Secure jobs and promising career prospects have made the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) increasingly popular among engineering students, who are looking forward to working with the good old ‘Maharatnas’ and ‘Navratnas’, and earning a handsome salary.
A total of 10.33 lakh candidates registered themselves for GATE-2014, up 20 per cent as compared to the previous year.
In all, 17 PSUs will use GATE scores to recruit engineers this year, including Visakhapatnam Steel Plant that will offer a CTC of Rs.9 lakh.
Other top PSUs that recruit through GATE are NHPC, HPCL, GAIL, NTPC, IOCL, and BPCL. The Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL) also accepts GATE scores for its Fellowship programmes.
In Visakhapatnam alone, the number of candidates appearing for GATE has more than doubled, according to the city-based GATE coaching institutes.
This year, there were approximately 24,000 GATE applicants from the city, as against 10,000 in the year 2010-11.
“The main reason behind this is the growing intake of the number of students in popular engineering colleges in the city and the dwindling campus recruitments. Jobs have come down and, hence, students are looking at other avenues. GATE has become more relevant in such a scenario,” J.V. Murty, Director of TIME, told The Hindu .
Vizag’s top scorer in GATE this year was A. Sunil Varma, who secured an all-India Rank-5 in mechanical engineering. He did his coaching from GATEFORUM.
“I wanted to do research oriented course after engineering and my focus was on GATE from my third year of college,” said Varma, an engineering student of fourth year, Andhra University.
Interestingly, many engineering students from streams like computer science, ECE, and IT are now gravitating towards GATE and are giving the coveted CAT a miss.
“These engineers find GATE a better option than an MBA to land jobs in reputed PSUs, which offer an annual package between Rs.6 lakh and Rs.10 lakh a year, better than what most B-school graduates get,” Mr. Murty said.
He expects the number of GATE applicants to go up further in the coming year.
According to statistics, Andhra Pradesh had the highest percentage of candidates qualifying in GATE last year with 22,480, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 22,400, and Maharashtra in the third position with 9,900.