Unfair: Govt pushes IITs to tweak placement preferences in Make in India thrust

As Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon says IITs may beneift from the Make in India campaign, but nobody can be forced to support it

FP Editors November 25, 2015 12:21:35 IST
Unfair: Govt pushes IITs to tweak placement preferences in Make in India thrust

The Narendra Modi government seems to be pushing various ministries to promote its pet Make in India scheme by hook or by crook. A case in point is the ministry of human resource development under Smriti Irani, which is now reportedly trying to remote control the placement season at IITs.

A report in The Economic Times says the government has "nudged" the Indian Institutes of Technology to tweak their placement preferences for their students and allow manufacturing companies to recruit on the first day this season. The objective is, purportedly, to help the companies from this sector to get the required talent.

Unfair Govt pushes IITs to tweak placement preferences in Make in India thrust

Agencies

However, according to the report, not all IITs have obliged. In fact, the report quoting sources, says only IIT-Bombay has given in to the demand from the government and alloted 11 out of 30 slots on the Day One to core engineering companies such as Tata Steel and General Electric.

"This is the need of the hour for the country," a senior official with the ministry of human resource development has told the newspaper confirming the development.

The government's move is authoritarian, unfair and stupid, to say the least. There are three reasons to it.

For one, giving such an instruction tantamount to meddling with the functioning of these premier institutes. It shows that the government has not learnt any lessons from its earlier attempts to curtail the freedom of such institutions. A draft IIM Bill, which sought to dilute the autonomy of the much-sought-after Indian Institutes of Management, had drawn criticism from the business community and academicians alike. This had prompted the government to beat a retreat and promise that it will review and correcting any inconsistencies in the bill.

Secondly, it is unfair to the students who would want to get the best of the offers. This is because, as the ET report says, manufacturing companies are not considered great pay masters. Usually, the Day One of placement sees consulting, technology, e-commerce tart-ups and finance companies taking the lead. They are cosnidered to be pay masters. For instance, at IIT Kharagpur 22-year-old Abhishek Pant was offered a Rs 2 crore package by Google.

Thirdly, only because manufacturing companies arrive on the day one, nobody is going to take up their offer. The new generation knows very well what they want to do in life. They have well-defined choices. They are not going to take up an offer only because it is from Tata Steel; what matters for them is what they do. In other words, those students who want to be in manufacturing would take offers from these companies whether they come at the end of the placement season or at the beginning.

As Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, who routinely recruits from these institutions, says in the ET report, IITs may beneift from the Make in India campaign, but nobody can be forced to support it.

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