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Stress test for best brains

- Engineers can prosper in fields beyond technology

They once cracked the toughest entrance exam in the world but they crack like anybody else in tough situations in life.

The suicide by Ayush Kriti (28), an IIT-Kanpur alumnus, has once again raised the issue of stress level of students studying at the premier institute.

The BTech graduate could not find himself a job of his choice and was allegedly suffering from depression. He hanged himself from the ceiling fan of his Salimpur Ahra residence on Wednesday.

Many engineering students suffer from depression as they focus on higher percentile and lucrative job at the end of the four-year studies.

Kumar Shiladitya, an alumnus of IIT-Patna who is pursuing MTech at IIT-Kharagpur at present, said: “Parents and society have high expectations from an IITian, as they feel that IIT graduates can easily get a pay package of more than Rs 10 lakh. However, the ground reality is very different as only a handful gets placement of Rs 10 lakh and above, that too in the IT sector. Even core engineering companies do not offer Rs 10-lakh package always.”

But getting a technical job should not be the focus of an IITian, as many of its glorious alumni made a huge mark in life without hankering for the placement and package (see graphic).

The IIT-Patna graduate too has witnessed the suicide of one of his classmates two years back. Unhappy about her grades, Yalavarthi Sweeya (21) jumped from her hostel terrace on September 2, 2011, as she could not cope with the stress at IIT although she had been a brilliant student at school.

Echoing Shiladitya’s views, Gyan Shankar Singh, a student of NIT-Patna also said failure to get high percentile and lucrative placement develops a sense of insecurity and depression among students.

Singh said: “As many companies look for students having high percentile, those who fail to score it, get depressed.”

Even psychiatrists feel that high expectation of students studying at IITs and failure to achieve their goal lead to depression. Psychiatrist Pramod Kumar Singh of Patna Medical College and Hospital said: “In case where students suffer from depression, the family should come forward and they should be provided proper treatment and guidance.”

There are many companies who fix 65 to 70 percentage for students in their engineering courses as mandatory to sit for in campus placement and in such a situation those students who do not have this percentage are left depressed and dejected.

Moreover, there are some companies, which also give importance to Class X and XII marks, too, and in such situation if a student coming from the rural background having less percentage in Class X and XII face difficulty in getting good placement.

NIT student Gyan Shankar added: “Generally, a student has to go through three levels of test during placement interviews — aptitude test having question from mathematical and reasoning, technical questions from course and followed by interviews and group discussion. A student, even after clearing toughest tests such as IITs or others, has to clear the placement test then only he or she can get a job.”

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