India Inc has become cautious in hiring this year with only 18 per cent students in B category business schools getting placement, according to industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM’s) latest survey.

“Economic slowdown, stalling of new projects and investors' apathy towards several key sectors like infrastructure, hotels, financial services, realty and retail have led to drying of job opportunities for a large numbers of students from the B category business schools which are struggling hard for placement,” said an ASSOCHAM statement.

There has not been any response from the manufacturing sector but the services sectors such as financial, IT & ITES are offering some jobs, reveals the ASSOCHAM recent paper “Appetite for MBA tumbles down".

The ASSOCHAM paper also reveals that the salary packages which are offered at B-schools and engineering colleges are also being curtailed by 40 to 45 per cent as compared to last year.

ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said: “Many parents and students are re-thinking on investing two to three years and several lakhs in a course, with the demand and placement of MBA graduates not as good as before due to slowdown. Around 450 institutions have become defunct as they are not getting enough students to be viable.”

The common test for admission (CAT) to elite B-schools of the country also saw a decline of 9.5 percent in 2014 from 8.5 per cent in 2013, added the paper.

As per the ASSOCHAM recent findings while the total number of applicants stood at 1.85 lakh in 2014, compared with 1.94 lakh in 2013, the MBA seats in India grew almost four-fold from 95,000 in 2006-07 to 4,68,000 in 2013. “Unfortunately job opportunities for MBAs have not grown in the same proportion,” added the ASSOCHAM paper.

“The biggest reason for the gap is the rapid mushrooming of tier-2 and tier-3 management education institutes that have unfortunately not been matched by commensurate uplift in the quality of management education. Most of the students prefer to choose cheaper AICTE approved programmes rather than B-schools,” said Rawat.

ASSOCHAM has advised B-schools to improve the infrastructure, train their faculty, work on industry linkage, and spend money on research and knowledge creation to make students employable rather than employed.

(This article was published on May 1, 2014)
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