More students can now hope to get into the country’s top business school, with Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, planning to add 800 seats under an expansion plan suggested by the government.
IIM-A would increase from 860 to at least 1,200 the seats in its coveted two-year MBA course, the post-graduate programme (PGP) in management, according to a proposal submitted to the government.
Another 400 seats would be added to the post-graduate programme for executives (PGPEX), fellow programmes and other similar courses, sources said on Sunday. Some of these seats could also go to PGP but the number has not been decided.
But, the expansion would take five years after being cleared by the government, sources said. At present, IIM-A has 1,100 students.
The proposal is in response to the human resource development ministry asking IIMs to take in more students.
“IIMs are willing to expand and have submitted their proposals to the ministry last year. It is much more practical to strengthen the existing IIMs that are already a brand name rather than concentrating on constructing new ones,” a ministry official said.
In the first phase, spread over three years, IIM-A would add seats to PGP. In the next two years, PGPEX and other courses would do the same.
India has 20 IIMs which are autonomous but depend on government aid. Some of the IIMs that came up in recent years such as the ones in Amritsar and Ranchi are struggling to get faculty. Hostel and other infrastructure are also proving difficult.
In September, human resource development Prakash Javadekar had announced that IIMs would double the number of students, as he also talked about improving hostel facilities, hiring new faculty, and more research.
The ministry asked top six IIMs – Ahmedabad, Kozhikode, Bangalore, Lucknow, Indore and Calcutta – for plans for review. So far, Ahemdabad and Kozhikode have responded. Details were not available for the Kozhikode submission.
If the ministry provides funds, these would be used for building hostels, laboratories, classrooms and hiring faculty among others.
IIMs have been saying that fee would only cover the operating costs and expansion would require capital investment.
Sources said in case the ministry can’t bankroll the expansion, IIMs would be asked to raise money through higher education financing authority, a non-banking corporation that offers affordable loans to educational institutions for infrastructure and research.
In its push for higher education, Javadekar-led IIT council recommended increasing the seats in the premier engineering institutes to 100,000 by 2020.