A final year B.Tech student of Information Technology of Jadavpur University (JU) – arguably one of the most employable sections in the student community – killed himself on Tuesday afternoon, soon after he came back after cracking round one of a placement interview of Microsoft thinking he would fail to clear it. After his body was discovered hanging from his hostel room, his friends found out he indeed cleared round one and was selected for the next.
Ranjan (21) came to Kolkata to study engineering from Bokaro. He secured admission through the sports quota.
Manish Ranjan's suicide not only shocked the city's academic circles, but also ignited wider questions on the pressure of competition, expectations of bright students and how to tackle personal downturns.
Professors of the university told HT, Ranjan was despondent after he failed to get selected by Amazon that interviewed him on Friday. While the company took only one student from JU, it appears Ranjan could not digest the rejection.
On Tuesday Ranjan took the first round of Microsoft campus interview and went back to his hostel. Within two-hours his friends found him hanging from the ceiling of his hostel room.
"He had cracked the first round of the Micorsoft interview, but it seems Manish committed suicide before getting to know about it," said professor Samiran Chattopadhyay, head of the department of Information Technology (IT).
An officer of Bidhannagar South police station told HT, "We found no foul play in the preliminary investigation. He did not leave any suicide note."
Explaining why a student might commit suicide over placement Chattopadhyay said, "When some of the best known companies come for placement every student wants to crack them. It is very important for them, and peer pressure is always at work. This is also the time to fulfill parental expectations."
Placement in some of the most coveted companies in the world would ensure a starting salary package of anywhere between Rs 4 lakh to 7 lakh.
Generally the students who get through in JU for studying IT rank between 700 and 1,000 in West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination (WBJEE). Ranjan was not only good at studies, but also on the field.
On Tuesday, teachers remembered Ranjan as a very bright student and a good basketball player. "He was a very good student and had jovial nature. He was a good sportsman too. We never thought he could do something like this," said Chattopadhyay.
"His friends do not remember him seeing depressed on Friday. Even today after the first round of interview got over none of his friends recount seeing him disheartened. I guess today everything happened very quickly," he added.
"He was so happy and jovial in the morning. How could he commit suicide in the afternoon. We are shocked!" said Sumit Bandhyopadhyay, a student of computer science engineering, and a friend of Ranjan.