Engineering students of a deemed university in Odisha have alleged that over 400 of them who supposedly got campus placement later realised the job offers from the multinational companies were fake. Over 100 students of the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University in Bhubaneswar and their parents gathered outside the campus Wednesday and raised slogans against the institution. The parents accused the institution’s officials of playing with the future of their children.
In March-April, over 400 BTech students of the Institute of Technical Education and Research, which is under the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, were informed that they had been selected for jobs in various multinational companies through a Gurgaon-based job consultancy. However, when 26 of them went to the Gurgaon offices of the respective companies, they were told by the HR executives there that they had not recruited anyone from the institution.
Siddhant Mishra, one of the students who received a job offer, said: “I got a campus placement offer letter on April 20. I was rejoicing. On April 23, I found out I had been taken for a ride.” “We have become victims of an impostor who had no legitimate connection with the companies,” said B B Pradhan, the registrar, wrote in a mail to all the students and their parents, blaming the placement agency. The placement officer Raj Kumar Hota resigned, taking responsibility for the fiasco. “The consultancy did not do a proper verification before bringing the companies. It kept us in the dark,” Hota said in a mail to one of the affected students.
The officials on the campus said the consultancy firm was at fault. “We have lodged an FIR against the firm at a police station in Bhubaneswar,” said dean P K Sahu. Khandagiri inspector in charge Himangshu Sain said: “The institution has lodged an FIR against the consultancy, which supposedly represented 10 companies. Our team will visit Gurgaon and start the probe.” The police said they had also registered a case against the institute’s placement cell.
In April, the deemed university was ranked 20th in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2017 rankings of the HRD Ministry. It had got an ‘A’ accreditation by NAAC.
The deemed varsity has offered a few options to the affected students as a damage-control move. “We will provide a monthly stipend of Rs 20,000 to them and engage them as teaching assistants for a year or till they get jobs. We will explore job prospects for them. If the students want to pursue an M Tech, the course fee will be borne by us,” registrar Pradhan said. The students, however, said they may drag the institution to court. “We spent so much money for this? We will not listen to any plea,” said a student.