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Will rethink awarding management degrees if UGC approval made mandatory: IIMA director

Director of IIM Ahmedabad, Errol D’Souza, said the institute was waiting for the government to frame rules regarding the IIM Act before taking a call on whether to award degrees in management, and also on what to call these degrees.

education Updated: Apr 16, 2018 12:53 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
UGC,IIM Ahmedabad,Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
The IIM Act, which came into force on January 31, 2018, empowers IIMs to confer a master’s degree in place of the post-graduate diploma awarded to those who clear its two-year management programme.(Photo courtesy: IIMA website)

Director of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), Errol D’Souza, has said that the institute would “reconsider” its decision to award management degrees if “another layer of regulation”, like seeking approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for such degrees, was laid down.

The IIM Act, which came into force on January 31, 2018, empowers IIMs to confer a master’s degree in place of the post-graduate diploma awarded to those who clear its two-year management programme.

D’Souza said that the IIMA was waiting for the government to frame rules regarding the IIM Act before taking a call on whether to award degrees in management, and also on what to call these degrees.

“We would like to offer a degree (in place of a diploma for the flagship management programme). However, we need to wait and see what rules the government puts in place for the IIM Act,” he said.

D’Souza said that the Master in Management degree was a valuable way to continue the brand image of IIMs and also to indicate to the world that IIMs were different from other management institutes.

He added that the decision to award degrees might have to be “reconsidered” if the government laid down that the degree would be granted only if it was approved by the UGC or some similar authority. He said putting such conditions would be like adding “another layer of regulation”.

“My sense is that they (government) will empower us because they have been straightforward and nice to us. The minister has been supportive with the coming up of the IIM Act,” he said.

D’Souza said that some IIMs, including IIMA, wanted to call the degree Master in Management despite this nomenclature currently not being recognised in the University Grants Commission Act.

D’Souza said that the Master in Management degree was a valuable way to continue the brand image of IIMs and also to indicate to the world that IIMs were different from other management institutes.

“Many IIMs want to call their degrees MBA. Some want to call it MIM. The reason is two fold, one is that we have always called ourselves the institutes of management, and not business schools,” he said. “Secondly, we are recognised for our PGP under the MIM category in rankings abroad,” he said.

He said the HRD Ministry had recently conveyed to the IIMs that they would have to follow the UGC Act in offering a master’s degree.

Lauding the IIM Act as a good one, D’Souza said it empowered IIMs to prove themselves, set their own standards and take competition “head-on” “without excuses”. He informed that the IIMA, in the next two years, would set up a School for Public Policy for programmes catering to people such as bureaucrats and functionaries of NGOs, involved in public policy.

These programmes, he said, would cover areas such as economy, ports, aviation, social infrastructure, education, health, legal system, among others.

“We will launch a School of Public Policy. It will be a new building with new faculty. The plans for the building are ready and construction will soon start. It will be called the JSW School of Public Policy as JSW has given a grant for it,” he said.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 12:52 IST