The chief of India’s apex technical education regulator on Saturday questioned the benefits of courses like the programme announced by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore that offer specialisation in management immediately after school.
“Courses where students go straight into studying management after school raise questions because these students have no domain knowledge which they can build upon,” SS Mantha, All India Council for Technical Education chairman, said, responding to questions on the five-year integrated Post Graduate Programme in management announced by IIM Indore. The IIMs do not require AICTE approval to start or run diploma courses. But Mantha’s concerns in response to queries on what he described an “interesting experiment” reflect a wider unease within sections of the academic and scientific community over super-specialised programmes at the undergraduate stage.
Scientists in recent years have similarly questioned government supported biotechnology programmes at the undergraduate level, arguing that super-specialisation without a strong base in fundamental subjects is counterproductive for students.
“Super-specialisation programmes at the undergraduate stage are invariably market driven — but what happens to these students when the job market for that highly specialised niche trade shrinks,” questioned a senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Contrary to claims made by IIM Indore on its website, it cannot offer “a degree equivalent to a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA)” after three-years if students want to quit the five-year integrated postgraduate programme midway. The IIM can only offer diplomas — and not degrees. IIM Indore director N Ravindran confirmed that students who quit the programme after three years will receive diplomas — and not degrees.