The placement camps organised by the Gujarat government for final year students of government and grant-in-aid colleges have witnessed more girls than boys registering for 70,000-odd private jobs from the non-technical branches. As many as 28,106 girls — predominantly, the first generation of to-be-working woman members in the family — from over 460 government and grant-in-aid colleges have registered for jobs at the camps held across the state as against 22,042 boys. In other words, of all the 50,148 final year students of non-technical branches who enrolled for getting placement in the private sector, 56% are girls and 44% boys — a difference of 12%.
The placement drive, divided among six zones, is in its second week since its launch on January 28. Till February 13, 23 “mega” camps will be organised in the state. So far, such camps have been organised in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat and Himmatnagar.
Compared to government colleges, girls from grant-in-aid colleges are in considerable higher proportion in job queues vis-à-vis their male classmates. As many as 22,421 girls, constituting 57.6%, from 356 grant-in-aid colleges registered for jobs as against 16,500 male students (42.4%).
This is in sync with more proportion of girls than boys studying in grant-in-aid colleges. In the 107 government colleges and universities, while female participation in the job camps was high, the difference was not substantial. However, more participation of girls from government colleges is significant since a lesser number of girls are enrolled there. The female enrollment for 2018-19 academic session in government non-technical colleges stood at 7,314 against 9,969 males. Despite it, of the 9,404 students of government colleges who enrolled for the jobs, girls constituted 50.3% (4,725), marginally more than 4,679 boys (49.7%).
Similarly of the 1,823 university students enrolled at the camps, women comprise 52.6% (960) and men 47.4% (863).
“This is another positive change since girls pursuing non-technical courses usually opt for higher studies or get married,” said Principal Secretary, (Education) Anju Sharma, terming the trend as ‘aspirational changes’ among women in the state. “Already we have witnessed since 2016, the number of girls availing the Gujarat government’s ‘Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavalambhan Yojana (MYSY)’ scholarship scheme was almost double than the boys,” Sharma added.
Under the Rs 1000-crore MYSY, government provides 50 per cent fee or a maximum of Rs 2 lakh per year to a student as assistance in private and government medical colleges. Waiting for her turn for interviews at the placement camp in Ahmedabad, Bhairavi Dhobi, a final year student from R H Patel Arts and Commerce College, said that she wants to get a job to become self-reliant. “Like my two brothers I also want to work for my dignity. There is pressure from the society for marriage in our community, but I have support of my parents and especially my mother who is a homemaker,” Dhobi, a resident of Ranip, said.
Jharana Kharadi, a final year student of commerce, appeared for interviews of five recruiters ranging from banking, insurance, retail, hospitality and telecom sector. “I want to financially help my parents,” saif Kharadi, a resident of Isanpur whose father works in a public bank while her mother is a homemaker.
Echoing and admitting the change, Energy Minister Saurabh Patel, during the inauguration of the mega placement camp in Ahmedabad on Monday, had cautioned men of ‘higher efficient females adding up to the competition”. “The mindset of women have changed. Now, men have to face high competition from women who are more efficient. Go to any floor shop of a factory, now, they want women to work. Because men want to take breaks frequently, go out for smoking,” Patel had said.
“Now they (industries) are thinking of providing housing facility incentive so that 2,000-3,000 women can stay in a hostel-type dormitory with all modern facilities like television and others, so that they could get at least 5,000 women from different parts of the state to work for 10-12 hours without any holiday. A new workforce has come up, and we need to change our mindset… Education has changed their (women) mindset. They do not want to get tied up to housework where the income is limited,” the minister had said.
Earlier, The Indian Express had reported less than 50 per cent of the final year students have registered for getting the private jobs at the mega placement camps organised by the government. Baffled by the lack of interest among students to sit for placements, the Education Department is set to conduct a survey to ascertain why the students did not apply for jobs through the placement camps.