Do IIMs need to be upgraded?

  • Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2014 12:05 IST

The human resource development ministry is also mulling the introduction of a proposal to grant institutes of national importance status to the Indian Institutes of Management. If implemented, will the IIMs benefit by enjoying greater autonomy or will it dilute the IIM brand? Experts are divided on the issue.

According to Professor Rajiv K Srivastava, interim director, IIM Lucknow, “For most students who live and work in India, it will not make much difference as the PGDM offered by IIMs is recognised as equivalent to an MBA. However, it could make a difference to students when seeking jobs/admissions abroad. It could also help attract international students. This could be good for new programmes launched by institutes.”

The move is also likely to help doctoral students, says Srivastava. “It could be helpful since doctoral programmes at different IIMs are in the approval process. The status would also improve access to some research projects and funds from the government and the UGC. From the point of view of governance, the IIMs would have to balance the challenges of need for autonomy vs relatively standardised governance,” he adds.

Another section of experts feel that since in its current status the IIMs function directly under the department of higher education, MHRD, there isn’t going to be any major change with this status changing to an IIM act.

Says Professor Keyoor Purani of IIM Kozhikode, “The IIMs have built a formidable reputation in the country with regard to management education and have national significance anyway. The IIM act may formalise it. However, to an extent, the direct, immediate benefit to the students would be that they would be able to earn degrees as against PG diplomas or fellowships which are conferred by IIMs. Though in India, a PG diploma from IIMs holds more value than an MBA degree from most universities, this may help them get international acceptance of their qualification.”

Further, the INI status would help IIMs directly contribute to national human development goals and thus may get more attention in terms of developing academic centres focused around specific areas of knowledge, newer programmes, research funding, international collaborations, etc. This would have an indirect effect on the opportunities of learning and development to the students, he adds.

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