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58% of engineering students didn’t get jobs during campus placements this year

Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey  |   New Delhi Jul 14, 2018 |

The increase in jobs for new graduates is good news, but also means that 58% of engineering students across the country still need to find employment.

Campus placements for engineering students crossed the 40% mark (and hit 42%) for the first time in five years in 2017-18 on the back of more hiring by companies coupled with the closure of engineering colleges and lower enrolments. While it is alarming that 58% of engineering students across the country were still unable to find a job on campus, the 42% proportion is much higher than what it has been in the past. According to data from the All India Council for Technical Education, the figure was 38.39% in 2016-17 and 31.95% in 2013-14. While more hiring was the driving force behind this, the closure of engineering colleges and lower enrolments helped too. The enrolment figure in 2017-18 declined to 750,000 from 944,000 in 2013-14. Currently, 3225 engineering institutes under the AICTE, India’s apex technical education regulator, offer undergraduate courses. The number of institutes have declined from 3400 in 2014-15. The poor enrolment rate prompted several states to ask the AICTE to ban the creation of more seats in engineering colleges. A number of states such as Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan submitted petitions to the AICTE, which reports to the Union human resource development ministry, not to set up new technical institutions. According to people familiar with the developments, there has been an increase in the number of campus placements as the government had made internships mandatory to increase the so-called employability of students. Those who have successfully interned at companies find a job easier to land. “More than 3.8 lakh students in third year secured summer internships, which is a major achievement. The number will go up further this year and will reflect in more students getting placed,” said a senior AICTE official on condition of anonymity.

A similar trend is seen with students enrolled for diploma and post-graduate courses in engineering institutions under the AICTE. In post- graduate programs, enrolment dropped from 100000 in 2012-13 to 68000 in 2017-18. Placements increased from 18% to 21% in the same period. Among diploma students, the enrolment figure dropped marginally from 680,000 to 670,000, while placements increased from 18.6% to 24%. According to experts, the poor enrolment can be attributed to a near-stagnant job market for engineers or availability of more career options for students from non-engineering fields, which is making students turn to other fields of study. “First of all, there is not much difference statistically. There are always errors in such reporting and this could be within the margin of error. Second, there is a reduction in number of graduates, and hence the same number of jobs would result in higher fraction of graduates getting a job. Third, the average quality of graduates may have gone up slightly since it is the poor quality colleges that are shutting down and students today have better access to quality education through MOOCs and other online material. So lots of factors adding tiny bit each. The internships may have also added a tiny bit. I wouldn’t agree that internships are the major reason,” said Dheeraj Sanghi, professor at IIT Kanpur. – Courtesy

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Nissan sets up first global digital hub in Kerala, India, to hire 500 this fiscal

The Economic Times |  PTI |   Jun 29, 2018 |

It will focus on digitisation of Nissan’s current manufacturing and engineering capabilities and enhancing customer experience to take it to the next level

Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Co today said it is establishing its first global centre for digital operations in India and will hire around 500 people for the same by the end of this fiscal.  The Nissan Digital Hub, to be set up in Kerala, will be followed by a number of software and information technology development centres in Asia, Europe and North America, the company said.  The Kerala centre will focus on building new-age digital capability to enhance user experiences, product development capabilities, security and connectivity in line with the advent of autonomous, connected and electric vehicle technologies. “We are building our team up for this new-age digital capability. We thought that India would be a great market for us from a technology and talent perspective,” Nissan Motor Corporation Chief Information Officer Tony Thomas told PTI.

He said developing such new-age capability has been necessitated by the transformation happening in the automotive industry across the globe with respect to manufacturing, automation, engineering design and how cars are sold. It has become even more important with the the advent of autonomous and connected cars along with emergence of electric vehicle technology, he added. Commenting on the role of the new centre, for which the company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kerala government today, Thomas said,”This is for the global market. The talent that we are building here will be serving all over the globe for Nissan”.  The centre, which will be initially located at Technopark – owned by the state government in Thiruvananthapuram before moving to a permanent location in the city, will focus on two key aspects, he said.  “The first is to take the current IT capability that we have and evolve it to the next generation,” Thomas added.

It will focus on digitisation of Nissan’s current manufacturing and engineering capabilities and enhancing customer experience to take it to the next level.  The second part, he said, would be on development of security and data analysis to cater to the needs of modern cars, which have become “computer on wheels”.  “Connected, electric and autonomous cars, a lot of technologies go into these cars. (There is a) need for security and analysis of data…We will be focusing on building some of those capabilities here to serve our company,” Thomas said.  When asked how big the centre would be in terms of manpower, he said,”Our assumption is that we will have about 500-odd employees here driving outcomes for Nissan across the globe”.  The centre will start with around 20-odd people.  “We have almost 100 offers ready to go as soon as we finalise with the government. Before the end of the fiscal we will hit 500 or more,” he said.   Thomas said Nissan will also work with its partners to build an ecosystem for future technology at the centre.  “We will be building it up. From thereon, based on our performance we will build up and the number (head count) will grow up,” he added.  Nissan Chairman (Africa, Middle East and India region) Peyman Kargar said, “The creation of Nissan’s first global Digital Hub in India reflects our commitment to this growing market and our belief in investing in India for the long term”.  Harnessing the skills and talents of the workforce in India is another way that Nissan is working to capture the full potential of the region, Kargar added. Nissan, along with its alliance partner Renault, has a manufacturing facility near Chennai with a potential annual capacity of 4.8 lakh vehicles.  The alliance also has a global R&D centre in Chennai, employing 7,000 engineers engaged on several projects, including vehicle and technology development. – Courtesy

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Alarm bells for engineering, MBA students: AICTE chief says jobs are drying up in IT, BPO sectors

The Economic Times | ET Online Jun 20, 2018 |

The head of India’s premier technical education body sees a grave future for engineering and MBA students on the job front. “Days for big recruitment sectors such as IT and BPO industry are over and there would be no mass hiring industries in India in the near future,” All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe told a TV channel in an interview. The job scenario in large-scale industries, according to Sahasrabhudhe, is stagnating but small and medium enterprises hold out hope. IT and BPO have seen a steep decline in job offers. According to a survey, the IT sector registered a 32 per cent decline in job offers followed by BPO sector at 30 per cent. Sahasrabudhe said jobs will now be generated outside the main sectors such as ancillary sectors and startups.

The AICTE chief also has a word of caution for the pharma sector, dismissing the recent surge in education in the sector as just a bubble that may “burst in the next two years like MBA and B-tech courses”. “Since almost all the seats in pharma were getting filled, people thought that there is a big demand in that sector and therefore they applied for more colleges this year. However, these will also have the same fate as management and engineering in the next one or two years,” he said. In 2016-17, more than half of MBA graduates could not get hired in campus placements, as per AICTE data. Last year, a study by employability assessment company, Aspiring Minds, claimed that 95 per cent of engineers in the country were not fit for jobs. Industry veterans have also warned about unskilled Indian youth. Recently, CP Gurnani, CEO & MD of Tech Mahindra said that 94 per cent of engineering graduated were not fit for hiring, while chairman of Manipal Global Education, TV Mohandas Pai claimed that the country has 10 crore people in the 21-35 age-group with bad skills, who are unsuited for the economy. – Courtesy

10% rise in placements of IIT MTech students

The Pioneer | Wednesday, 20 June 2018 | Staff Reporter | NEW DELHI |

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has claimed an increase of 10 per cent in the placement for its M.Tech students. According to IIT-D job offered in some “non- traditional” and “interdisciplinary” streams have increased this year in the placement. “Interdisciplinary streams like energy studies, industrial tribology (ITMMEC), atmospheric oceanic science andtechnology and Opto-Electronics and Optical Communication have seen a buoyant placement this year,” stated press release from IIT-D. As many as 202 M.Tech students were placed this year as against 183 last year through Training  and Placement(T and P) processes. Undergraduate placements including the five years integrated course pegged at 540. A maximum of 273 placements went to the core (technical) category followed by 187 and 133 placements in the IT and analytics sectors respectively.

IIT-D informed that Energy Studies, an interdisciplinary stream having courses spanning electrical engineering, Physics and mechanical engineering, has registered a near cent percent placement while other Interdisciplinary areas have also mapped a “vibrant placement trajectory”. Shivam Garg, a student placed from Industrial Tribology and Maintenance Engineering stream feels that the trend is fundamentally because of industrial demand for knowledge in an interdisciplinary domain.  “Industry today expects that a candidate must have knowledge of more than one domain.Companies are therefore preferring those branches where people are capable of handling and solving problems related to multiple domains,” he said. – Courtesy

94% of IT engineering graduates not fit for hiring: C P Gurnani CEO of Tech Mahindra

Times of India | Pankaj Doval | TNN |  Jun 4, 2018 | Opinion |  NEW DELHI: Is hiring in the IT sector under any kind of stress? Will you hire more?

Tech Mahindra CEO C P Gurnani is laying the foundation for the next level of growth at his company. Skilling of manpower and logging into new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cyber-security and machine learning remain the biggest challenge for Indian IT players, says Gurnani in an exclusive interview to TOI.

Let me give you an example from a city like Delhi. A student scoring 60% marks cannot pursue BA-English today, but can definitely go in for engineering. My point is simple — are we not creating people for unemployment? … The Indian IT industry wants skills. For example, Nasscom says 6 million people are required in cybersecurity by 2022. But we have a skills shortage. The point is if I am looking for a robotics person and instead I get a mainframe person, then it creates a skill gap. This comes as a big challenge.

How serious is the skill-gap situation?

If you come to Tech Mahindra, I have created a five-acre tech & learning centre. Other top companies have also created similar facilities to skill employees. For learnability, skill development and being ready for the market, the onus is now shifting onto the industry… Despite all this, the top 10 IT companies take only 6% of the engineering graduates. What happens to the remaining 94%?

Will hiring be impacted?

Hiring is going to be impacted. One reason is that the equation is now no longer linear. For example, earlier for every million dollars of revenue, 20 people were hired. The equation is changing because of increasing productivity, automation and further tools. The same million dollars will equal 15 new jobs. You need 25% lesser people.

Coming to the voices emanating from the US over the H-1B issue, is it a cause for concern for IT companies? Are the tensions over?

To be very candid, every small issue is made big. The number of educated spouses is not more than 90,000 from where this story has been made. This in a population of 330 million. You are trying to shut doors on them as it is a populist move. The industry will move on… (and) every company will come up with their own strategy of dealing with it. But, there is all evidence of a shortage of skilled labour. Sooner than later, the US has to realise that the equilibrium has to set in. I believe that if the US does not want the products to be developed on their shores, the products will get developed in some other country. The US has always benefited from the fact that it was the best destination for talent. Now, it is their problem to solve.

So, do you feel that there can be a flight of innovation from the US to other countries?

This is already happening, and there are evidences. The Canadian Prime Minister openly declares that, “Don’t go to the US, come to Canada”. He is openly using it as an opportunity.

What are your views on cybersecurity and how vulnerable are we?

There is now recognition of the requirement for cybersecurity, but there isn’t enough push happening for it. I consider that only 15% of ventures want cybersecurity needs… that almost 70% of us are vulnerable… It’s a proven fact that in terms of passwords, 80% of the people use their date of birth, or ‘abcde’, and so on. We are so predictable. – Courtesy

Engineering graduates tricked by fake ONGC job offers

People Matters | Drishti Pant | 21 May 2018 |

Several engineering graduates from across India arrived at ONGC’s Delhi office with fake appointment letters for which each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh.

Representational Image

On March 7, 2018, two men from Hyderabad came to the Delhi office of ONGC and showed their appointment letters for the post of graduate engineer trainees at Eastern Offshore Asset, ONGC at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. After conducting an internal inquiry, the officials concluded that the letters were fake and informed the candidate that their selection was not registered.  Later, the vigilance department of ONGC contacted the two aspirants for more details where they were informed that a job consultancy firm in Hyderabad promised them the job. In fact, each candidate had given Rs 10 lakh for the job under the ministry quota to the crooks, who contacted them through a placement agency in Hyderabad. Reportedly, the accused even conducted interviews inside Krishi Bhavan. Now, the Delhi Police is examining this multilevel job racket after ONGC informed them and brought this scandal to light.

One of the candidates shared that they met an agent based in Delhi in April 2017 who promised the job under the ministry quota. He told them that his brother-in-law is working with ONGC and asked them to send their documents to the agent. Later they also received a mail from ‘ONGC HR department’ through the email id ‘hrd.ministry@ongc.co.in.’ After a few days, the candidate received another email that confirmed his interview for the post of assistant executive engineer and asked him to report at ‘Recruitment Cell, ONGC, Krishi Bhavan’ on August 24. He shares that there were six more candidates from Hyderabad at the location. Four days after the interview, he got a mail confirming his selection and a pay grade of Rs 24,000-50,500 with a 3 percent increment per year. While investigating the matter the company’s vigilance inquiry found that the signature on the offer letter had some resemblance to the officials from HR department. While the standard format was not followed, the examination of the email ID indicated their origin from ONGC domain thus indicating the involvement of an insider. In the preliminary investigation, the police have found that the consultancy firm has shut down and the phone numbers used by the crooks are not functional. They are further looking into the matter and searching for the cons that pulled off this job racket. – Courtesy

Engineering is the most searched job by Indians on LinkedIn

People Matters | Anushree Sharma | 02 May 2018 |

LinkedIn data points that Mechanical and Software engineering job roles were five of the top 10 most viewed job posts in India in 2017. According to the data revealed by LinkedIn, Indians yearn for engineering job profiles, while the rest of Asia looks at consultancy roles. Mechanical and Software engineering job positions were five of the top 10 most viewed job posts in India in the year 2017.

Irfan Abdulla, Director, LinkedIn Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions India and South Asia, states, “India has always been a den for engineers, and we see close to a million engineering graduates in the country every year. So it is not unusual that many of the most searched jobs on LinkedIn in India are for engineering roles.” 

The data also revealed that financial job roles like Finance and Risk Analyst, Investment Analyst, Analysts for private equity, were preferred in South-East Asia. Also, consulting job roles like Management Consultant and Junior Consultant in Boston Consulting Group (BCG) were consistently on the Top-10 list in other APAC countries. One of the prime reasons for the popularity of consulting roles could be the opportunity to create business impact at an individual level. Consulting roles seems to accelerate one’s career, and give an opportunity for the individual to become well-rounded and experienced.

Another finding that was worth noting was the candidate’s preference for MNC’s over homegrown companies. In terms of employers, MNCs as well as homegrown companies are expanding and are always looking for good technical talent that is upskilled and ready for the future,” said Irfan Abdulla, director – LinkedIn Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions, India and South Asia. LinkedIn noted. Eight of the top 10 job posts were by MNCs. The remaining two were those from Tata Motors and Paytm (for the role of product manager). A similar finding was noted across Asia-Pacific. “This indicates that job-seekers prefer global companies that showcase a promise of strong career path ahead, alongside that of the company’s upward trajectory,” said Abdulla. – Courtesy

Employability of fresh engineering graduates is rising, says survey

Live Mint |  Thu, Feb 08 2018 | Prashant K. Nanda |

Among fresh engineers, employability is even higher, says the survey

New Delhi: Employability of Indian graduates is rising, a new survey has found, questioning conventional wisdom that many of them are not trained to start work. Among fresh engineers, employability is even higher, says the survey. The survey conducted jointly by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), United Nations Development Program, leading human resource consultancy Peoplestrong and skill assessment firm Wheebox, said that “this year, employability score has taken a big leap as compared to last year.” Since 2014, overall employability among graduates has risen from 34% to 46%, a jump of more than 35%. In other words, nearly one out of two fresh graduates are employable now, up from one out of every three four years back. Fresh engineers, often termed largely unemployable, were found to have 52% employability. Within the engineering domain, those pursuing computer sciences have the highest employability, says the report that surveyed 510,000 students and 120 companies.

The survey showed that in 2018, most of the higher education domains have showed improvement in job-readiness of fresh graduates. However, employability of graduates of management institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and bachelor in commerce are showing a negative trend. “MBA is the new B-Tech,” said the report, underlining how management education quality has slipped. Overall, the improvement in the employability factor will have three key impacts—one, the competitiveness of graduates will improve, more quality employment will be demanded, sharpening the jobs debate in India, and third, industries will find it easier to get a job-ready workforce. “This is good news for the economy and for industries. And the effort put in by authorities and institutions were showing results. But the employment scenario is changing swiftly and jobs that were on demand five years back, may not be favourites now or two years hence. So, everyone needs to be on their toes,” said Nirmal Singh, chief executive of Wheebox, which conducted the skill assessments of students for the survey.

Among states, Delhi was on top with nearly 75% of its graduates being termed as employable. Other than the capital city, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are the other top states in terms of graduate employability. Bengaluru, Chennai and Indore are the top three cities in terms of employability. Automation will be a key disrupter in the jobs market, study showed. It said “32% respondents claim that automation is affecting 10 to 40% of existing jobs. Engineering, automobiles, manufacturing, consumer durables and core sectors have highest responses of this impact category.” The survey said more companies showed higher hiring intent in 2018. The overall hiring trend suggests that graduation courses and engineering graduation or equivalent courses are high in demand as both put together 45% of total hiring requirements. It further said fresh graduates and employees with up to five years of experience are in high demand and their improved employability will positively impact productivity. AICTE chief Anil Sahasrabudhe claimed his organization, which is the apex technical education regulator, has taken suitable measures to make students industry ready. He said the council will take inputs of this survey in further improving the quality of technical education. – Courtesy

BTech students enjoy edge over postgraduates in job hunt

The Times of India | Ardhra Nair | TNN |  Jan 24, 2018 |

PUNE: Students with BTech degree are turning out to be much more in demand than those armed with MTech in the job market with the recruiters willing to pay the undergrads considerably more. On one hand, the low level of research in engineering is a matter of concern. On the other hand, a review of the placement packages offered to postgraduate students reveals that all is not well with the MTech education. The highest annual salary package offered to a BTech student is, on an average, about 5-time higher than what is offered to one with an MTech degree. Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) has one of the highest packages offered to BTech students in the city. “Our highest package for BTech is over Rs 30 lakh per annum. In contrast, the highest package offered to MTech students is around Rs 4.5 lakh per annum,” said S Narkhede, training and placement officer, PICT. Most of the times, he said, the postgraduate students do not meet the criteria laid down by companies for recruitment. “There have been instances of the postgraduate students not being able to write a simple code. Despite the expansions in the service sector, they don’t want to go for it as they have specialised in a core subject,” Narkhede said.

The situation is same for Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering (PCCoE). “We have about 72 students in the postgraduate sector, of whom 55% have been placed. In the undergraduate sector, 80% of our students have found placement,” said Shitalkumar Rawandale, training and placement officer of the institute. Statistics of College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) also reveal an almost similar situation. The highest package offered to an undergraduate student is over Rs 30 lakh per annum with the average salary being over Rs 8 lakh. ” Out the of 300-plus students, 140 have found placement. The highest package offered is Rs 9 lakh per annum. Most students getting placement in the service sector get a salary of Rs 3.5 lakh per annum. The core companies, however, pay more,” said Uttam Chaskar, training and placement officer. Ketaki Kulkarni, training and placement officer at Vishwakarma Group of Institutes, said, “When it comes to postgraduate students, only about 50% students are placed. The average placement package offered to MTech students is arround Rs 3.5 lakh per annum and the highest package is around Rs 7 lakh a year. Most of these students come directly after graduation without any industry experience. They lack hands-on training. As a result, they are considered on a par with the undergraduate students,” she said.Chaskar said the problem is that the students coming for MTech in COEP are from diverse backgrounds. “Their fundamentals are weak and most of them looking for a brand name. Our BTech students form the creamy layer who get selected after CET and they are extremely bright. Most companies are aware about this,” he added. – Courtesy

I would be quite optimistic if I am an engineer in India even today: Rishad Premji, Wipro

Economic Times | ET NowDec 20, 2017 | Opinion |   Edited excerpts  |

In an interview with ET Now, Rishad Premji , Chief Strategy Officer, Wipro, says there is always employability for relevant skills.

Rishad Premji

What is your view on skilling in IT sector?
Given how much change is happening in the technology space, the lifespan of skills is becoming much shorter and as a consequence the need to upgrade faster is that much more important. Upgrading of skills, moving your capabilities into new skill areas is very, very important and organisations and the IT industry is very focused on helping people get there. Reskilling of people to move into new technology areas is a big focus today.

While it is about doom and gloom and hiring at Nasscom that you are part of, you sort of clarified, that there are enough jobs. Would you really put the onus there on jobs while it is the right skill set that is really required now?, It is not as bad as it is really made out to be?
There is always employability for relevant skills. Look I think there is a still a lot of growth potential in the industry from an employment standpoint as well. The speed may not be as fast as it has been historically but certainly there is an opportunity for growth. You have seen what the industry added last year which is 150,000 people net jobs. I think it will add a similar number this year. There is still a lot of growth in the industry both in terms of overall revenue growth and employability.

What would like to tell an engineering graduate who is at college right now looking for a job?
Be optimistic. There is huge opportunity in terms of what your engineering degree can do for creating employment whether it be with IT services companies, some of the product companies or in the start-up ecosystem. I would be quite optimistic if I am an engineer in India even today.
What would like to tell an engineering graduate who is at college right now looking for a job?
Be optimistic. There is huge opportunity in terms of what your engineering degree can do for creating employment whether it be with IT services companies, some of the product companies or in the start-up ecosystem. I would be quite optimistic if I am an engineer in India even today. – Courtesy