PSUs welcomed back to the IITs

Two years ago, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed at the Madras High court prevented the PSUs from recruiting at the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs). This made way for the start-ups to not only take the priority position of ‘day zero’, but also score over the PSUs in terms of remuneration and work-culture. However, when the start-ups went back on their offers, the placement cells at the IITs swiftly realised that the careers of these IITians were in jeopardy. The IITs started conducting thorough background checks of balance sheets and also black listed 30 start-ups which seemed unfit to recruit.

In the meantime, PSUs decided to recruit through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). With the start-ups failing to live up to their promises, the IITs went back knocking on the doors of the PSUs. Just as the start-ups were shown the door, the Madras High Court also dismissed the PIL filed against the PSUs, ensuring that IITs could welcome them back to conduct placements.

The All-IIT Placement Committee (AIPC), the panel responsible for campus placements across IITs, urged PSUs to recruit from IITs for the current academic year. Rupal Singh, a placement co-ordinator from IIT Kanpur, says, “It was the need of the hour to invite the PSUs back for recruitment. With the PIL dismissed, and start-ups losing their sheen among students, this is the best option for students.”

Here’s why. Aravind Ravi, an Executive Trainee (Mechanical Engineering), at ONGC, “The primary reason is that the PSUs are the only chance students have at entering their ‘core’ sector. A mechanical engineer or an electrical engineer stands a good chance of employing the skills he learnt at college only if he gets placed in a PSU or a private sector core company.”

Abhay Galande, placement officer at IIT Bombay says, “PSUs are far more stable than the start-ups. This is from the kind of experience we had with the start-up in the last two years. It is not just the stability of a job that is important, what one must also consider is the fact that there are many other benefits of working for a PSU.”

The other benefits which Galande speaks of are allowances, medical facilities, and loans as well. “One can even get study leave while working at a PSU, and this comes under Paid Leave in companies like Indian Oil. Even an education loan is easily available for the employees of PSUs,” adds Krishna P, who works at Indian Oil.

Cutting a long story short, PSUs provide job security and good pay, which are not always available to freshers in private sector core companies (Link). This aside, loans, housing, electricity,and medical facilities are also available. KartikKarnavat, who works at ONGC, says, “While on off-shore duty, which is a two-week stint, employees get hard-ship allowances. The next two weeks are paid leave for that employee.” He also adds that employees get allowances for a fixed amount of petrol, which is worth up to 20% of the basic pay. This increases with the rise in petrol prices and the best of all, employees using the public transport too are entitled to this benefit.

The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) initiated a scheme of paying for their employees’ higher education which they can pursue from abroad. This includes their travel, accommodation and course fee. The employees selected under this scheme are also eligible for appraisals and promotions. Those recruits who wish to pursue their Masters may do so while being employed. “Those who think that a job in a PSU is unexciting are certainly mistaken. It’s always about how the employees make the best use of their job,” said a Senior Manager from PFC, New Delhi.

Dipanshu Geed, Placement Co-ordinator from IIT Delhi says, “Students will recognise the benefits of being employed with PSUs. After the fiasco that many students faced with start-ups PSUs will seem way better, and this is not just about job security.”

This is the world of the profitable PSUs, which until recently were considered dull and non-lucrative. It’s no wonder that placements by PSUs are back in demand from IITs.