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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

No level playing field: Private B-Schools unhappy with IIM Bill

Authorities of about 500 private and semi-private B-schools fear they will be questioned by students, recruiters and foreign varsities about the legal validity of their diplomas

education Updated: Mar 28, 2017 16:11 IST
Gauri Kohli
Gauri Kohli
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Concerned about losing the market value of their postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM), more than 500 private B-schools have now approached the Parliamentary Standing Committee with their suggestions and grievances. These institutions have been fighting for autonomy in the Supreme Court and have expressed reservations about the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill.

The Bill, which has been passed by the Union Cabinet and placed before Lok Sabha, aims to grant complete autonomy to the 20 IIMs to award degrees instead of the PGDMs they have been offering so far.

The B-schools, under the Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), have submitted a letter to the joint secretary, human resource development ministry, earlier this month highlighting their concerns. There has been parity between the IIMs and other private and semi-private PGDM schools for the last 68 years. Once the IIM Bill is passed, the PGDM schools will lose the level-playing field, states the letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times.

Some B-school authorities also fear that students, recruiting companies and foreign universities could question the legal validity of the diploma conferred by them.

Institutes likely to be affected the most would be XLRI, Jamshedpur; SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai; Birla Institute of Technology Management (BIMTECH) Greater Noida; and Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad.

The B-schools will also make a presentation before HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on their demand to set up a Council for Management Education and National Management University as statutory bodies.

Prof Harivansh Chaturvedi, executive president, Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI), and director BIMTECH, says that management education is still not getting attention from policymakers and most decisions are taken in fits and starts. “One prime example of this is the IIM Bill, 2017. There is no doubt that the current draft of the IIM Bill, 2017, is much better than its original version. It does justice to most of the reservations of alumni, faculty and students of IIMs,” he says.

However, a Management Education Bill covering all segments and stakeholders in management education would have offered better solutions. “Indian management education is an amalgam of half-a-dozen types of MBA programmes. Each kind of programme has a different set of problems. Keeping in mind the huge requirement for talented managers, we need a comprehensive Management Education Bill. We will face a very complex economy, society and government in future. According to the World Economic Forum, the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 is going to change future of all nations, including India. It requires us to produce our managers with new set of skills and competencies,” adds Prof Chaturvedi.

Management education in India needs a separate, independent identity and a great deal of attention from policy makers. For the last 50 years, management discipline has been treated as a technical subject similar to engineering, architecture, pharmacy etc. In the 25 years of being regulated by the All-India Council for Technical Education, management education and PGDM schools have not got proper attention and are perceived as “the junior partner of technology education,” he says.

Private B-schools have submitted their suggestions to the HRD ministry about setting up of the Council for Management Education (CME) and the National Management University (NMU) that will help give management education and PGDM schools the rightful space they deserve.

CME has been proposed as an overarching statutory body for regulation and nurturing of management education. It will ensure autonomy to PGDM institutions and will help improve quality of MBA and BBA programmes. So far, the AICTE has been dealing only with postgraduate education in management. It has very recently been giving a thought to the fellow programme in management. “If we have separate councils for pharmacy, architecture, town planning, law and medical education, then why not have a separate council for management education which is governed by management educators and industry leaders?” Prof Chaturvedi asks.

An NMU should be set up to grant affiliation to all autonomous PGDM institutions to enable them to become degree- granting institutions. Together, these two legal entities can provide a holistic leadership to the Indian management education, say experts.

According to Prof CP Shrimali, acting director, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, the IIMs have done a great job and the diploma has high acceptability as compared to an MBA degree. However, the degree-granting status through IIM Bill will “confuse students.” Many will think that the MBA degree granted by universities and those by IIMs are different.

“PGDM institutions such as XLRI, MDI, IMI, SPJain, and IMT have a better perception among industry experts, recruiters and students. The Bill is restrictive to only IIMs and does not provide a level playing field. A good MBA/PGDM should build competencies among students which make them employable. This is an opportunity to come up with Management Education Bill including all PGDM institutions instead of the IIM Bill. It should ensure that B-schools are able to promote research, attain international standards and are autonomous,” he says.

Citing an example, Prof Chaturvedi says, in 1997, the Government of Singapore mooted the idea of setting up of the Singapore Management University (SMU). At that time there were two premier technology universities viz. Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore under which it was not possible to improve the status of management education in Singapore because a specialised body on management education was required. The SMU was supported by the Singapore government wholeheartedly to become a focal point for management education. It signed MoU with Wharton and European Foundation for Management Development and became operational by 2000. In the last 16 years, it has achieved a respected position not only in Asia but also among the top universities in the world. If it can be possible in a nation like Singapore, then why not in India which is one of the top emerging economies? asks Prof Chaturvedi.

First Published: Mar 28, 2017 14:57 IST

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