Andhra Pradesh

Upset IIPE students stage protest as campus placements fail to come by

IIPE Director V.S.R.K. Prasad interacting with students staging a silent protest on the campus, in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

IIPE Director V.S.R.K. Prasad interacting with students staging a silent protest on the campus, in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Only five chemical engineering students recruited by HPCL and one by Infosys; the remaining 86 students stare at uncertain future

Students at the prestigious Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) are a worried lot after only two recruiters turned up for campus selections, and hiring only six students out of a batch of 92 students.

The first batch of B.Tech students at IIPE will graduate from the institute in May this year, and the students are up in arms against the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and are planning to stage a silent protest on the campus as placements have been far from satisfactory.

IIPE, nominated as an Institute of National Importance and ranked on par with IITs and IIMs, was started with much fanfare on the Andhra University campus in 2016.

Promises not kept

Students say that the institute, which is promoted by the Ministry, and has major oil and natural gas PSUs as its stakeholders, has fallen short of its promise made to students during its inception.

The institute was launched by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who had promised 100% placements to students and had even gone to the extent of stating that students would be given offer letters along with their degree certificates.

Mr. Pradhan had made this statement in the presence of Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, students said.

So far, HPCL has recruited only five students from the chemical engineering stream, while Infosys, from the non-core sector, has recruited one student.

In 2016, IIPE was started with two main streams of B.Tech (Petroleum) and B.Tech (Chemical), and 46 students were admitted into each stream, based on IIT/JEE (Advance) ranks.

“Almost all IITs and other major petroleum institutes such as Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology in Jais, Uttar Pradesh, and Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, have completed their recruitment formalities by December 2019, and the companies are yet to come to our institute,” the students lamented.

‘Institute not to be blamed’

The 92 students of the first batch were joined by 300 students from the first, second and third year in the silent protest. The students said that the director of the institute and his team have done their best to invite top companies from the oil sector, but the companies did not turn up.

They blame the Ministry for not taking the initiative. “If the Ministry desires, it can ask PSUs and private sector companies to visit our campus and fulfil its promise. We will continue our protest till we get an assurance from the Ministry,” they said.

According to Prof. V.S.R.K. Prasad, Director of IIPE, the institute is trying its best to bring companies to the campus. Public sector majors like Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Oil India Limited (OIL), are likely to come. “But we need more companies to come for campus placements and have asked the students to be patient, as the Ministry has promised to do something. We have also prepared an action plan to address the issue on a war-footing,” Prof. Prasad said.

Budget allocations

IIPE was initiated by the MoPNG in 2016 and began functioning from a temporary campus at Andhra University College of Engineering. The Ministry had provided a capital budget of ₹650 crore, with the major oil PSUs chipping in with another ₹200 crore as an endowment fund, which is matched by the Ministry with another ₹200 crore, taking the total allotment to about ₹1,050 crore.

The Central Government has so far allotted ₹94 crore in the last three budgets, including ₹32 crore in the latest budget.

In April 2017, it was accorded the status of Institute of National Importance on par with IITs and IIMs.

The State government had allotted 200 acres of land for a permanent campus at Vangali village in Sabbavaram in Visakhapatnam, the construction of which is yet to begin.

The campus has been designed by ace architect Hafeez Contractor and the conceptual plan is yet to be finalised by the CPWD. “We expect the plans to be approved shortly and the construction is set to begin in July or August this year,” said Prof. Prasad.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:11:54 PM |

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