Common IT test hits roadblock

The National Association of Software and Service Companies’ (Nasscom) proposal for a common test for recruitment to IT firms seems to have hit a major road-block.

Most professional colleges and deemed universities are raising concerns about accepting the proposed common competency test that made campus placements redundant.

They have also raised questions about guaranteed placements and suspect that the exercise might benefit only the two retail vendors authorized to conduct the test by accruing around Rs 100 crore per year.

Nasscom had proposed a common test to ensure a minimum standard among IT recruits. It had proposed a Nasscom Assessment of Competence-Technology (NAC-Tech) for engineering students as a mandatory requirement for placement in top IT companies including HCL, Wipro, Accenture, Cognizant, Infosys and TCS. These firms account for 90 per cent of campus recruitments.

However, varsity heads have voiced their dissent citing instances of IT companies themselves being not serious about the test.

“We asked Nasscom if it would guarantee placement for all students who passed the test. We are also concerned about the organisation sharing our database with our competitors”, said Mr G.V. Sampath, vice-president (operations), VIT University.

The fact that Nasscom uses the test to grade students and not recruit them has irked many. Claiming that most students who have appeared for the test did not get interview calls, a placement officer with a private engineering college said, “Only the private vendors conducting the test seem to earn about `100 crore a year from the exams.”

However, Nasscom’s senior director Dr Sandhya Chintala, denied any major dissent. “Few colleges have sought some clarifications with us but most of them are ready for it. The test costs about `155 per student and has no major revenue proposition,” she said.

Like GRE/GMAT, this is only a standardising test that will assure a quality manpower pool from which the industry will choose further, she added.

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