About three months back, most Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Technology—the country’s premier management and engineering schools, respectively—had completed their campus recruitment process. Placement cells were happy to see a healthy number of job offers even in a sluggish economy. News publications were flush with headlines about 100% placements and record salaries. All was well with the world.
But three months seems like a lifetime ago. Over the weeks that followed, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and pushed the world economy into a tailspin. In April, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its global GDP growth estimate for 2020 to -3% from 3.3% at the beginning of the year. In a matter of weeks, businesses shut down, industries collapsed and hundreds of millions