Archive for the ‘IIT’ Category

IIT Delhi asked to explain expulsions

The National Commission for the Scheduled Castes has asked IIT, Delhi, to explain in two weeks its decision to expel 20 undergraduate students, 12 of whom belonged to the Scheduled Castes communities. Some of the expelled students approached the NCSC alleging caste-based discrimination by the IIT management.

The commission chairperson, Buta Singh, had on Monday asked IIT Director Surendra Prasad to appear before it in person and explain the reasons for expulsion. According to sources, Mr. Prasad told the Commission that the students had been asked to leave because of their poor performance .

The complainants, on the other hand, had alleged that the IIT had expelled them on discriminatory provisions and the remedial courses made available to them were not of any help. Similarly, they were made to participate in the extra-curricular activities instead of allowing to devote more time to studies.

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IIT Bombay reaches out to more teachers

The phenomenal rise in the number of engineering colleges in India has not been matched by a parallel development of educational resources or infrastructure. As the number of IIT aspirants continues to rise each year, a significant number of talented teachers and students continue to struggle with the challenges posed by an ever-changing technology. Now, to bridge that gap, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay has proposed to train teachers across the country’s engineering colleges as per their local needs through their satellite-based programme in distance education mode.
“Today, the country has over 2,000 engineering colleges with more than 2 million students. This has created a desperate need for trained faculty. We will now beam our courses for the benefit of teachers,” said DB Phatak, convenor of the Golden Jubilee celebrations (IIT-B).

IIT-B will circulate a notification this year asking 1,000 teachers across the country to register for a one/two-week programme. “We realised the Quality Improvement Programme doesn’t serve the full purpose in the current scenario and a major scale-up is needed. We also realised that QIP course material is being designed on IIT style which may not be relevant to the particular engineering college from which the teacher comes,” said Phatak. Hence, the teachers who will register their names under the new project will be required to compile the last three year’s course content and question papers of their college. The training will be designed as per individual needs. “After they go back, teachers will be asked to contribute to a question-answer bank to be released under open source,” added Phatak. The project is an extension of IIT-B’s“Ekalavya” and “e-outreach” programmes, which facilitate free dissemination of academic material in the open source. “The training can be given through our EDUSAT programme linked through the Indian Space Research Organisation network, so mobility is not required,” said Kalpana Kannan, project manager, Ekalavya.

Phatak said the institute has estimated that with the scale up of it’s EDUSAT programme, IIT-B will be able to train 30,000 teachers in three years under the new project.

The institute estimates roughly Rs14 crore over three years will be required for the project and has submitted the proposal to Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council for its support. “As we train the teachers, faculty from colleges having the interactive terminal can simultaneously receive it,” added Kannan.

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IIT boost for Bengali operating system

The state government on Monday launched an open-source software, partly developed by IIT Kharagpur, that will facilitate reading, writing and computing in Bengali.

Baishakhi Linux, being open source, is open to selective customisation by users.

The operating system, developed by the Society for Natural Language Technology Research, an initiative of the state information technology department, is to be extensively used in administrative work.

Individual users can also download the software free of cost from

“Computer communication and information technology are part of our daily lives. We need to bridge the gap between people and technology and for that we need a technology that understands the language of the people. Bengali Linux serves the purpose,” said Dwijesh Dutta Mazumdar, the president of the society.

The operating system, created in collaboration with the IIT, Kharagpur, and MAT3 Impex, a Japanese firm, will allow office work and other computation in Bengali.

One of the problems of developing Bengali software is that there is no corpus of words in the language. Baishakhi Linux will try to create a corpus of Bengali words, said a developer.

State IT minister Debesh Das, who unveiled the operating system, said Bengali Linux would be the backbone of e-governance.

The government is planning to provide Internet-enabled computers to all 3,500 gram panchayats and set up 6,000 information kiosks across the state.

“We plan to take the Internet to the block level by October and to all gram panchayats in the next one year. The kiosks will be set up by then,” said Das.

The West Bengal State Wide Area Network, which will link up the kiosks, has already reached the gram panchayats in Burdwan. All kiosks and computers up to the panchayat level will function on Baishakhi Linux. “Training sessions for the employees will start by the end of the month. The training will be a mammoth task,” said the minister.

The society is also undertaking a number of other projects to take information technology to every Bengali-speaking individuals.

The other initiatives include a Bengali dictionary and a wordlist to be developed by the Bengal Engineering and Science University, a Bengali spell-checking system to be integrated with Baishakhi Linux, a search index for Bengali literary works and posting Rabindra Rachanabali on the society’s website.

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NXP Semiconductors has announced signing a definitive agreement with IIT-Delhi to fund research activities

Research Funded
NXP Semiconductors has announced signing a definitive agreement with IIT-Delhi to fund research activities in India. Further, NXP and NT-Bombay are working towards a formal agreement by which NXP would become a member of the VLSI research consortium at NT Bombay. Under the aegis of its existing academic relations programme, the company has committed a total spend of S 1.5 million on its academic programme, over a period of five years, building a potential talent and research pool for the emerging semiconductor ecosystem in India. The institutes will undertake projects in the areas of next-generation VLSI technologies, system prototyping, connectivity and fourth generation mobile communications. NXP has also announced that it would embark on setting up a digital media laboratory in a leading technical, institute in approximately six months.

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IITs may change entry norms for physically challenged

The Indian Institutes of Technology
may now have to relax admission norms for physically challenged students to cope with the issue of
reserved seats staying vacant. The colleges may also have to start offering the one-year preparatory course to physically challenged candidates who don’t make the mark even after entry levels are lowered.

The chief commissioner for persons with disabilities sent out a directive to all the premier tech schools after two physically challenged IIT aspirants from Thane and Chennai demanded an overhaul of the reservation policy designed for students like them. M K Maheshwari from Chennai and Deepak Somai from Thane said the IIT’s 3% reservation policy for physically challenged candidates was ‘‘not in line with’’ what was followed by other institutes.

Of the 3.11 lakh students who took the 2008 Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), 8,514 were from Scheduled Tribes and 28,393 from Scheduled Castes; and, if the last general-category student admitted to the IITs had an overall score of 172 out of 489, the aggregate cut-off for an SC/ST student was 104 (after a 40% relaxation). But cut-offs for physically challenged candidates stood at 155 (after a 10% relaxation).

So, following JEE 2008, the 13 IITs merely managed to fill 20 of the 200-odd seats meant for PD aspirants. In the coming year, these seats are likely to go up as two new institutes — IIT-Indore and IIT-Himachal Pradesh — will start operations in 2009. For students with reading disability, specially printed enlarged font question papers are provided in the JEE.

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Raje blames Centre for delaying setting up of IIT in state

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Tuesday accused the Centre of delaying the process of setting up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the BJP-ruled state.

“Cities have been identified in states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar for setting up IITs, but the state of Rajasthan has yet not received any specified place,” she told reporters in the Capital.

The state government had recommended to the Union Government that an IIT could be set up in Kota district.

After the announcement that Rajasthan would get an IIT, “nothing proper has been done in this direction by the Central government,” Raje said.

“If it is so, then the Centre should leave it to my government,” she added.

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IIT student, brother, father killed in lightning strike on farm

It was one visit that Ravindra, a final year IIT, New Delhi student and his brother Srikanth, who ranked 131st in ICET, could have done without.

Their visit to Kasipadu in Pedakurapadu mandal proved to be their last journey as they were struck down by lightning on Thursday.

Ravindra, who would have completed his MTech soon, and Srikanth came to their native village of Kasipadu three days ago to meet their parents Mallela Durgavaraprasad (48) and mother Lakshmi.

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Indian Institute Of Technology Bombay

Indian Institute Of Technology Bombay

Powai, Mumbai 400 076.
Advt. No. B-39/06-07
Piping Engineering Cell and Continuing Education and Quality lmprovement Programmes
41st Certificate Course on
December 6-19, 2006
for Wiecrmnical/Chemical Engg. Graduates
Register before : November 22, 2006
Fees: Rs. 30000/- per participant
for more information and online registration,

Prof. A.S. Moharir (Course Co-ordinator)
Piping Engineering Cell, CAD Centre,
Chemical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay;
Powai, Mumbai – 400 076.

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Coaching IIT aspirants a Rs.100 bn business – study

New Delhi: Private academies that train students for entrance exams of the Indian Institutes of Technology and other prestigious engineering colleges mint Rs.100 billion ($2.30 billion) a year – an amount that can fund 30 to 40 new IITs, shows a study by an industry body.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) study, released on Wednesday, said private academies who train 600,000 students every year for these exams make Rs.100 billion a year.

Calling for de-regulation of higher education, Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said the beneficiaries of the current system were those running big educational institutions and coaching centres.

“The amount of money which goes to these institutions – Rs.100 billion – is enough to open 30 to 40 IITs with lots of seats that can ensure admission to average candidates, aspiring to be an engineering graduate,” he said.

At least 50 percent of the students who appear in the entrance tests for admissions to IITs and other engineering colleges enroll with coaching centres to beat the cut-throat competition, said Assocham.

Talking about another anomaly in higher education, the body said that 80,000-90,000 students go abroad for higher studies, leading to a high foreign exchange outflow.

“If quality institutions are provided, a large number of students will stay back and contribute to the nation,” said Assocham.

The chamber asserted that more institutions of excellence should come up and suggested that private players and big industrial groups should be encouraged in higher education.

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Issue of IIT status for engg. colleges still open

Colleges being given IIT status or the status of other national institutions have to allow half the seats to be filled from all-India quota. Hence the State Government has suggested to the Ministry of HRD and UGC to allow the intake to be doubled so that the local candidates would be left with the same number of seats, said Chairman of AP State Council of Higher Education K.C. Reddy here on Sunday.

OU was worried that half the seats in its engineering college would not be available to local students but it was ready to accept the status if the intake was doubled, he said. There are some positive indications from MHRD and UGC to our proposal, he disclosed.

Regarding the deemed universities, Prof. Reddy said as of now the Government had no say at all in their affairs but almost all States represented to the Centre and UGC that the antecedents and all other aspects of the institutions must be thoroughly verified and the State Governments taken into consideration before granting deemed university status. Deemed varsities must be welcomed but private sector entry and partnership in higher education must have a regulatory mechanism if not control, to ensure quality education that has relevance to the society, Prof. Reddy said. This topic was discussed during a review meeting held by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and the APSCHEs governing body meeting at Hyderabad tomorrow would discuss it once again, he said.

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IIM Calcutta Graduate Launches His Own Venture ‘Lifeinlines’

Ankur Gattani, the IIT Bombay, IIM Calcutta graduate, who opted out of his campus placements to start his own venture, launched his start-up,, in beta at IIT Bombay yesterday. With another IIT-B graduate, Maninder, on his team now, the two ex-members of the students’ entrepreneurship cell on the campus, got their faculty advisor to launch the site by a voice call recorded and played on their site.

Just four months after his convocation from IIM Calcutta, where he opted out of the placement process, Ankur has put together a team with Maninder Gulati, a senior from IIT Bombay who quit his job at ITC, to join, also Nirjhareswar Bannerjee and Nilesh Pancholi, both accomplished technology people rather senior to him, but willing to bet on the shared dream. Lifeinlines has gone through multiple reviews and been commended by international forums for its warmth and emotional touch, and now has a set of users that have formed an intimate relationship with the site.

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Small town wonders shine at IIT Techfest 09

Call them small town wonders. Five budding engineers from an engineering college
in Surendranagar got the better of Bombay University
boys in robotics competition at IIT Techfest 09. Teams from over 90 well-known engineering colleges in Asia had participated in the Robo Wars’, the main event at the Asia’s largest technical festival year hosted by Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.

It was also for the first time that students from CU Shah College of Engineering and Technology, Surendranagar had participated in such a mega event. They made a robot named gladiator’ which succeeded in defeating and destroying the robotic gadget made by team from Bombay University.

The team comprised third year engineering students Bhargav Shah, Geetesh Shakyawar, Radhika Rawat, Vipul Barot, and Aakruti Shah.

“Our only strength was the robot. We gave in our best and emerged as a winner,” said Bhargav, a native of Vadodara.

The team of six engineers worked for almost five months to build the perfect robot for the tech fest. “We did a market survey to find out which models are available and studied those which have been successful. Then we took a month for planning and designing the robot. In fact the tyres used for the model were designed by us, we did not outsource it,” said team leader Geetesh.

“We kept on improvising till we arrived at the perfect model that could give tough competition to other robots in the competition. Gladiator’ had a metallic disc which was used as cutter for a weapon which helped us defeat robots of other teams,” he added.

A city-based engineering firm Amit Engineering Works extended all the support that the students were looking for. “We did all the fabrication work at the workshop and the owner did not charge a penny from us,” added Vipul.

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CIC summons IIT professor to explain cut-off formula

It is a testing challenge to the fairness of what is considered one of the most competitive examinations in the world, IIT-JEE. The chief organiser of the 2006 examination, Prof V K Tewari of IIT Kharagpur, is due to appear on Thursday before the Central Information Commission to account for his failure to explain the basis on which he had arrived at subject-wise cut-off marks.

Tewari has been summoned to show cause why, as “the custodian of the information,” he should not be penalized as neither of the versions he gave of the statistical formula tallied with the cut-off marks that had been applied to filter out candidates in the 2006 IIT-JEE.

In response to an RTI application, the information officer of IIT Kharagpur first said that the cut-off formula was “mean minus standard deviation” for all the candidates who had appeared in the examination.

But when the figures that emerged from this formula turned out to be at variance with the cut-off marks that had actually been announced, IIT changed its response and said that the performance of only those who obtained at least one mark in each of the subjects had been taken into account. As it happened, even the second version of the formula did not yield the official cut-off marks, which were 37 in mathematics, 48 in physics and 55 in chemistry.

Worse, because of the vast and unexplained variation in the cut off marks, the less meritorious qualified even within the general category candidates at the expense of those who performed better.

IIT Kharagpur was hard pressed to justify the anomalies that came to light: For instance, a candidate who scored an aggregate of 250 marks failed to qualify simply because he got 52 in chemistry (three less than the cut-off marks in that subject) while another qualified with an aggregate of just 156 marks simply because he happened to get 55 in chemistry.

The summons for Thursday’s hearing followed the Calcutta HC’s rejection of Tewari’s plea to stop CIC from proceeding against him. Information commissioner O P Kejariwal has served a penalty notice on him despite his contention that he has already complied with CIC direction “in letter and spirit” to disclose the cut-off procedure for the 2006 examination.

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Online MBA clicks with institutes

Management Development Programmes (MDPs) are the latest offering at the online education mart. With an estimated market of Rs 400-500 crore, MDPs are riding on some of the drawbacks of classroom coaching — high costs, lack of sufficient seats and time constraints — by logging on to the corporate and professionals alike. Sensing that professionals and corporates are getting hooked, online education players want to make the most of it.

Take the case of 24/7 Learning, which offers online MDPs for corporate clients. The Bangalore-based online education firm now plans to target individuals in smaller towns. It is enthused by around 350% growth for the MDP segment this year. Premier institutes such as IIM-C, IIT-D, MDI Gurgaon, to name a few, increasingly find it worthwhile to either increase the options of programmes offered or join the online club. IIT-D online MDPs, for instance, have been a great success with over 1,500 individuals enrolled for the three of its courses — supply chain management, finance for non-finance professionals, and international finance.

Not to be left behind, IIFT Delhi has also joined the race in association with Macmillan India, to offer an online MDP programme. The online MDP, Getting started on export-import trade, targets aspiring entrepreneurs, professionals in the export-import market apart from domestic players chalking out expansion plans. The initiative got a fillip after an ongoing export-import programme received huge response from the professional fraternity.

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IIT IIM Grads introduce mouse to bell the CAT

Belling the CAT is going to require a mouse from the year 2009. And that is because the IIMs have been intensively consulting with various organizations to introduce computer based tests (CBT) for CAT from as early as year 2009. This step is being taken by the board because of the enormous logistical difficulties being faced in conducting paper based
traditional tests fairly for an ever increasing aspirant pool for the coveted institutions. IIMs in their frenzy have conveniently ignored the fact that this methodology may be biased against the aspirants from small towns and cities of the country who are substantially less computer savvy than their counterparts in the metropolitan cities. However, thanks to the determined efforts of a team of IIT & IIM graduates hailing from small towns, the bias based out of digital divide will be eliminated much before CAT 2009. They have come up with a free online test series ( where anyone can take mock CAT tests free of cost to make oneself familiar with online testing framework. “The CATIndiaOnline framework has been designed while keeping the regular aspirants from small cities and towns. It’s very light weight and performs quite well over a dial up connection which is what many aspirants may have access to in the remote cities and towns” maintains Mayank Goel, one of the founders. However, this is not all, in fact not even the beginning. “CATIndiaOnline gives rigorous analysis of an aspirant’s performance as well as insightful recommendations to improve his/her preparation on the fly, which will be a boon for any CAT aspirant anywhere in the country” says Rahul Luthra, an IIMA student who got a percentile of 100 in CAT 2006 and volunteered to help the team in conceptualizing the rich features. The analysis provided for a test taken on CATIndiaOnline is much more rigorous than the analysis possible for a paper based mock test. The reason being CATIndiaOnline test series can accurately monitor the time one has spent on individual questions thereby helping aspirants to improve their time management skills, one’s performance in various topics thereby determining one’s areas of strengths and weaknesses accurately as well as one’s performance in questions of various different difficulty level. This kind of analysis is challenging to do for an aspirant who is taking paper based tests. However, CATIndiaOnline test series and associated intelligent & patent-pending algorithms, one gets this analysis done for him/her instantaneously. The team therefore, strongly recommends it for CAT 2008 aspirants to give it a try. To all the aspirants and the CATIndiaOnline team – best of luck!

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IITs: Quality only because of exclusivity

My previous article, suggesting that it is folly to increase the number of IITs without enough competent teachers to teach, has started the biggest (though not the most furious) debate I have noticed so far in response to any of my articles. The debate emerged as a response to my suggestion that there is no point in admitting ill-educated students to IITs and that if only children were well educated from pre-nursery (at least from middle-school stage), children of all cas tes will have about the same chance of getting to the IITs — provided family culture imbues the children with a zest for study.

Several IIT alumni, critical of my proposition, have started a blog suggesting there is so much demand for admission to IITs that the state must meet that demand.

Extending the argument, as many more people want to become MPs, should we increase the size of our Parliament indefinitely? Similarly, is it desirable to expand the size of the Cabinet? Meeting public demand is desirable but, when that idea is carried to the extreme, it will end up like the story of the man, the son and the donkey.

Engineering education is usually assumed to be the study of nuts and bolts. It is philosophical too, an aspect missed by many engineers. Let me give three examples.

The Nyquist theorem is an elegant and very complex mathematical analysis of control systems. Not many people can comprehend that level of mathematics, but almost all IIT students can do it. However, the essence of Nyquist’s theorem is quite simple. Its philosophical import is: it is not possible to build a system that never makes mistakes; it is best to correct mistakes after they occur rather than attempt a system that never makes mistakes.

On that basis, it is acceptable to increase the number of IITs even if it is a mistake. However, the Nyquist theorem explains also that not all systems are correctable; only certain designs are stable. In the case of IITs, once poorly trained students flood the market, their brand image is liable to suffer, quite like Humpty Dumpty — not all the government’s ministers and not all their money will be able to get its reputation back again.

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Inaugural Issue of Journal Published by Walden University

Walden University, a leading distance learning institution, published the inaugural issue of the Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences this month. This online, peer-reviewed journal focuses on interdisciplinary research and practice, and encourages the exchange of ideas between researchers and practitioners.

The first issue includes the following articles by scholar-practitioners in Waldens online university community and from other institutions:

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Speech tech to bridge the digital divide

In the world according to C. Mohan Ram, you just talk.

Simply talk, Summa Pesunga, Bas Baath Keejiye – thats what he wants to promote through LatticeBridge Infotech Pvt Ltd (LB), Chennai, a company he founded in 2002.

Speech Expands Reach, declares Ram. He talks about reaching more people, more markets, and more profit, all through speech, while recently interacting with Business Line, over a Spartan lunch.

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IIT Delhi asked to explain expulsions

The National Commission for the Scheduled Castes has asked IIT, Delhi, to explain in two weeks its decision to expel 20 undergraduate students, 12 of whom belonged to the Scheduled Castes communities. Some of the expelled students approached the NCSC alleging caste-based discrimination by the IIT management.

The commission chairperson, Buta Singh, had on Monday asked IIT Director Surendra Prasad to appear before it in person and explain the reasons for expulsion. According to sources, Mr. Prasad told the Commission that the students had been asked to leave because of their poor performance .

The complainants, on the other hand, had alleged that the IIT had expelled them on discriminatory provisions and the remedial courses made available to them were not of any help. Similarly, they were made to participate in the extra-curricular activities instead of allowing to devote more time to studies.

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Global turmoil doesn’t hit IIM-C placements

Brushing aside apprehensions regarding impact of the prevailing global crisis, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) has managed to uphold its reputation of being the top choice of recruiters yet again. The institute has managed to lure the highest number of companies at its summer placement which was conducted recently.

The rigorous planning and methodical efforts undertaken by the institute to counter the effects of the global meltdown finally succeeded with around 110 companies participating at the placement process. The institute claims to have received the highest recruiters this year.
The entire batch of over 300 students were offered the widest possible range of sectors and job profiles. Students were offered prestigious roles in investment banking, consulting, general management, marketing, media and private equity. In fact students had more options to choose from this time.

Around 100 students managed to grab position in prestigious companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, McKinsey, Macquarie, AT Kearney, BCG, Bain, HSBC Global, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, RBS, Rothschild and French investment bank Calyon.

Amongst these Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland preferred to recruit the highest number of students from IIM-C this year. Similarly, couple of positions were also bagged in Morgan Stanley London and two of the biggest names in Swiss banking, UBS and Credit Suisse.

Other than India, offers have come from across continents like the USA, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Middle East.
While investment banks recruited 58 students, the consulting offers stood at 16. Offers also came from a variety of domains including retail, general management, marketing and commercial banking. Some of the major marketing names this year included P&G, Unilever, Diageo, Pepsi, Nestle and ITC among others.

It is for the first time that companies like Yahoo, Amazon, Provogue, DHL Logistics, Reebok, Century Ply and the Mahindra Group participated in the summer placement. Apart from this, HT Media, Times Group and Star TV selected students interested in the emerging media sector.

“This year, companies from a wide range of sectors like marketing, finance, media, logistics and supply chain management, general management, public sector undertaking and analytic firms recruited students from this institute. Although the trend shows that finance sector continues to remain the preferred sector of choice, marketing has also seen an increase along with consulting,” said Mr Debtosh Mishra, external relations secretary of IIM-C

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