No end to stark stories from diamond business

The Indian Diamond Institute at Surat,which attracts students from as far as the US,Korea,Canada,and Mauritius,apart from Indian states,fear an exodus from the current batch.

Written by Kamaal Saiyed | Vadodara | Published:February 8, 2009 2:18 am

Wary of dark future,35% IDI students drop out

The Indian Diamond Institute at Surat,which attracts students from as far as the US,Korea,Canada,and Mauritius,apart from Indian states,fear an exodus from the current batch. It is also apprehending a huge drop in the number of admissions in the coming months because of the prevailing crisis in the diamond industry.

The export of diamond from India has gone down by around 50 per cent in the last six months,and the institute fears if the condition does not improve soon,they will lose around the same percentage of students in April.

Some students have already opted out citing their inability to pay the fees. Others have cited bleak career prospects in the near future and no return on investment in the medium term in this sector.

Even students from abroad are not sure about their future prospects.

Every year,the institute churns out 1,000 students pursuing 34 courses ranging from a duration of one year to three years. However,this year,only 650 students will pass out.

“Many of the students have opted out citing various reasons. There is a direct relationship between industry and the students,as the courses are specialised. If there is no demand from the industry for employees,students will not come to us,” said IDI Director K K Sharma.

For a one-year course,the fee is Rs 40,000,while for the three-year course,it is Rs 30,000 per semester. The students who pass out of the institute get employed with the diamond merchants,exporters,and jewellery showrooms,among other white-collar jobs.

Though the institute has managed to fill up the seats for the December cycle last year,they are worried about the placements of these students. The institute is of the view that admissions for the April cycle will be crucial. “There will be a terrible slump as far as admissions are concerned. We are worried whether we will be able to get the minimum students to commence the batch,” said Sharma. The dropout of students started in November and has so far reached 15 in number. Fearing further dropouts,the institute has now started some new short -term courses. “We have started a one-month course for the basic knowledge of rough and polished diamonds,and even though the fees are low,we are not getting students,” he added.

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