IITs, IIMs ready for all possible scenarios after US firm rescinds job offers amid Covid-19

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New Delhi: Alarm bells are ringing across campuses in India after the US-based research firm Gartner revoked job offers to students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). 

These institutes are now keeping a contingency plan ready, in case more firms decide to withdraw their offers and are alerting their students to be ready for all possible situations, ThePrint has learnt.  

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has also intervened and appealed to companies to not take any decision in “haste”.  

With countries virtually shutting down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several students at IITs and IIMs last week found their job offers revoked by Gartner.  

Officials at IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Delhi ThePrint spoke to, confirmed that the firm rescinded its job offers. Internships at IIT Kanpur were also withdrawn by the company and all these institutions are now looking at ways to get over the crisis.  

“Offers to four students (by Gartner) have been withdrawn and we have already written to the company to request them to reconsider their decision. Right now we are in a wait and watch kind of situation because the situation is changing rapidly,” said V. Ramagopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi. “We are also looking at another round of placement in case more companies decide to rescind their offers. There is no need to do that right now, but we have to have a plan in place in case the situation arises in the future.”  

Sources in IIT Delhi said that apart from Gartner rescinding the four job offers, no other company has pulled out as of now.  

It is a similar case in IIT Kanpur where Gartner rescinded internship offers to students.  

“No company has withdrawn a job offer, some (Gartner) have withdrawn summer internship offers as of now,” said an IIT Kanpur professor who is involved with placements. “But we are expecting job offers to be withdrawn, which is why we are keeping a contingency plan in mind. We are looking at organising another round of placements in August- September in case more job offers are withdrawn.” 

Also read: IIT Bombay & Delhi break into top 50 engineering colleges in QS World Rankings by Subject

IIMs also looking at alternate placement plans 

IIMs are also looking at alternate placement options for those students whose job offers were withdrawn.  

Amit Karna, chairperson of the placement committee at IIM-Ahmedabad told ThePrint, “So far, only one firm has rescinded the job offers. We will look for alternative job opportunities for these students through our existing recruiters and alumni network.”  

An official from IIM Calcutta said that the institute is speaking to Gartner to reach an agreeable outcome. For those who have lost internship opportunities, the placement cell is making alternate arrangements, the official added.   

While other institutions are largely unaffected by the pandemic so far, when it comes to placements, they have asked their students to be ready for all possible scenarios.  

“The placement office has been able to get job offers for nearly 5,000 students, which includes students from across various colleges and 700 at the university this year,” a placement officer at Delhi University said. “No company has withdrawn the job offer so far but we have communicated to the students to be ready for all scenarios. If everything goes well, students should be able to join by July.” 

AICTE urges for calm

For other public and private technical institutions, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is not raising any warning signs as of now and advising the institutions to keep their calm and wait for the situation to improve.  

“We have been conveying to all institutions to not think of placements and job offers right now; instead students should focus on learning and utilising this time to acquire new skills. As far as placements are concerned, even if there is a corporate slump, which has happened in the past as well, the companies have deferred joining dates,” AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told ThePrint. “Instead of taking everyone at the same time, they have scattered the dates and that is what we have asked the institutes to be ready for. We are trying to make sure that there is no panic at this point.”  

The HRD Ministry has also intervened and appealed to companies to not rescind job offers. An official from HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank’s office told ThePrint, “Keeping in mind the future of students, the minister has appealed to the companies to continue offering jobs and not stop at this crucial time. He was also made aware about some companies rescinding job offers and the minister has appealed to all companies to not take any decision in haste as this is a crucial time.”  

“The minister has further conveyed that it is only by giving opportunities to these students that the companies can get out of the current situation,” the official added. 

Also read: Covid-19 crisis is choking India’s MSME sector. Business won’t pick up even after lockdown

This report has been updated to accurately state the AICTE chairman’s name — it is Anil Sahasrabuddhe, not Vinay Sahasrabuddhe. 

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