed.

B.G. Sangameshwar, Principal, SJCE, concurred with Mr. Prasanna’s view. He said 56 companies had visited the campus this year for recruitment, as against the 85 companies that came last year.

“Reputed colleges are still better off than fledgling institutions that have yet to make a mark; companies have not visited those colleges at all,” he added.

Companies like Wipro and TCS have reduced their intake, while bluechip companies such as Mercedes-Benz or Toyota made niche recruitments. Of the 800 students, 613 have received job offers so far, according to Prof. Sangameshwar.

The economic slowdown has forced many companies’ human resources departments to rethink their approach to recruitment. “Many companies have stopped visiting colleges altogether. Instead, they have resorted to organising a drive in which all potential job-seekers from different engineering colleges come to a nodal centre for tests and interview,” said Mr. Prasanna.

The downturn in the job market is at variance with the projected growth and prognosis offered by leading companies. “The growth in the automobile sector and the projected job potential painted an optimistic picture. The decline set in barely a year after they released their reports, so one has to take such statistics brought out by reputed multinational organisations — which failed to foresee the economic slump — with a pinch of salt in the future,” Prof. Shekar said.

While the number of private companies visiting the campus has declined, the public sector was conspicuous by its absence, according to Mr. Prasanna. Even so, slow recruitment has resulted in an increase in the number of students opting for higher studies, he added.

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