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`Give us a chance'

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Correspondence students are getting a raw deal, says Pankaj Kumar Sinha

It's high time some of the HR policies of big IT and ITES companies changed. Check the situations vacant ads and you can observe a pattern. Nobody wants to touch students who have pursued correspondence courses with a barge pole. This attitude should change. People join distance education courses for various reasons. Some obvious ones, in a country like ours, are lack of money and inaccessibility to colleges. So how fair is it to keep such students from good jobs? I can understand if candidates are rejected on the basis of lack of skills. But here a correspondence student is not even given a chance to prove his or her skills. I am a correspondence student and I have gone to many offices with the hope of landing a dream job. But the moment "distance education" is mentioned, I can see the distance between the cubicle and me growing. After a pause, the HR staffer will smoothen out the situation with "Our company's HR policy is to take regular college goers." This is not my story alone. I know many who have qualified through distance education and have been declined interviews. If correspondence education was not good enough, why are there so many courses offered through this mode? To the company: Test our skills before you decide and see if we can be trained. Another HR policy that needs a rethink is one that specifies that an applicant should have secured first class throughout his or her high school and college education and lack of arrears. You may have done one exam badly because of an illness, the same maybe the reason for an arrear. There can be other reasons too. My friend, a brilliant software engineer, got an arrear because he found it difficult to cope with his English language skills in the first term. He was from a Tamil medium government school. Past is past. Nobody can do a thing about it. Why judge us by that? Judge us by our present and what we can bring to your company in the future. Sound Off! is a weekly space for you to rant, applaud or talk about anything on your mind. Write to metro@thehindu.co.in telling us a little about yourself (with address and phone number), and you may get a chance to sound off!

AS TOLD TO ASHA S. MENON

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