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First Post | Kausik Gangopadhyay | March, 27 2017 | Opinion |
Technology giant HCL announced a transformative scheme recently under which high school graduates with 85 percent marks will find a technical job in the company, with a part-time facility to get a college degree. The scheme, launched on 24 March, is an interesting development that has the potential to implement a disassociation of education from employment. Education has largely been associated with quality of living for more than a century. Even today, people pursue their interest in music or Sanskrit to enrich their lives rather than for gainful employment. However, it is a truism that technical education-courses, like Bachelors in Engineering or Bachelors in Technology, are inherently tied to employment and job prospects.
Michael Spence, a Nobel laureate economist, explained this association: Even if the value of education is nothing – a cynical view, but this idea helps to illustrate the underlying point quite well – high calibre people will educate themselves in order to separate themselves, to their prospective employers, from their low-calibre counterparts, who are incapable of pursuing this education. The employers will offer the job to the educated person, understanding that the educated are the high-calibre people. So do professional courses, like a B Tech in an IIT, function as Spencean signalling beacons? It is not a unreasonable proposition if we consider the fact that a coaching-school teacher in Kota, who trains students for the prestigious IIT Joint Entrance Examination, often earns a far fatter salary than an IIT professor.
The entry to IIT is more valuable to all involved in the game than the actual education in the IIT, as the entry offers the signalling of high-calibre-ship. For the same reason, an IITian trained in mechanical or civil engineering for four years, taking up an information technology sector job at the entry level is a common occurrence. Once it becomes clear to students that the employers are largely interested in their IIT brand, their commitment to engineering education can only diminish. Our engineering education has Spencean signalling written all over it. Now, with the proliferation of engineering colleges of all hues, engineering has become the choice for a common student compared to its role as an extra-ordinary choice a generation ago. In this era of ubiquitous coaching institutes, questions often arise if the entrance examinations are good enough to identify raw talent devoid of coaching. The signalling mechanism is faltering. What happens if the signalling is easy and cannot distinguish between the high-calibre and low-calibre individuals? The Spencean model conceives of a pooling equilibrium in which everybody undertakes much education that hardly helps most people.
A report in The Economist finds that though India produces twice as many engineers as the United States, less than five percent of the engineers are fit to work in a quality product firm. The unnecessary education drains the society’s resources without proportionate gains. The road for social welfare lies in prospective employers’ ignoring of this signal. Fortunately, HCL took the courageous first step to delink engineering education from job opportunity. A success of this step will mean more companies walking the HCL way and gradually a graduation degree in engineering being a certificate of education rather than being a job insurance. The other part of this story is about the increasing deterioration of our higher education standards. For our degrees to be worthy of pursuit, they must be of value and associated with performance in the related sectors.
Successive governments in India have almost exclusively focused on establishment of new educational institutes rather than improving the quality of the education. If our degrees needs to shine, they should be offered after demanding accomplishment.
Generally, the Indian education system is too theoretical. An engineer after his graduation is more often than not found only to have a theoretical understanding than a real competence to tackle the practical scenario. Our curriculum requires a revolutionary shift to make technical education tied to industry and innovativeness. The thrust of the argument will follow the same pattern in case of management institutes and degree programs. In sum, the immediate need is to raise the quality of higher education; producing an army of uneducated degree-holders is not a good idea. – The author is associate professor, economics at IIM Kozhikode. – Courtesy
ScoopWhoop | 24 March 2017 |
Going one step ahead of its competitors, HCL Technologies Ltd has embarked on a new programme to catch some of the brightest minds of the country. Unlike other companies who offer college placements, HCL will now hire students straight out of school and train them to be IT professionals, who in turn will work for the company, says a Times Of India report. ‘The programme aims to provide opportunities to bright students who do not have access to the right jobs. This will also help the company to create a dedicated workforce. We are looking at on-boarding young minds,” Srimathi Shivashankar, vice-president, HCL Technologies told Business Standard.
What is the offer?
Through this programme, HCL Technologies will train 200 high-school students (Class XII) for a year beginning April and absorb them in its firm for entry-level software jobs.
How to get into the programme?
Students need to have an average of 85% in their Class XII board exams (80% for CBSE students) to get into the programme.
What will students get to learn?
For the first nine months, students will learn a combination of basic engineering courses which includes application development, software testing, application support, and infrastructure management services. The next three months will be on-the-job training for 100 students each in its Lucknow and Madurai training campuses. Students will also get the option of pursuing a BSc degree from SSN Engineering College through a weekend college programme.
What after the course?
After the course completion, students will be taken on in various projects of HCL Technologies at a starting salary of Rs 1.8 lakh a year. – Courtesy
Hindustan Times | Shradha Chettri | New Delhi Feb 17, 2017 |
A student of Delhi Technological University (DTU) has received a job offer with an annual salary of Rs.1.25 crore from United States-based cab-hailing company Uber Technologies. This is the second-highest offer received by a student at DTU ever. In 2015, software giant Google hired a student for an annual salary of Rs.1.27 crore.
Sidharth, a computer science engineering student, has been offered the position of a software engineer at the San Francisco office of Uber, and the salary includes basic pay and other benefits. Sidharth’s basic pay package is Rs 71 lakh, which goes up to Rs 1.25 crore with other benefits. – Courtesy
India . com | By Kristina Das | January 30, 2017 |
Admissions to the MTech programme take place through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), the score for which is also used by PSUs for recruitment.
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have asked public sector undertakings (PSUs) to complete recruitment of engineering graduates before the admission process for MTech courses is completed, a move aimed at stopping students leaving their studies midway. Admission to the MTech courses is generally completed by July 15. Admissions to the MTech programme take place through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), the score for which is also used by PSUs for recruitment. According to the sources, earlier this month the request was made at a meeting of IIT directors and human resource development (HRD) ministry officials with representatives of the PSUs in Mumbai earlier this month. If the request is heeded, it will help more engineering graduates get admission in the MTech programmes at the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). About 25% MTech seats in the IITs usually fall vacant as students leave the programme midway, mainly to join PSUs, IIT officials said. Admission to the MTech courses is generally completed by July 15. According to the HT reports, the PSUs have assured to take up the matter with the government. The state-run undertakings recruit 1,500 students every year from the IITs, usually by October.
The Times of India | Hemali Chhapia | Nov 29, 2016 |
MUMBAI: For long, blue chip companies, investment firms and start-ups ruled the first edition of placements at the Indian Institutes of Technology. Phase-1 as it is called has academic institutes that have jumped up the charts this recruitment season. IIT-Bombay has seen a three-fold increase in the number of academic institutes visiting its campus this December. While there were 7 institutes last year that had signed up to recruit teaching talent, there are 20 that have already registered this time around. Most of them are India universities, many of them private and deemed universities that draw teachers from the top rung campuses. “Close to 10% of our total recruiters are academic institutes this year, thus offering a lot of options for our doctoral candidates,” said a member of the placement committee. Teachers matter to them. Even at IIT-Kanpur, 15 academic institutes have registered to pick faculty from among the masters and PhD graduates. Amrita University, private universities like Thapar, DIT (Dehradun Institute of Technology), Nashik’s Sandip University, colleges like SR Patel Engineering College and even coaching classes like Rao IIT Academy. “Generally, academic institutes are visiting the campus after the December. Six institutes/universities have already been registered this year. Last year 12 academic institutes/universities have offered 76 jobs,” said N P Padhy, professor-in-charge of Training and Placement at IIT-Roorkee. Usually relegated slots in the second segment, Manu Santhanam from IIT-Madras said that a clear picture would emerge only next semester as academic institutes hire all the way until May – June. “There is no fixed time limit for them, as they are mostly interested in the research scholars,” he said.
Sandip Jha, chairman of Sandip University, said there were plans afloat to design their engineering school on the lines of the IITs. “For that we need the best possible faculty in the country. Hence we have empanelled ourselves with all the IITs and the NITs. We pay as per UGC norms,” he added. However, the IITs have not yet seen too many international campuses travelling to pick freshers. In 2009, among the many universities shopping for faculty members was the Alfaisal University from Saudi Arabia which had landed up at several IITs and offered an annual compensation of 1.3 lakh Saudi riyals (approximately Rs 17 lakh), apart from housing and other facilities. Again, Texas A&M University, seeking to recruit for its Qatar campus, was scouting IIT-Madras for talent. Indian educational institutes recruiting IIT graduates for faculty positions offer less than half the remuneration offered by their international counterparts. A faculty member at IIT-Bombay pointed out that “a very, very small of MTechs” take up teaching jobs. “At the end of the placement season, it will be interesting to be see how many of these universities actually get serious students,” he added. – Courtesy
The Times of India | TNN | Nov 22, 2016 |
MADURAI: A petition has been filed before the Madurai bench of the Madras high court demanding equal opportunities in giving campus placements to students studying in government and private engineering colleges and deemed universities in the state. The court will soon hear the petition whether it is maintainable to be heard by it. One Jawaharlal Nehru from Karur filed the petition. The petitioner’s counsel wanted the court to give a direction to the state government and NASSCOM chairman to set up a transparent mechanism for campus placement, on behalf of Indian and multinational companies, in government and private engineering colleges and deemed universities in the state. According to the petitioner, there are 50 government, private and Anna University constituent engineering colleges besides deemed universities from which three lakh students successfully come out every year.
The students are given admission in institutions as per academic merit. But, they are not given equal opportunities in employment. The state government is providing all infrastructure facilities – land, water, electricity, to the multinational companies by keeping in mind the overall welfare of the state and career opportunity of the students, for which the money is used from the public exchequer. But, the companies conduct recruitment drives in 30 to 40 colleges in the state and leave the remaining colleges. Last year, it provided thousands of offers to the students in those colleges and a single student got up to five offers. There are companies which never visit most of the government engineering colleges and the university colleges, where meritorious students are studying. The act of the companies is inequality among equals, which is a violation of the Indian Constitution, the petitioner alleged.Due to lack of opportunities, bright young engineers get only poor paid jobs like clerk, security staff and office assistants. In some cases, they have become anti-social elements by committing serious offences. In the US, there is a body to provide equal employment opportunity which ensures no discrimination while providing jobs. Therefore, the companies having utilised the benefits, the state has rendered to them, need to provide equal opportunities to the students. Regarding that, a representation was sent to the state’s chief secretary, secretaries of information technology, higher education and NASSCOM chairman on September 17. But there was no response from them, the petitioner said. – Courtesy
The Times of India | TNN | Updated: Nov 13, 2016 |
Bengaluru: The first quarter of the 2016-17 placement season saw a dip in the number of campus picks from the service sector across engineering colleges in Bengaluru. Seeking specific talent, companies in the service sector which would earlier hire 100-200 eligible candidates from the campus, have raised the bar at the entrance test level itself. Some placement officials have, in fact, recorded a 20-30% fall in the number of offers made by these companies to freshers. Prof D Ranganath, placement director, RV College of Engineering, said the service sector that once used to robustly recruit candidates from campuses has gone slow this time . “We did notice a change in the recruitment pattern by companies like Infosys, Wipro and others. Although they are continuing to visit the campus, the number of offers made have significantly dropped. However, it hasn’t affected the overall placement scenario as such.” Placement officer of Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology (NMIT), P Bhanurekha Reddy, said this year, service sector companies came looking for very specific talent. “Many of them are switching to the automation sector and need fewer people but the best of the lot, who not only fare well in critical thinking and logic but are also technically sound in their approach.”
Deeksha Nair (name changed), a student of the institute, said, “The entrance test was indeed challenging but it’s a changing trend for the better. The standards have gone up and its become more competitive.” With the first quarter of the placement drive ending in December, nearly 300 out of NMIT’s 600 eligible candidates have received offer letters, with packages as high as Rs 9 lakh from companies like Microsoft. “Overall, a few good companies have stopped coming for placements. Some of the service sector ones claim that Brexit and other uncertainties impacting their economy is a risk they don’t want to take and that’s why they’re slowing down the recruitment drive,” said a placement official from a city-based engineering college. Surprisingly, against all odds, Bangalore Institute of Technology (BIT) has seen a rise in the number of candidates recruited. . Over 512 of the 700-odd students found themselves placed with companies like Accenture, Wipro and Infosys. “While this time we had 700-plus students, next year there’ll be nearly 1,000 sitting for placements, as the institute has increased intake of students in a few streams,” said HB Balakrishna, head of training and placement, BIT. MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT), on the other hand, opened its doors to nearly 92 companies that conducted campus recruitments for the first time. While Savitha Konna, placement officer, said there was a dip in the number of mass recruiters visiting the campus, the institute was still able get 1,144 students placed in the last cycle (2016-17) out of the 1,369 eligible ones. “For a few companies, the numbers did come down since last year. The situation isn’t as glamorous as it used to be. But we’ve been able to pull it off with new recruiters coming in,” said Savitha. – Courtesy
The Economic Times | By PTI | Nov 04, 2016 | Opinion |
HYDERABAD: India’s IT sector can bounce back from the current phase of slowdown, says industry veteran Kris Gopalakrishnan, dismissing suggestions that its “golden era” is over. On doomsday prophets writing “obit” of the Indian information technology industry, he recalled that they had done so in 2008 during the global financial crisis, but the sector had recovered. “I am very confident in saying Indian IT industry will continue to be an engine for job creation. It will continue to grow. It can grow in double digits,” Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys, where he served as CEO and MD from 2007 to 2011, told PTI. He rejected perception is some quarters that the single-digit growth is going to be the “new normal” for Indian IT companies. “IT services growth has come down. This year (2016-17), it looks like 8-9 per cent growth rather than 12-15 per cent. Next year, it will depend on global economy. If global economy picks up, so will IT industry,” said Gopalakrishnan, former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). “Which other sector (other than IT) is creating one lakh or two lakh good-paying jobs a year? I wouldn’t say golden era of Indian IT services industry is over,” he asserted. According to Gopalakrishnan, who served as one of the co-chairs of the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, a 12-15 per cent growth is “very much feasible” for companies like Infosys and TCS in “good years” and 8-9 per cent growth in “not so good years”.
“I believe the Indian IT industry can bounce back,” Gopalakrishnan, Chairman of Axilor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, said, noting that it has the size, scale, financial strength, experienced leadership, quality and global reach. In addition, the Indian IT companies have almost zero debt, their credibility is very high and they are reasonably well-governed, he added. “Yes, in a particular year, somebody (an Indian IT company) may slow down because of the global economy, somebody may slow down because of client problem, but these are the things which can change,” he said. IT biggies TCS, Infosys and Wipro last month reported tepid results in a seasonally-strong September quarter. IT industry body Nasscom on October 26 said it is “fairly clear” that its export revenue growth of 10-12 per cent for 2016-17 will be revised downwards. “… it is fairly clear that we will have to revise our guidance and revise it downwards, but what exactly is the revised guidance is something we will be able to share two weeks from now,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar had said. – Courtesy
The Times of India | Ranjani Ayyar | TNN | Oct 25, 2016 |
CHENNAI: In what seems like a sequel to the downtourn in the IT industry, hiring by software service companies dropped by a 40% in engineering campuses across Tamil Nadu this year. Over 30,000 students have been placed across campuses in the state and while the overall number is almost the same as last year, it is the super dream (pay package of over Rs 20 lakhs per annum) and dream companies (pay package of over Rs 10 lakh pa) including startups and core engineering companies that have hired in large numbers. “It is too early to comment. More companies will visit campuses in the next 6 months and we have a positive outlook on placements as of now,” said K Purushottaman, senior director, Nasscom. Earlier this year, industry body Nasscom had estimated a 20% drop in IT hiring (for the first time since 2009) with companies resorting to automation of entry-level coding jobs and look at optimizing their bench strength. True to Nasscom’s guidance, campuses across the state have seen restrained hiring from biggies like Wipro, TCS, Cognizant and Infosys who hired in few hundreds against the usual thousands of hires.
“It’s the cyclical nature of the industry along with Brexit and US elections that has brought a period of uncertainty for large IT companies,” said Sriram Padmanabhan, director career services, SRM University where about 50% students have been placed as of now. Bulk hiring was down 30-40% at SRM University. Wipro was the only recruiter to offer roles focussed on ‘digital’ in select campuses including VIT. Over 125 students at VIT who underwent a separate coding test and a tougher technical interview, bagged offers of Rs 6 lakh pa, almost double the offer made by IT service companies otherwise. After 2015’s fiasco with hiring by startups like Flipkart and Stayzilla, who offered jobs, but didnt honor those offers, engineering campuses are wary this year, undertaking a due diligence before letting them participate in the placements. There was an increase in the number of core engineering companies. SRM saw companies like Elgi Equipments, Seimens and Tata Technologies while VIT had Maruti Suzuki, Continental Automotive, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra coming in. Sastra University has seen 1390 offers from 47 companies so far. “As of now, placement percentage is 75% and will reach highers 90s by April,” said Vaidhya Subramanian, dean, planning and development, SASTRA University. – Courtesy