Friday, December 20, 2013

Private universities match IT giants in hiring at IITs

Beyond corporates and start-ups, a unique bunch of recruiters is fast snapping up students at IITs' (Indian Institutes of Technology) placements this year. Driven by a need for young professors and research assistants, the likes of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Lovely Professional University (LPU), Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Sharda University, SRM University, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) and Vignan University are making a beeline to hire IIT's BTechs, M-Techs and PhD students.

In some IITs, these universities are offering salaries comparable to Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant and are also matching Wipro in number of hires. Jalandhar-based Lovely Professional University (LPU) plans to hire 100-130 MTech and PhD students across IITs. At IIT Roorkee, RGUKT is the second-largest recruiter after picking up 25 students, just four students short of Wipro's hire.

At Lovely Professional University, which has been hiring 100-plus students annually for the past few years, around 400-500 of the 2,000-odd teaching staff are from IITs. "It's a misconception that we don't attract the best students on remuneration grounds. Many of the brightest students are not very keen on a corporate job and have a teaching bent of mind," says Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, Lovely Professional University. LPU pays Rs. 540,000-1.8 million which is pretty much at par with many popular companies on campus. TCS, for example, pays Rs. 600,000 and Cognizant around Rs. 750,000-800,000.

For the established IITs, each of which have about 1,000-plus students to place, this coterie of recruiters becomes crucial once the first few days of placements are over. This is especially true in the current economy when many recruiters have cut down on number of hires. "Given the crunch for good faculty everywhere, there is a rise in the number of private universities coming in for recruitments at IIT Bombay," says Avijit Chatterjee, Professor in-Charge, Placements. VIT, Vignan University, SRM, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Lovely Professional University are some which have already recruited or are expected to visit the campus in January during second round of placements at IIT.

A salary of Rs. 500,000-1 million, a chance to work as assistant professors and researchers are good motivation for these students. Those with PhDs along with previous teaching experience are also hired as professors. Universities also benefit by having these young professors on board. "Young professors with good research papers help us in getting more national and international accreditations. More publications also help us in getting more funding from UGC," says Sharad Y Mhaiskar, Dean, Engineering School for SVKM's NMIMS. The institute has short-listed eight students from IIT-Bombay, 11 from IIT-Madras and six from IIT-Delhi.

Guntur (Andhra Pradesh)-based Vignan University, for example, links compensation structure to publications. It has recruited at least 20 students from IITs this year and will head for more next month. It offers salaries of Rs. 540,000 to Rs. 900,000 per annum and those hired are also paid Rs. 120,000 per annum more after they get sponsored projects from government agencies, sources from the university's placement department said.

At IIT-Madras, Parul Group of Institutes, Piramal Foundation of Education Leadership, SVKM's NMIMS, Shirpur campus are some of the first-timers. IIT-Guwahati's placement team said that these universities are very popular with students and will come January onwards.

Source: The Economic Times, December 20, 2013

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