Business Today

Now, hiring quotas

Three of Tamil Nadu's Top 20 engineering colleges have modified their placement systems to provide a slightly more level playing field for companies that may not be automatic first choices for students.

By Nitya Varadarajan        Print Edition: July 1, 2007

Second-rung it companies and those in the core sector will breathe a little easier now. Three of Tamil Nadu's Top 20 engineering colleges have modified their placement systems to provide a slightly more level playing field for companies that may not be automatic first choices for students. "This year, a student with an existing offer will have this automatically cancelled should he get a 'dream job offer'-defined as one that pays at least Rs 4.5 lakh per annum-in the core sector," says P. Mannar Jawahar, Director, Centre for University-Industry Collaboration, Anna University.

The idea is to ensure that fewer companies go back empty handed. In 2004, for example, four companies recruited the entire lot of 1,000 students at Anna University; in 2005, three companies cornered 1,000 students; and in 2006, two companies recruited the lot.

 
Dream Jobs:Anna University introduced it last year 
This year, 43 potential recruiters have come forward, but how the new experiment will pan out is anybody's guess. The Vellore College of Technology has also introduced the Dream Job concept this year.

SSN College of Engineering (which belongs to HCL's Shiv Nadar) has gone one step farther and placed a cap of a maximum of 60 recruitments per company.

This will give it companies such as Patni, HCL and Satyam a chance. Says Bhaskar Das, VP (HR), Cognizant: "We believe that eventually, market forces will prevail, leading to enhanced alignment of student aspirations and the needs of industries."

These practices may, prima facie, seem restrictive, but lawyers say they are within the letter of the law even if they violate the spirit of free choice. Says Vinod Surana, Partner, Surana & Surana, a leading Chennai-based law firm: "This is known in law as a 'reasonable restriction' and these colleges can impose such conditions. Nothing, however, prevents students from approaching a company of their choice outside the campus."

Will this trend catch on in the rest of the country? It's still too early to tell, but it'll be interesting to watch.

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