Need of a policy for IIMs? expansion | india | Hindustan Times
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Need of a policy for IIMs? expansion

The (IIMs) are considered the premier and privileged institutions in India and a dream for thousands of Indian nerds to be a graduate from there. Recently, a feasible plan mooted by IIM (B) to expand its venture in Singapore spiraled a debate among intellectuals, students as well as the CEOs of Indian industries because in the first instance the Government of India didn't okay it.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 18:17 IST

The (IIMs) are considered the premier and privileged institutions in India and a dream for thousands of Indian nerds to be a graduate from there. Recently, a feasible plan mooted by IIM (B) to expand its venture in Singapore spiraled a debate among intellectuals, students as well as the CEOs of Indian industries because in the first instance the Government of India didn't okay it. IIMs· MOU is silent toward this foreign expansion. Reports have been that IIM (B) board of directors has already modified its MOU now and the matter will be again referred to the Ministry.

Many believe that by tapping the global market for management education, IIMs will generate substantial extra revenues to finance their both domestic and overseas expansion. This overseas expansion will only add to their global brand equity. The strategy will also attract talented faculty to improve the quality of teaching and research at home. It will help in creating a conducive interactive environment of learning and development in their campuses. While others believe that we should increase the strength, quality and infrastructure here itself before expanding them abroad. There is still a big demand and supply gap in the market for skilled managers in India due to the continuing booming of the economy.

If one analyses very carefully the achievements by these premier institutions, one finds that several of IIMs faculty members (specially IIMA, IIMB and IIMC) have research publications in the reputed two-tier international journals apart from having a rich volume of publication in Indian journals. Several research projects of millions of rupees are currently going on at IIMA. The faculty of IIMA have alone developed around 3,000 cases and also written 700 books and monographs. These figures are available at its websites. IIMB and IIMC may also have a good record of such achievements. While the recently established institutions should not be compared with institutions having decades' of glory, however, they must have a cohesive mission that guides their research. Some one argues from Kolkota that in Indian industries, which are the most important beneficiary of IIMs· activities, do not provide support for research and case writing.

There is a debate on the policies to admit into the IIMs programmes through CAT the cream inputs, most of who come from the elite class of the society. The CAT result is less than 2% of the applicants who appear in this test, which means that only elite sages get admission into the IIMs programmes. Students coming from less privileged societies and institutes may not be able to pass this test. Some one may argue that the specialised knowledge of faculties is kept secret which is a waste. The other issue is that the IIMs are producing management graduates for the elite industries and financial institutions and now for MNCs and hardly any one joins government and social sectors of the economy.

To overcome this problem, perhaps IIMs could start a two-tier programme: (i) Pre-MBA, and (ii) MBA. Low performers in CAT but have potential to be groomed as managers, could be admitted in Pre-MBA programme. After successful completion of this programme then they could be admitted to the main MBA stream.

The concluding remarks are that there is no two opinion about the argument that some of the IIMs, such as IIM(A), IIM(B) and IIMC have proven records of an excellent performance. Based on this record, they should be provided opportunities to open branches abroad specifically in Asia Pacific and in other regions. The decision-makers in the government should consider the issue on a rational basis, allowing selected IIMs to expand overseas instead of throwing the spanner in the works of some IIMs expansion plans rather may set policy parameters for this purpose.