Despite an economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the placement season at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) kicked off on a high note in the first week of December, with some institutes recording their best opening days ever.

At IIT-Madras, first day of the placement season on 2 December brought more offers than in the preceding years. At IIT-Roorkee, the fattest domestic salary package on offer was Rs 20 lakh higher than that of 2019-20. The IIT alumni networks are one of the strongest and most well connected among education institutions and according to the professors, they play a part in getting students job ready through training sessions and internships while also bringing in some of the companies to campus.

“Several of our students get placed because the alumni often bring the company where they are working to the institute during the placement sessions. The Covid placement cycle was a stellar example of alumni having helped students in a big way,” Prof Mahesh Panchagnula, dean of alumni and corporate relations at IIT Madras, told to a anchor during interview .

“When the placement process was affected by Covid-19 in March 2020, we reached out to our alumni for helping students who lost their job offers and those who were yet to get one,” Prof Mahesh said. “A significant number of the alumni responded positively and created interview opportunities for these students.” Old students step in during difficult year A number of IITs have their alumni to thank for their placement seasons not crumbling in the pandemic year. At IIT Kanpur, Pradeep Bhargava, the alumni association head, said the alumni have helped the students this year not just with jobs but also internships Though reports mention that the number of companies coming in for recruitment at IIT Kanpur came down from 300 to 230 this year, several companies handed out handsome packages to those hired.

The highest package was worth Rs 1.47 crore per annum, offered by an MNC, while an Indian company also offered an annual package of Rs 82 lakh. This is the highest salary packet to be offered by any Indian company in IIT Kanpur’s placement history. B.R. Gurjar, dean of resources and alumni affairs at IIT Roorkee, said in a interview to The Hindu, “Some of our alumni have been very kind to us in helping with the placements. They conduct internship and training-related programmes for our students and help them become job ready. They have also helped us in recruitment of our students wherever job positions are available.” Not just placements It isn’t just with placements and internships that the former students of the IITs help the institutes. A number of them also help with donations and regular financial contributions.

The IIT alumni list contains some stellar names — Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla from IIT Delhi; Arun Sarin who became CEO Vodafone in 2003 and Google CEO Sundar Pichai from IIT Kharagpur and Ola Cabs founder Bhavish Agarwal and founder Rahul Yadav from IIT Bombay, among others. IIT Delhi, for example, has an endowment fund of Rs 250 crore, wherein top alumni of the institute such as Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have pledged money.

The institute aims to raise $1 billion over the next six years with help from industry leaders and alumni who are now in senior management positions at companies in India and abroad.

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