Home > Current Affairs > Expansion of IIMs… credibility at stake

Expansion of IIMs… credibility at stake

October 20, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Oflate, we have been hearing a lot about government’s vote-bank politics entering into the education domain as well… an area which was hitherto left to the scholarly and the academia to sort out.

First came the shocker about the IIT cut-offs which are bound to ensure that an applicant with absolutely no sense of physics would still get into IITs with some remarkable performance in Math and Chemistry… while his classmate who was in the top rung of the class with a balanced and excellent performance in all 3 subjects will still not make it to IIT. <Shattering of the Great Indian Dream>

This news was only a precursor of things to come… everyone knew that the other schools of repute would not remain untouched… and so here came the R C Bhargava Committee Report on the IIMs…  I understand that there are some very pertinent issues that have been addressed in this report which is always a good thing but then… the mediocre polity also has reared its ugly head in there. The vote bank politics again in play… increasing the number of IIMs and increasing the student intake @ IIMs.

However, being an IIM graduate myself and having experienced the educational system prevalent in the IIMs, I have serious reservations against the recommendation of expanding IIMs… personally, I’ve myself seen the value eroding through the years with increase in intake. One must understand that IIMs draw their credibility partly from the exclusivity… an eliteness that they bring to the corporate world.

And this “value” that the global economy sees in IIM graduates can erode very easily through this expansion for the following reasons:
1. Skewing up of the faculty-student ratio… we have to accept the fact that we cannot find additional faculty (qualified and experienced) to manage the increase in student intake… so even if we end up with more participants in the program, there wouldn’t be any good faculty to teach
2. The lower you go in the merit list to pick candidates for admission, the lower goes the quality of the program participants. And I have seen this happening with the recent batches… the same as what is happening to IITs right now
3. One bad fish can dirty the entire pond… so is the risk that IIM graduates carry. One IIM graduate not being able to deliver adequate value to the industry would tantamount to IIM graduates in general losing their credibility… and that is what happens when lower caliber applicants also make it to the business school… this will be the death-knell… the value eroded would never be reclaimable.

I think a better alternative would be to create new management institutions (non-IIMs) on the lines of NITs in the under-grad domain but keep the IIMs distinctive and untouched. Plus the second issue of governance… should again be kept autonomous for the IIMs… I think that is one of the key factors that have kept the IIMs to maintain the leadership in the industry.

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