Pre-placement offers (PPOs) at premier engineering institutes are on the rise this year, indicating better times ahead for the placement season. IIT-Bombay's Powai campus has seen a 25% rise in the PPOs offered till now. Engineering institutes are also seeing a rise in internships offered to students this year. So much so that for the first time, IIT-Madras is setting up an independent internship cell, which will run parallel to the institute's placement cell.
By the first week of October this year, 94 PPOs were made at IIT-Bombay, as opposed to the 75 received last year during the same period. "By the end of the season, we are expecting the numbers to go up a little more. Placements might be better than last year," said professor-in-charge of placements at the institute, Avijit Chatterjee. In fact, the numbers of PPOs received till now has also exceeded the total number of PPOs made last year—88. Students are also being offered packages close to Rs 20 lakh in Indian companies.
At IIT-Madras, the total number of PPOs received in the whole year in 2013 was 67. This year, the number has almost touched 60 in October. "PPOs going up are always a good indicator for institutes and students. But whether or not this will result in a better placement season entirely can be told only by December-end. We will have to wait and see if these companies, which are making PPOs, will come for a fresh round of recruitment during the placement season," said placement advisor Babu Vishwanathan.
At IIT-Roorkee, 52 PPOs were made till October first week. The numbers will go up by the first week of November, when they break for the mid-semester exams, said student placement co-ordinator, Kunal Punjabi. Last year, 58 students were given pre-placement offers.
PPOs are also going up due to the rise in companies wanting to hire students for internships. "Firms are keen on internships as they get a longer time to evaluate students and then make an offer. Our cell will co-ordinate internship activities for companies," said Vishwanathan.
Non-IITs too are noticing the trend this year. Mukesh Patel School of Technology, NMIMS, has also seen a rise in the number of firms wanting to hire students for internships. Sharad Mhaiskar, the dean, said most of these companies are from the core engineering sector such as mechanical, civil or electrical. "Bulk recruiters are following the same process as last year. But the core companies which usually hire three or four people from campuses prefer students who have interned with them," said Mhaiskar.