A leading U.S. consulting firm cancelled its offer for 11 students at IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur, and IIT-Madras, as well as its offer for 6 students at IIM-Calcutta in the month of April 2020. This is regarded as an early warning for the entire campus because it is indeed a question mark for the work offered by the fresh graduates of these top engineering and business schools.
IIT and IIM are concerned that the COVID-19 lockdown and imminent economic difficulties may force more companies to reconsider their placement proposals.
As of March this year, the country ’s top three Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have provided jobs for nearly 4,000 students. Usually, the employment season is a celebration time on campus, but this year is different from recent history.
All IITs’ Placement Committee (AIPC) has contacted all companies (visitors recruiting on-campus) to ask them not to cancel the placement offers for the 2019-20 school year.
On Friday, Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT-Delhi, issued a public appeal to all recruiters. Rao argues that since all IITs strictly follow the principle of equal opportunities (one candidate, one job), withdrawing an offer would mean students “will end up not having any job right now”.
“We all understand these are difficult times. But please be considerate to keep your promises. A few months of delay may be fine. Please do not complicate the lives of these brightest children in an already complex environment. If at all, they are capable of getting you out of recession faster than you can imagine,” he wrote in on social media.
On March 30, IIT-Kanpur director Abhay Karandikar assured support to graduating students affected by the cancelling of the placement offers. “I understand that some companies have withdrawn job offers. We will arrange a special placement drive in July/August time frame once the situation returns to normal. We will also tap our vast network of IITK alumni, who, I am sure, will come forward to help all of you,” Karandikar wrote in his email to all students.
To help students affected by last-minute dropouts, IIM-Bangalore will contact recruiters who are interested in participating in job placement activities this year but are turned away to check whether they are still keen to recruit.
By the way, the US consulting firm that withdrew offers this week is one of the companies participating in the IIM-Bangalore placement this year.
“All of us are worried. It will be chaotic,” said the director of a second-generation IIM on the condition on anonymity, when asked if he hoped that the pandemic would affect the final placement. “Moreover, if companies start cutting salaries (of existing employees), we’ll be fooling ourselves to think that our students will not be affected by those decisions.”
“In my experience, international companies, especially those based in the US, take such decisions (on withdrawing offers) faster. I am sure we will see an impact. Indian companies take a little longer to decide (on such matters). Some of our best students are picked up first by global forms. It will be ironic if such students are left behind,” this director added.
Although IIT took pre-emptive action and notified employers that they should not withdraw offers, IIMs are being more cautious. “I think it will be an overreach on our part to speak to companies at this moment,” said a senior officer in the administration of IIM-Ahmedabad.
But even as far as IIT is currently negotiating with US consulting firms, a director admitted that not many people can change this decision.
Although six of the graduate students of the institute are one of the first global economic shockers, IIM-Calcutta believes that more employment opportunities will not be affected.