M Tech students desert IITs midway for PSU jobs

New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are increasingly facing a new problem. They are having a tough time retaining their M Tech students, with many quitting  mid way,  after getting jobs in public sector undertakings (PSUs).

A  number of IITs complained of many such happenings at an IIT council meet recently.  It is learnt that out of 8,000 students, 2,000 left the course abruptly after getting employed in PSUs. The council has decided to ask all PSUs to desist from  practicing this in the best interests of higher education in the country.

There are 23 IITs in the country, with a total count of 72,000 students. Around 14,000 M Tech students are enrolled in the institutes.

“We will take up the matter with the PSUs. A lot of time and  money are invested in the M Tech programme. IITs are premier institutes, and there is a long wait list for getting into them. If students leave midway, the seats go empty. We want to encourage students to go for higher studies and research,” said a senior official. The news reports also suggest that the HRD ministry is contemplating to write to the department of public enterprises in this regard.

Both  IITs and PSUs are using  Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) score for admissions as well as recruitment’s. GAIL, ONGC and SAIL are among the PSUs that offer jobs to M Tech students from IITs.

To discourage the ‘dropouts’ , the council also agreed to a proposal to recover the entire fellowship amount  of Rs 12,400 per month if any of the students leave the course midway.

The IIT council, the highest decision-making body for the IITs, also considered providing 1,000 teaching assistantships  with a fellowship amount of Rs 25,000 per month – to meritorious M Tech students.

The council had recently approved a proposal to introduce the Prime Minister’s Research Fellowships, aimed at encouraging B Tech graduates from IITs to directly enroll in Ph.D courses.

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