A Drive To Seek The Best: ISRO At NIT Rourkela

A Drive To Seek The Best: ISRO At NIT Rourkela

Animesh Mohanty Tanaya Sahoo | Oct 21, 2019

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As the autumn set in the haven of NIT Rourkela, the weekend marked a bustling at BBA. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set off to fill up vacancies at its centres from the premier institutions of India including NIT Surathkal, NIT Calicut, NIT Rourkela and some other prominent IITs of the country. The posts would be offered to three outstanding candidates each from Mechanical and Electronics and Communication engineering branches across the institutions. For the same, ISRO gave out a presentation on its recruiting drive and briefed a gathering of students and candidates across all years about the stellar benefits of a career at ISRO. Nevertheless, the grind had just begun. The details of the briefing are as follows:

Career at ISRO

Pay and Allowances

ISRO provides the salary as determined by the Government of India for a 1st class Gazetted officer. The salary is determined competitively according to the market conditions and is the same for all employees joining at level 10 in any Government-owned venture. 

Career Progression

ISRO guarantees assured career progression based on merit. Below is the given table for the different levels in the official hierarchy of ISRO. Gazetted class-1 officers start at L-10

DesignationLevelMinimum Qualification
Sci/Engr. SDL-114 years in Sci/Engr. SC grade
Sci/Engr. SEL-124 years in Sci/Engr. SD grade
Sci/Engr. SFL-134 years in Sci/Engr. SE grade
Sci/Engr. SGL-145 years in Sci/Engr. SF grade
Sci/Engr. GL-155 years in Sci/Engr. SG grade
Sci/Engr. HL-14 with SP3 years in Sci/Engr. G   grade
Outstanding ScientistL-163 years in Sci/Engr. H   grade
Distinguished ScientistL-172 years in Outstanding Scientist

It is to be noted that the level of Distinguished scientist is the highest in ISRO’s hierarchy and is equivalent to the level of Secretary to the Government of India.

Scientists and Engineers are assessed thoroughly by a committee for promotion to the higher grade. Under the present merit Promotion Scheme, promotion will be based on one’s merit and without reference to the availability of vacancy.

Incentives

After one year of service, employees are eligible to draw the following incentives, linked to performance:

IncentiveMax % of Basic pay
Organizational20
Group10
Individual(after promotion and assessment)18
Professional Update AllowanceTo meet the expenses required for updating field knowledge

The total of three incentives viz, Organizational, Group, and Individual incentive will be limited to 40% of the Basic Pay.

Opportunities

ISRO offers its employees many opportunities to expand their domain knowledge and even pursue higher education at selected top IITs, IISc and IIST on a sponsorship basis. They also provide opportunities for attending seminars, workshops, paper presentations, conferences etc for knowledge enhancement. Also to encourage and appreciate the high impact work of its scientists/engineers ISRO  awards the employees with titles such as ISRO Award, IETE, SAME, ISRS, ASI, etc.

Schemes and Facilities

ISRO employees enjoy the following schemes and facilities

  1. New Pension Scheme(NPS)
  2. Central Government Employees’ Group Insurance Scheme(CGIS)
  3. In-house welfare schemes-SAFE & VISWAS
  4. Entitled for Leave Travel Concession(LTC), as per Government of India orders
  5. Encashment of 10 days Earned Leave, up to maximum  60 days, along with LTC, subject to conditions
  6. Advance for purchase of site and construction of house thereon, or House Construction
  7. Housing Facilities are provided in limited number in all major cities of India
  8. High-end library facilities

The most lucrative Scheme enjoyed by the employees is ISRO’s Medical Scheme. The various provisions are listed below.

  1. A contributory medical scheme called “Contributory Health Service Scheme(CHSS)”
  2. Self and dependant family members staying with the employee will be covered under the scheme
  3. Subscription at 1% of Basic pay per month
  4. Cashless/full reimbursement for in-patient and out-patient treatments, as per the prescribed schedule of rates
  5. Well known hospitals are recognized under the scheme in ISRO localities apart from specialists in different specialized fields
  6. Established Dispensaries/Appointed Authorised Medical Officers(AMO) for an immediate consultation.

For those who still dream to serve at ISRO

ISRO conducts the ICRB(ISRO Centralised Recruitment Board) examination every year for recruiting Scientists/Engineers at SC level or level 10 in the hierarchy of ISRO. The recruitment process includes a written examination and an interview round which is considered more in-depth than those conducted by the reputed PSU’s of India. Nevertheless, every year around 300 talented aspirants do make the cut and find themselves serving in India’s most coveted scientific organization. So don’t be disheartened if you couldn't make it the first time. There is still hope for those brave enough to take the road to ISRO. 

SEEKING ANSWERS FOR THE FUTURE

Following the brief presentation, a round of questions and answers session ensued. Several questions about opportunities available for branches other than Mechanical and Electronics and Communication engineering we're raised. To which ISRO replied that opportunities are available for a broader spectrum of branches like Civil engineers who can work at Construction and maintenance divisions. Ample opportunities are listed on the website for Physics students and other branches where work opportunities are available in the manifold divisions and centres of ISRO in India.

On asked about the entire recruiting programme drive, Debasish Mishra, Placement Coordinator of Mechanical Engineering branch says,

Generally, ISRO doesn't recruit from any of the campuses in India. Our institute is one of the top institutions in India was shortlisted when vacancies opened for a few posts. They planned to visit us, NIT Surathkal and NIT Calicut among NITs. We hope for recruitments so that the same link can continue next year onwards. It's all up to them to visit again. There is a test conducted every year by which they directly hire and as such, there is no guarantee they will do this every year.

Anshuman Maharana, Training and Placement Secretary says,

The process started with a Pre-placement talk at 9AM which was kept open to all shortly followed by document verification of candidates and personal interviews.The way the interviews were conducted was quite old-school with Interviewees being asked to solve problems with marker on white board. They stressed mostly on basics of their subjects testing the foundation of their knowledge in the respective branches.The interviews stretched late till 10:30PM. At the end of the day the interviewers said they were having trouble of choosing the three among the candidates from mechanical while the performance of ECE students was mediocre or in the words of Smt. V.Ramalakshmi, 'okay'.Besides the student talent pool and our campus infrastructure they also appreciate refreshments from Dosa Plaza in the evening that very day.

The interview is supposed to be a hard-line technical interview focussing on skill sets and knowledge on particular subjects. However, we can definitely hope that the entire drive opens up new doors to opportunities and placements in the coming years. The question is are we willing to play tough to crack the nut, that is, hitting the bull's eye-ISRO?

Monday Morning wishes good luck to ISRO and the candidates!

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