GATE 2017: Employment opportunities close to nil for international students

The GATE 2017 examination will be held for international candidates in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) for the first time since its inception. While these candidates are eligible for admissions to the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) for M.tech or PhD, they will not be eligible for placements thereafter. That is, at least until the government gives a clarification on the employment matter. This question has been raised not just by the students but, also by the GATE Council as well. 

GATE 2017, which will be conducted by IIT Roorkee, will be an opportunity for international students to pursue their higher education in India. “At the moment there is no clarity on the employments opportunities for the international students. We have raised these concerns with the government, but there has been no response yet,” says Prof Kishore Chatterjee, Chairperson IIT Bombay, GATE 2017. He adds that there have to be changes with regards to the Visa policy and involves a lot of other paper-work which have to be sorted before these students can be employed in India.

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) which employ officers on the basis of the GATE scores have a basic criterion that applicants must be Indian citizens to be eligible to apply. This rules out the employment opportunity in the PSUs which is one of the most common reasons for aspirants to take the GATE. Professor Chatterjee adds that, the only plausible employment option for international students is the placements offered while pursuing M.tech. “However, IIT placement cells are never involved in the process of job opportunities for foreign students. They may get a job on their own merit, with the companies that have a policy to employ foreign nationals. This is possible if they have paperwork in place,” says Prof. N. Padhy, professor-in-charge of IIT Roorkee Placement Cell.

Countries like Ethiopia and Bangladesh are placed lower than India on the economic front. Considering that these international students will also be interested in the employment opportunities rather than just education is something that the government needs to consider. A student from Bangladesh on the condition of anonymity says, “In Bangladesh, the job situation is not as great as India. It is almost useless to come to Bangladesh with an IIT degree, without any work experience.” The student also adds that if the Indian government considers giving even internship opportunities for foreign students as a part of their academic pursuits, it would be of great help.

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