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Recruitment agencies toy with engineering students

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The Hindu | | P. Sujatha Varma |

Placement officers of engineering colleges are up arms against recruitment and assessment agencies that are extracting a hefty premium from managements for facilitating on-campus recruitment by corporates, and sometimes even faking it all. “Colleges have become happy hunting grounds for ‘middlemen’ who make false promises to bring companies to campus and charge the managements huge sums money,”” said a placement officer. “Some of them even bring fake selection panels to colleges. Last year, almost 50 per cent of the colleges discovered that they had been cheated by these fake companies.” Fake or genuine, placement firms have established a hold on engineering colleges which have their backs to the wall: high placements lead to better ratings, and low placements lead to seats going abegging. The 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh have 328 engineering colleges. There are many more seats available than there are admission seekers. The seat glut has made engineering education a buyer’s market and students prefer colleges with higher placement percentages. As a consequence, colleges try to climb up the ratings table by hiring recruitment agencies that charge a premium to bring recruiters to the campus. Some really desperate colleges have even ganged up with fake placement agencies to rig the whole hiring process.

The modus operandi is to put together a fake selection panel, charge the students for the placement exercise and conduct farcical interviews. Some students are even ‘selected’’. The students realise they have been taken for a ride only when they fail to receive the appointment letter after waiting for a long time. Some of the more brazen ‘recruiters’ even demand additional money for “influencing the HR personnel to make things work”. Said one training and placement officer (TPO) of a prominent engineering college: “I know of one instance in which a college management gifted a gold bracelet to the HR officer of a company.” Some of these agencies come to college, asses the students and share their score with corporate companies who then shortlist candidates and invite them for final discussions. These agencies demand a huge subscription fee for this benefit. For instance, in one college, each student was asked to pay a sum of Rs. 1,138 — without any job guarantee. “Such expenses are a huge financial burden for students like me. But we badger our parents in the hope that this will help our career take off,” says U. Lakshmi, a B.Tech final-year student. To cut the middlemen out of the picture, training and placement officers of engineering colleges have decided to come together and put in place a mechanism to verify the credentials of the recruiting companies. Colleges have become happy hunting grounds for ‘middlemen’ who make false promises to bring companies to campus and charge the managements huge sums of money . A placement officer  – Courtesy


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