With high job security, good pay, retirements benefits and balanced life, it is no wonder that the government sector jobs are a highly sought after option. Several companies come in for placements, while others take into account the GATE or IES score/rank. The core branches like Civil, Mechanical and Electrical welcome a lot of students in government service field. There are PSUs run by government bodies, which take in sizeable students from branches like Power and Automation and Chemical.
CS/MnC students wanting to work in government sector can look to DRDO, Ministry of IT and Communication, which hire graduates from campus.
In conversation with Abhishek Verma, a Civil Engineer graduate of the batch of 2014, we probe into the government sector.
He is currently working with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. Power Grid is a public sector company initially entrusted to construct, own and maintain the transmission infrastructure of our country, which separated from NTPC. Transmission infrastructure can be understood as any infrastructure required for transmission of electricity from the generation stations to the state electricity distributors. This transmission is at high voltage (up to 765 kV AC and 800 kV DC) and long distance (often inter states). Infrastructure includes transmission lines (metallic conductors running across states and towers supporting such conductors) and substations (can be understood vaguely as locations where various electrical equipment for metering, measuring crucial parameters of the grid, switching, etc. are housed; such equipments essentially aid in controlling the transmission). Now often such infrastructure is constructed in remote areas (since it is a statutory requirement to keep such sub-stations away from populated areas), which makes the job quite tough & challenging. The kind of work an Executive Trainee (the profile for which the company hires from engineering colleges and later regularised as a regular employee) is assigned can vary anything from preparing cost estimates for a project, detailed engineering review of the construction drawings and various schematics to be used for any project, maintenance of the infrastructure already built (the electrical equipments, maintaining the system’s health, etc.) and supervising the construction/installation activities undertaken by the contractor. He has been in this company for about 4 years now. In a span of 4 years, he has had the following jobs: supervision of the construction of transmission lines and substations and being involved in the review of the project engineering done by the contractor (design calculations and preparation of construction drawings for civil works, his electrical counterpart does the same for the electrical works). The work hours are quite hectic (12-16 hrs which lasts for about a month) in the pre commissioning stage of any project, otherwise 8-10 hrs in the regular functioning.
Selection Procedure, Courses and Preparation
He was hired through campus recruitment organised by TnP Cell, IIT Delhi. Power Grid had shortlisted around 10 students for interview based on the applicant’s CVs (the standard CV prepared on TnP portal). The company was open to all B.Tech. Civil engineering students for application. His interview lasted for around 35 mins, where they discussed primarily on three things: his internship (b/w 3rd & 4th year), SURA project and final year BTP (B.Tech. project). “They wanted to test my basic understanding of the civil engineering concepts and check whether I really understood what I did in the above three mentioned projects/internship.”, quotes Abhishek. Also, there was a typical question: ‘Why do you want to join us?’. Out of the ten interviewees, 2 were selected.
As Structural Engineering & Geotechnical Engineering are the core areas where civil engineers work in and these are covered well under core courses at IIT Delhi, so there isn’t any specific course that would alter the applicant’s selection chances.
Abhishek says,”What the company was seeking was general understanding of the core civil concepts taught to a student at college, so if one covers their regular curriculum, it should suffice.” He didn’t refrain from taking up extra curricular activities on the left that it would hamper his academics or so.
For the interview, he brushed up whatever he had mentioned on his CV and register the basic concepts of civil engineering courses. He would recommend everyone to thoroughly know about the job profile, that is being offered, since often most of the companies are not very clear about it, and get in touch with the ones who are currently working in that company/organization to know if it is consistent.
Some challenges which you might face includes a lot of field work, working in remote areas and jobs is quite transferrable across India.
Working at Power Grid
Most of the jobs in infrastructure industry are not desk jobs (which most of the students aspire for after college). The same is true at Power Grid. Not more than 40-50% of the employees have a desk job; the rest have to work on field, often involved in construction works or regular maintenance works in remote areas (the nearest habitation sometimes being a village).
This on field job is sometimes not what someone has in mind, especially when one sees their friends working in an IT firm in a metro city. This has often resulted in disappointment and frustration piling up in the employees, after which they decide to leave and look for another job; they lose time in it. On the contrary, there are certain people, who are fine in working on field job, as long as they get to learn about their core field. The thing is, a student should know what kind of job is one getting in, before going ahead with it, and then fully commit to work very well in the chosen field.