Final year engineering students at the Jumbo Job Fair organised on Saturday at Government Arts College, Coimbatore, demanding refund of registration fee as many multinational companies did not turn up for the recruitment drive. Thanks to the timely intervention of the police and the immediate response of the organisers, the Jumbo Job Fair at Government Arts College was saved from a situation that could have gone out of control.
More than 5,000 final year engineering students had registered to attend the job fair through the Infoport Online Community, which opened for registration nearly three months ago. The community – run by engineering students – had tied up with an online job portal to organise the recruiters. According to the co-ordinator of the community, the portal had promised that a minimum of 15 multi-national companies would participate in the recruitment drive. Reportedly, the community had paid a substantial amount to the portal for the same. Meanwhile, the community had collected Rs. 120 from each registered member, either online, or in cash (for which a hall ticket was issued).
The names of the participating companies were intimated to the registered students through the website of the community. The organisers, seeing the overwhelming response from all over the State, fixed the Government Arts College as the venue to cater to the large number. Two days ago the portal informed the organisers that “due to recession most of the large companies had withdrawn from the job fair”. The organisers claim that they had uploaded this information on their website immediately. Most of the job aspirants maintain that they have not seen the latest intimation.
A student from KLN College of Engineering, Madurai, said more than 50 of his classmates had come to attend the fair. Similarly, candidates from Chennai, Kanyakumari, Thanjavur, Madurai, and various other parts of the State were also present. Though some of them were already placed, the lure of big names brought them to the fair. Some, who had seen the intimation and still made it to the fair because they were not placed, said they did so because they wanted to try their luck in the lesser known companies.
But, to their shock they were told that the local companies (mostly Business Process Outsourcing companies) were interested in recruiting only arts and science graduates (and not engineering students). Some candidates left the venue vexed. Most demanded to know why the companies that had promised to participate did not do so; and those participating were not interested in the final year students. They also sought a refund of the registration fee. The portal representatives were not willing to respond to the candidates. They were directed to ask the community, as they were the organisers.
Some students said that they were told that they could use the same hall ticket for job fairs that would be organised at a later time with big names. The police, on hearing about the issue, and in order to avert a volatile situation, had talks with the organisers and the representative from the portal. With no positive outcome from the portal personnel, the organisers offered to pay those who were left behind with hall ticket. Once a complaint was preferred by the students, further action would be initiated, the police said.