KOLKATA: An IIT Kharagpur B Tech student who topped across all departments in the institute, has rejected a lucrative job offer from an MNC to remain in academics.
Computer science and engineering student Sikhar Patranabis has scored 9.87 and passed out as the highest-ranked graduate this year. He is tipped to get the President of India Gold Medal.
The lure of a high-paying pre-placement job offer from Microsoft, however, could not distract this talent away from his passion for research.
Patranabis has now decided to stay back at the IIT campus and do a PhD on hardware security for embedded systems. "I never wanted to get into a corporate job after B Tech. My interest is in research and academics and I want to pursue that. I never had any second thoughts on this. All my teachers and my family supported me in this decision," he told PTI.
Patranabis is in the minority amongst top rankers as most of them are now on their way to the corporate world.
Amongst high rankers, he will only have Anirban Santara from electronics and electrical communication engineering department to give company as a fellow PhD student at the IIT.
"There has been a trend of 1-2 high-ranked students staying back for PhD in IIT. But the top ranker staying back with us is rare," IIT-Kgp Director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said.
Chakrabarti said the institute strongly encourages all graduates to pursue research but most engineers opt for employment. Some from science streams stay back, he said.
"We have identified a list of top international conferences. If any of our student's papers gets selected in these conferences, we provide full funding. Besides this, we have also started the process of signing MoUs with other universities for dual Phds," the IIT director said.
"Research and academics are very important areas. Although I do not know what will I finally take up as a career, I am certainly drawn towards teaching. Academics is my passion and I intend to pursue it," Patranabis said.
Lack of students' interest in higher-level research is responsible for the smaller number of innovations and patent registration from India.
As the industry takes away almost the entire talent pool, top institutes have also been struggling to get quality faculty members, academics say.