Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) is a term used for a company or industry in the Public Sector owned by the Government of India, where the central or state government holds a majority (more than 50 %) of the company’s shareholding. This is the reason these are called Public Sector Undertaking firms or Corporations.
The idea of Public Sector Units was developed by our First Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and it continues to grow. The objective to establish PSU for various disciplines of business was to strengthen India’s production in every field of industrialisation and to improve employment in the country.
Public Sector Units have largely fulfilled these requirements and some of them even are regularly listed in the world’s top 500 companies of the world ranked by Fortune magazine.
Since inception, PSUs have provided job to a majority of Indian Graduates. For a large number of young graduates looking for job opportunities in government, working in a public sector undertaking is a dream come true.
In fact, more and more graduates are preferring jobs with a public sector undertaking, or PSU over private or multinational companies according to a recent survey.
A recent study found that Indian students are opting for public sector jobs over private sector because of good financial packages, besides generous perks and special allowances and most of all due to the job security offered in such organisations.
About PSU and Area of Operation
Initially, the public sector was confined to core and strategic industries, such as steel and power plants. The nationalisation of industries and takeover of sick units from the private sector also saw the entry of the public sector into new fields like manufacturing consumer goods, consultancy, contracting and transportation etc.
Today PSUs are a part of our everyday lives, whether it is a bank or oil & gas, power supply or infrastructure.
PSUs handle the manufacture of critical items such as arms and ammunition and allied items of defence equipment, aircraft and warships, atomic energy, railway transport, airports, agriculture, medicine and non-strategic industries.
PSUs have become giant industrial entities whether Maharatnas such as ONGC, Coal India or BHEL, or Navratnas like MTNL, Oil India and also mini-ratnas and others and are among the top industrial organisations in the country.
No wonder many youngsters look forward to a career in such corporations.
PSUs are Major Engineer Job Employers
Getting in A majority of job positions in these PSU organisations are for engineers, but the kind of work can vary from working on a rig or offshore, platform to a steel manufacturing unit, power plant, aircraft or ammunition factory, working with all kinds of materials — minerals, iron ore, dangerous chemicals, sometimes in extremely remote places in India.
Each PSU handles huge infrastructure and recruits thousands of young professionals every year. Depending on the PSU and the focus of work, they recruit engineers from various disciplines, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Information Technology, Chemical, Computer Science, Petroleum, Automobile, and so on.
It makes sense to check out the websites of PSUs, so that you get a feel of the kind of work you would be doing, the location where you may get posted and the requirements for the job.
GATE as Eligibility in PSU
The PSUs look for candidates with strong in-depth technical knowledge and understanding of science and core engineering fundamentals. Many Indian PSUs have set the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) score as the minimum criterion for appearing in their job processes and campus interviews.
This is primarily because GATE not only tests technical skills but the analytical, general aptitude & logical skills as well.
The candidates are shortlisted on the basis of GATE scores. The process is then followed by Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).
GATE is an all-India qualifying test for selecting engineers for advanced studies (ME and M.Tech.) to prestigious institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.). It tests a candidate on various subjects in engineering and technology, and is conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bengaluru and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), and held on behalf of the National Coordination Board, GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. The qualifying disciplines for GATE is BE/B.Tech. in relevant disciplines of Engineering.
Nowadays, PSUs require you to appear in GATE before you apply for a job in any of the PSU recruiting through GATE examination. You must furnish the GATE Registration No. while applying for the PSU Recruitment through GATE.
Also, check the complete details of the discipline requirements for the PSUs. Therefore, GATE has become De Facto recruitment examination for Engineering to get a job in Public Sector Units (PSU).
Non- GATE selection
Where the GATE score is not needed, candidates have to take the exam conducted by respective PSUs. Some of the PSU’s continue recruiting graduate and post-graduate degree/ diploma engineers in the respective disciplines through their own Written/Online exams.
The PSU exam usually consists of technical and non-technical sections. The technical section concentrates on the subject specialisation of the related stream, while the non-technical part includes General Awareness, Reasoning and Aptitude, Current Affairs and English Reasoning. The shortlisted candidates then go through the Group discussion and personal interview.
GD and Personal Interview
The Group Discussion (GD) is conducted to judge the behaviour of a person, to check his leadership skills, his/her team-building ability, cooperation skills, and presence of mind.
The Personal Interview (PI) is conducted to test your individual suitability for work in the particular PSU.
So it is best to prepare for the interview by learning up all you can about the PSU and its various projects and think about your own interest and keenness to work on their projects.
Salaries in PSUs have certainly become attractive, more lucrative and the envy of many in the counterpart in the private sector.
Most public sector units offer annual starting salaries between Rs.9-11 lakh, higher than the average starting salary of Rs. 7-8 lakh in the private sector.
Apart from salaries, many benefits such as retirement benefits, dearness allowance, pension plans and benefits such as medical, housing, loans, transport subsidy, children’s education, concessional procurement of equipment like laptops, furniture, etc. make such job offers extremely attractive.
Of course, for many the biggest advantage in PSU Jobs is job security – once recruited, you work with the organisation, for virtually the rest of your career.
With private sector jobs prone to layoffs in times of recession, and merit based promotions/firing, a government position remains intact.
This may be a disincentive for some, but comforting for many.
So if you are looking for a good engineering career, start preparing for GATE, it can be your gateway to success! Engineering jobs in PSU are challenging and rewarding both.