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IIM debuts in NE, with name game

India’s youngest IIM premiered in Shillong on Friday with “makeshift management” and “some concern” about its brand image, reports Rahul Karmakar.
Hindustan Times | By Rahul Karmakar, Shillong
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2008 12:31 AM IST

India’s youngest IIM premiered in Shillong on Friday with “makeshift management” and “some concern” about its brand image.

At 4,900 ft above sea level, the IIM in Shillong seventh after Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Indore is undoubtedly the country’s coolest. But the B-school debuted on rising temperature, thanks to the ‘RG’ prefix to its name. RG stands for Rajiv Gandhi.

The HRD Ministry had insisted on the former prime minister’s name being prefixed to IIM Shillong in December last year.

Except for the logo, RG features in everything associated with this IIM.

“We mean no disrespect to Rajiv Gandhi, but there is something called brand image. Or else, all the other IIMs would have someone’s name tagged to theirs,” Meghalaya Higher and Technical Education Minister Manas Chaudhuri told HT. “We are awaiting a reply from the HRD Ministry regarding amendment of the institute’s name.”

Despite the “name game”, most in this hill station agree the IIM would help Shillong regain its mid-1900s position as an education hub.

“The IIM is a dream come true and it has opened the floodgates for other institutes to come,” said Chief Minister Donkupar Roy.

NIFT is expected to be the next addition to Shillong’s skyline followed by NIT and a Central agriculture university. The Meghalaya capital already has a post-graduate institute of medical sciences.

For the first batch of 60 students, the two-year academic session for PGDBM began with lessons on makeshift

management: adjusting in a temporary complex. For at least two more years, RGIIM will have to function out of the Mayurbhanj Palace it belonged to the erstwhile Maharaja of Mayurbhanj, Orissa which was turned into the North Eastern Hill University 30 years ago.

According to RGIIM director Ashoke K Dutta, the institute would be shifting to its permanent 120-acre at Mawdiangdiang on the outskirts of Shillong. Its intake capacity would subsequently be increased to 180.

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