Only two in the first batch of 120 at Anna varsity have been recruited so far

When the DMK government started Tamil-medium engineering courses in 2010, the students were promised bright job prospects, including those in the government sector.

Today, the first batch of Tamil-medium engineering students at Anna University is a worried lot. The placements began in August first week and will go on till next month. Over 10 companies have visited the campus and recruited over 2,000 engineering students, but only two of the 120 Tamil-medium students have been selected.

“The situation is worse in other colleges where placements have not even been announced. While many companies don’t openly discriminate against Tamil-medium students, their testing procedures are meant to be cracked only by those who are good at English,” said S. Radhakrishnan, an associate professor. He says 80 per cent of the placement scene is dominated by the IT industry that stresses on communication skills.

Many of the students face problems with the aptitude tests of most companies that include sections on verbal ability and comprehension passages. “Less than 10 of us even managed to clear these tests. The two who got through had studied in English-medium schools,” said a student. Even those who got shortlisted for interviews said they could not make it through because they were expected to answer in English. “It could help us if the college prepares us for these tests,” said the student.

Anna University was the first institution in the country to introduce Tamil as a medium of instruction in civil and mechanical engineering courses. The courses were started in government engineering colleges in Tindivanam, Ariyaloor, Ramanathapuram, Thirukkuvalai, Panrutti, Pattukkottai, Dindugal, Nagercoil, Thoothukkudi, Arani and Tiruchi.

Most of the Tamil-medium engineering students hail from poor backgrounds in rural areas. “All of us have taken loans. The reason we joined this course was because they were popularised. But here, we are considered as not having the necessary skill set,” said another student.

While most corporates have rejected them, there has been no announcement from the government on their present job prospects, though they were assured three years ago they would be preferred for government jobs.  

“We don’t have any orders from the government to get information on engineering vacancies and coordinate with colleges or the employment exchange,” said an official from the education department.

Anna University officials said they have been trying to make sure the Tamil-medium engineering students got through companies. “The reason we introduced the courses was to increase the enrolment of students from Tamil-medium schools.  It is a positive sign that we have more than 400 students studying Tamil engineering. We are sure core companies across the State and government department will value their skills,” said an official.

  • When the courses were started, the students were assured of government jobs

  • Many of the students face problems with the aptitude tests and interviews