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IIMs: Present imperfect, future tense

IIMs IN the country are in for some difficult times ahead if one takes into account the simple law of demand and supply. Already hard-pressed on the faculty front, they may find it really tough maintaining a sane teacher-taught ratio, thanks to the Centre decision to implement OBC quota from next year.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 01:46 IST

IIMs IN the country are in for some difficult times ahead if one takes into account the simple law of demand and supply. Already hard-pressed on the faculty front, they may find it really tough maintaining a sane teacher-taught ratio, thanks to the Centre decision to implement OBC quota from next year.

Here are some pre-Mandal-II facts about IIM Lucknow (IIM-L).
Sanctioned faculty strength: 60. Current strength: 49, a shortfall of 11 teachers. Number of students: 546.

Come June 2007, IIM-L will have to cope with an additional 294 students in two years’ time if phased introduction of quota in elite institutes of higher education is approved by Parliament. For this IIM-L will require 21 more teachers. The question is from where?

Already Prof Devi Singh, IIM-L director, is finding it difficult to raise the faculty strength to its sanctioned pre-Mandal II level of 60. There is near unanimity among academicians that Prof Singh would need a magic wand to get additional qualified faculty to maintain the expected level of excellence.

The cynicism is not without reason. This is what the Group for Management (GoM), comprising most of the IIM directors, submitted before chairman of the Oversight Committee Veeraappa Moily in their interim report: “There is a sharp decline in the number of Ph D scholars of the IIMs joining the teaching profession, given the growing competition from the private sector. Anyway, the total output of the Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) at IIMs is only 5 to 7 on an average from each institution annually.”

Will these numbers be enough to meet the ever-increasing post Mandal-II demand for qualified faculty?

IIM-L is not the only institute facing staff crunch, its big brother IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) too has plenty to ponder. Teaching its 560 students are 82 teachers against the sanctioned pre-Mandal II figure of 120. The post quota regime will see an additional 302 students in two years. The institute will require an additional 22 qualified teachers to cope with the situation. 

The remaining IIMs too have got no clue how they would maintain the necessary teacher-taught ratio of 1:7 to maintain strict standards of excellence which Mr Moily so seriously desire them to maintain (“at all costs”), reservation notwithstanding!

IIM Kozhikode, due to its geographical location, is already facing a serious faculty crisis of sorts. Its sanctioned faculty strength to teach 360 students is 40. It has so far managed to get just 17. Even if the institute had all the 40 teachers, from where its director Prof Krishna Kumar will get an additional 14 teachers as will be required to teach the increased number of students is anybody’s guess? The situation in IIM-B, C and I is no different.

Add to it another problem: Lucrative offers to IIM teachers from private sector. Take IIM-L’s case for example. In the last one and half years, about 10 senior teachers have left for greener pastures and taken up directorial or other prestigious assignments with increased pay packages.