In the Placement Storm’s Eye


The job of the placement officer of the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), a constituent of the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) University, was to verify the credentials of the consultancy companies coming for campus placements. But the officer failed to verify the authenticity of the Delhi-based consultancy firm, which recruited over 400 students in nine fake companies.

[Pratisruti Plus:June 1-15, 2017]

In the eye of a storm a few months ago for the devastating fire in SUM hospital, the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) University is once again in news for the wrong reasons. This time the institution is in focus because of an alleged fake placement racket that has triggered a students’ agitation on the campus.

The city police have constituted three separate teams to visit different places in the country to probe the racket that came to light after around 50 engineering students of the university selected for placement had to return disappointed when they went for joining. The additional dean for placement was arrested recently for his alleged involvement in the fake placement scandal that threatens the careers of more than 400 students.

On its part the varsity has announced a monthly stipend of Rs 20,000 to each of the victims until they get jobs. Additionally, the varsity also promised to arrange jobs for all of the 400 students within three months.

The agitating students, however, have refused to withdraw the agitation which has now been joined by the students’ wings of some political parties as well. Sources said that police arrested Hota on the basis of a formal complaint lodged by the varsity authorities.

Police sources said that preliminary inquiries reveal complicity of Hota as he has not been able to produce the agreement between the university and the consultancy agency to hire students. He has been interrogated to find out the modus operandi of the fake job racket.

Police said Hota’s job as placement officer of the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), a constituent of the varsity, was to verify the credentials of any consultancy company coming for campus placements.

However, it seems the official concerned failed to verify the authenticity of the Delhi-based consultancy, which recruited over 400 students in nine companies. Hota has been in charge of the placement cell since 2003. He has, however, denied his involvement in the scam and said the consultancy firm was solely responsible for the situation.

“The consultancy trapped the varsity in a planned way. There is no fault either of the varsity or mine in this matter. I am in charge of placement of ITER since 2003 and my honesty and integrity can be enquired into. The investigation will clear things and I want the guilty punished,” Hota was quoted as saying in the media.

The university had held its placement drive for BTech students from November to March last with more than 60 companies taking part. The students were provided with call letters and subsequently joining letters after going through written tests, group discussions and personal interviews. However the new recruits were shocked after around 50 of them reached Gurgaon to join one of the companies that had purportedly selected them.

The company authorities, however, denied having ever visited the SOA campus and issuing them any recruitment letters. Following the incident, the university authorities crosschecked with the other companies, supposedly represented by the consultancy firm, and found joining letters and offer letters issued by nine other companies to be fake.

The university authorities assured the agitating students that a monthly stipend of Rs 20,000 would be given to each of the duped students apart from fresh jobs for them within three months. The students have been given a written assurance in this regard.

However, protests continue with students demanding double the compensation amount offered by the university. The agitating students have also demanded that university reimburse the travel expenses they had borne for joining the jobs that turned out to be fake.