There was a time not long ago when industry captains used to converge on educational institutions to get them the best brains for their companies. The salary figures for engineering graduates ranged from Rs 25000 to Rs 50000 while management post graduates were able to command up to Rs 2-3 lakh a month. The situation seems to have changed dramatically after the recent economic melt down in the world causing recession and negative economic growth in many countries. Presently even those who were 'recruited' last year with good offers are being sidelined with advice not to join till further orders. Preference shown by the new graduates for private employment may be primarily due to the good salaries with wide ranging perks to go along.
With massive job losses reported by many sectors of industry, fresh openings are far and few and inevitably lower paid jobs only will be available for freshers. In a country like USA, to stem the tide of losing job opportunities, government has taken up infrastructure schemes to replace old roads, laying new roads and public funded activities to absorb the unemployed people. In India the out put of knowledge and skill based personnel has been steadily increasing over the last few years from growing number of universities and technical institutions and many freshers from eminent institutions like IITs, IIMs etc were heading towards USA, Canada, Europe and Australia for higher studies or gainful employments. Due to tighter visa regulations and shrinking job opportunities, the exodus of Indian brains is slowing down while many NRIs are returning to India for a better quality of life.
The change in the attitude and perceptions amongst youngsters is evident by the renewed interest in government jobs where salary structures have undergone dramatic upward push, almost comparable to that in the private sector. The problem is the freeze on fresh appointments imposed several years ago as a part of austerity measures and fewer openings available to skilled people. CSIR, BARC, ISRO, DST, DBT and DRDO are the few agencies funded by GOI while public sector industries like HAL, BEML, HMT, ONGC etc need specialists with some production experience. On the whole getting into these agencies is more easily said than done.
Recent report by DRDO that top ranked IIT graduates are responding to their campus recruitment drive across 40 institutions, has some interesting connotation. While only a couple of engineering graduates used to join DRDO till last year, the number has swelled to 60 this year, almost 12% of their new recruitment. It is a common perception that government agencies are invariably handicapped to extract work from their employees due to rigid management style, less stringent accountability audit and leisurely work pace culture. By joining DRDO these new recruits seem to be reconciled to a life of limited challenges of routine nature. Looking at it from another angle, they may even revolutionize the prevalent work culture incapable of high productivity and energize the DRDO programs with better focusing and more intensive result oriented working. The motivation for joining DRDO could also be patriotism and a desire to serve the country. DRDO has built up a reputation for its development of defense weapons and missiles and part of such a set up can always be a matter of pride. What ever it is, more and more youngsters from top educational institutions getting into Government S & T organizations augurs well for the country. Jai Hind.