For long, blue chip companies, investment firms and startups ruled the first edition of placements at the Indian Institutes of Technology. Phase I, as it is called, has seen academic institutes jump up the charts this recruitment season.

IIT-Bombay has seen a three-fold increase in the number of academic institutes visiting its campus this December. While seven institutes had signed up to recruit teaching talent last year, there are 20 that have already registered this time round, said placement head Tom Mathew. Most of them are Indian universities, many of them private and deemed universities that draw teachers from top-rung campuses.

“Close to 10% of our total recruiters are academic institutes this year, thus offering a lot of options for our doctoral candidates” said a member of the placement committee. Teachers matter to them. Even at IIT-Kanpur, 15 academic institutes have registered to pick faculty from among the masters and PhD graduates. Amrita University, private universities such as Thapar, DIT (Dehradun Institute of Technology), Nashik's Sandip University, colleges like S R Patel Engineering College and even coaching classes such as Rao IIT Academy are among them.

“Generally, academic institutes visit the campus after December. Six institutes or universities have already been registered this year. Last year, 12 academic institutes or universities offered 76 jobs” said N P Padhy, professor-in-charge of training and placement at IIT-Roorkee. With academic institutes usually relegated to slots in the second segment, Manu Santhanam from IIT Madras said that a clear picture would emerge only next semester as these institutes hire all the way until May-June.

“There is no fixed time limit for them as they are mostly interested in research scholars” he said. Prakash Gopalan, vice-chancellor of Thapar University, said they have been recruiting PhDs from the IITs because they are inclined towards research. “Also, we pay 15% more than the IIT’s” he said.

Sandip Jha, chairman of Sandip University, said there were plans afloat to design their engineering school on the lines of the IITs. “For that we need the best possible faculty in the country. Hence we have empanelled ourselves with all the IITs and the NITs. We pay as per UGC norms” he added.

However, the IITs have not yet seen too many international campuses travelling to pick freshers. In 2009, among the many universities shopping for faculty members was Alfaisal University from Saudi Arabia, which had landed up at several IITs and offered an annual compensation of 1.3 lakh Saudi riyals (approximately Rs. 17 lakh), apart from housing and other facilities. Again, Texas A&M University, seeking to recruit for its Qatar campus, was scouting at IIT-Madras for talent. Indian educational institutes recruiting IIT graduates for faculty positions offer less than half the remuneration that their international counterparts do. A faculty member at IIT Bombay pointed out that “a very, very small number of M. Tech’s take up teaching jobs. At the end of the placement season, it will be interesting to be see how many of these universities actually get serious students” he added.