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Pandemic effect: IITs see fewer job offers this placement season

The pandemic has hit the ongoing placements season at the premiere Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), with several of these institutes bracing for poor recruitment statistics this year
By Priyanka Sahoo
PUBLISHED ON APR 17, 2021 12:06 AM IST

The pandemic has hit the ongoing placements season at the premiere Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), with several of these institutes bracing for poor recruitment statistics this year.

At IIT-Bombay (IIT-B), a bulk of all jobs were offered during the first phase of placements in December last year. In the second phase, which kicked off in January, 125 students have been placed so far.

“We are striving to minimise the negative impact on campus recruitment process due to the pandemic situation,” said BV Ravi Shankar, training and placement officer.

Shankar said a similar number of companies had participated in the placement drive as compared to last year, with a few new firms joining the league. However, the overall statistics of recruitment may be poorer this year.

“Due to market conditions, international placements, university faculty (PhD) and public sector undertakings (PSU) recruitments have been fewer this year, and this [has] affected our overall statistics,” he added.

During the 15-day phase I of placements in December, the institute saw an 18% drop in the number of job offers from 2019.

Fewer PSUs or government organisations shopped for talent this year, said many IITs.

The Madras campus saw four PSUs recruit students, while the Guwahati campus hosted two PSUs.

At IIT-Delhi, the number of PSUs that participated in the placement drive was in single digits, said Anishya Madan, head, office of career services, IIT-Delhi, where so far around 1,000 students have secured jobs.

“[There have been] fewer number of selections per company. Some companies have deferred hiring this year because of the pandemic,” said Madan.

IIT-Patna, where 109 out of 178 registered students are placed, said that placements were off to an erratic start but corrected their course over time.

“At the start of the pandemic, some companies were very reluctant to conduct the placement process due to the sudden slump in the economy and the uncertainty all around. Hence, compared to the placement season of 2020, some companies were missed out. However, this year we also saw over 45 new recruiters,” said Kripa Shankar Singh, training and placement officer, IIT-Patna.

Last year, when the pandemic broke out, many companies rescinded their offers made to students during the placement drive of 2019-20. Therefore, institutes have been careful this year to avoid such a situation.

“We are in talks with companies to ensure that job offers made during the placement season are honoured,” said Shankar from IIT-B.

“The institute was in constant communication with all the recruiters and only those companies that showed confidence in their hiring process this year were invited for placement,” said Abhishek Kumar, head, Centre for Career Development at IIT-Guwahati, where 28 offers were rescinded last year.

Many IITs allowed students with rescinded offers to sit for placements this year. At IIT-Guwahati, eight such students received on-campus jobs and others received off-campus jobs. IIT-Madras allowed 157 students from the 2020 batch to register for placements this year.

“Of these, 27 have been placed,” said CS Shankar Ram, advisor (training and placement), IIT-Madras, where 838 of the 1,470 registered students have secured jobs.

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