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How DU is wooing big firms to help students snag plum placements

New Delhi: The University of Delhi (DU) has revamped its placement programme by introducing a range of regulations, and plans to hold job fairs every three months to lure big-ticket companies.  

These measures are a part of the university’s effort to improve its student placement which is also an important criterion for the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). DU’s rankings in NIRF have taken a hit lately.

DU’s placement season for third-year students traditionally starts in August and lasts till May the next year. The university tweaked the placement programme in 2021-22 to help students post Covid period, but its implementation was slow last year.

This year, for its Job Mela on 18-19 April, DU’s Central Placement Cell (CPC), which is tasked with ensuring that all students find jobs, has set the target of bringing in 100 recruiters. About 6,000 students have registered so far, according to the CPC. 

Some of the companies registered for this drive include Infosys, Accenture, NalSoft, EduMentor, Bajaj Finserve, TCS and Wipro. Companies which don’t have a Delhi office or prefer an online process have that option, too.

The CPC has divided the companies into four sectors – Edutech, Information Technology, Sports, and Infrastructure. 

Established in 2008, the CPC renewed its efforts post Covid break by bringing in fresh regulations. “The cell brought about several changes post Covid. Some of these are: Adopting an online recruitment process, increased transparency in the recruitment process, setting a cap of minimum placement amount of Rs 3.5 lakh per annum and creating demarcated fields for jobs,” CPC co-incharge and joint dean, students’ welfare, DU, Hena Singh told ThePrint.

Singh added that the university has also started negotiating with the companies and seeking more frontend roles which offer better packages and have more scope for growth.

In November 2022, DU also launched the Vice-Chancellor Internship Scheme, a part-time working internship, to give students an opportunity to intern at the university itself. Its first batch of 130 interns is working in DU offices, Singh told ThePrint. 

One of the reasons why DU is focusing on increased placements is the drop in its ranking in the NIRF. In 2022, it dropped a place to take the 13th spot in the universities list while it slid from the 19th to the 23rd position in the overall standings from the year before.

Though DU’s weak show was majorly attributed to its poor teacher-student ratio, a professor said not only is DU pushing its colleges to employ permanent faculty members and improve teacher-student ratio, it is also trying to retain ranking by increasing its graduate outcomes.

Apart from the CPC’s efforts, several DU colleges such as the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and the Miranda House also have thriving placement cells. 

Also Read: Revise Higher Education Financing Agency, says parliamentary panel as loan scheme misses target by over 50%

Previous efforts

In the job mela’s first edition in April 2022, a total of 66 companies turned up, 108 students were placed and 105 got internships. In the second edition held in November 2022, 25 companies turned up and only 35 students managed to get jobs and 54 given internships. 

Explaining the drop in numbers, Singh said, “April is the time when the largest chunk of recruiters turns up because it is the time when students graduate. Since this was the first year of implementation of the changed regulations, we were able to hold only two job melas. Now, the goal is to hold it every three months.”

This time, the CPC is also pushing for varied job portfolios. Previously, companies would register on the DU website, pay a fee of Rs 10,000 and the university would hold a recruitment drive. The companies usually offered packages of Rs 2-2.5 lakh per annum. 

“Before the pandemic, some 20-30 companies would come over the period of an academic session and a few hundred students would get placed. There was a dearth of an attractive process for the stakeholders to be involved,” Singh said.

“With improved regulations now, we are organising offline and online job melas, thus increasing our visibility among prospective recruiters. We want to increase the footfall of small and medium enterprises here so that we can provide varied portfolios to students.”

Another big push that the university has made is towards getting students placed in the government and development sector. Previously, the cabinet secretariat would look for interns and deputy-level field officers. This year, the Ministries of Culture and Consumer Affairs has shown interest in recruiting DU students, said Singh. 

How DU colleges get placements 

Among the DU colleges with placement cells, SRCC is known to bag the highest packages in the university. The companies regularly coming to the campus are McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co., Kearney, Premji Invest, Deutsche Bank, AB InBev, Hindustan Unilever, and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 

For the current academic year, the highest package offered to an undergraduate student is Rs 30.6 lakh by an FMCG company. According to the data shared by the college, there was a steady increase in the number of offers received — from 334 offers in 2017-18 to 568 in 2021-22. 

“We have a 20-member team and it is a ‘professional student organisation’. Our job is to maintain strong communication with all stakeholders, manage funds, and ensure training and placement of all students,” Manavi Shangari, a third-year student and the chief secretary of the SRCC placement cell, told ThePrint.

Miranda House College, which has topped the NIRF college rankings for the last 6 years, has a placement cell guided by the faculty. The highest package for the year is Rs 21.5 lakh per annum by management firm D.E.Shaw & Co. The placement numbers have jumped from 35 in 2018-19 to about 120 in 2021-22. The average package has remained around Rs 9 lakh. 

Companies such as Accenture, Barclays, ZS Associates, ICICI and KPMG are among the regular recruiters. “We are in the middle of this year’s recruitment cycle and we have already had 100 students placed. This is the first time that we have companies seeking candidates for front-end job roles, previously their push would be for backend roles,” Rhea Mehra, placement cell president, told ThePrint.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

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Source: The Print

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