Full-fledged placement cells in the premier universities of the State that produce around 50,000 post-graduate (PG) unemployed youths every year still remain a dream. Interestingly, private colleges have been successfully running campus placement cells.
The placement scenario in the universities in Sambalpur, Berhampur and Bhubaneswar, running a large number of self-financing courses at PG level for the last several years, has been bleak as no sincere efforts are being made by the authorities concerned to ensure suitable placement for the passouts.
Though these universities have placement officers who did manage to invite some organisations on the campuses a few years back, recruitments are rare. Apparently, other than just one placement officer there are no dedicated personnel in the varsities either to provide necessary information to students about job avenues in different sectors or to bridge the gap between student preparedness for job market and the needs of various work sectors.
The problem is grim in Sambalpur University. Sources said except for a placement drive for students of Master of Social Work (MSW) three years back, no recruitment has taken place in the last 10 years.
The varsity runs around 12 self-financing courses in job-oriented subjects, including business administration, rural management, geospatial technology, applied chemistry and environmental science and engineering, with a total student intake capacity of 226. But none of these courses is able to fetch suitable jobs for students. A visiting committee of UGC had even suggested opening of a dedicated placement cell in the varsity recently.
Similar is the case with Berhampur University which runs six self-financing courses. Faculty of Business Administration, SK Chaudhury, who is also in-charge of placement drive in the university said there are many constraints in bringing companies, including funds and manpower shortage.
Though Utkal University has a dedicated placement cell, students alleged that recruitment drives are limited to just a few courses. The varsity runs 20 self-financing courses, but jobs are mostly offered to students of computer science and business administration.
“Placement is a misnomer in a varsity like Utkal. Only a handful of companies come and a few students are selected. The rest have to depend upon walkins for jobs despite paying hefty course fees,” said Niharika Das, a student.
Admitting to the problem, Secretary, Higher Education, Gagan Dhal, said it had been recently decided that effective placement cells will be started in Utkal, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Ravenshaw universities at the centralised level so that the passouts of various courses besides those of general courses might be suitably placed in different organisations.