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Will MBA Bill disrupt equilibrium of management education system in India?

Indian Association of Autonomous Business Schools (IAABS) recently organized The First Indian B-Schools Summit to discuss and deliberate on the possible promulgation of the IIM-MBA Bill and other important management education – centric issues. 

The conference chaired by Fr. E Abraham S.J., Director, XLRI- Xavier School of Management and President of IAABS brought together distinguished Directors of leading autonomous, private PGDM Schools from all over the country, eminent former IIM directors and leading management educationists to discuss and review the present situation and make a request to the Government to protect the interests of private, autonomous PGDM Schools and ensure a level-playing field purely based on merit.

Addressing the conference, Fr. E Abraham S.J. commented, “Of late, considerable concern has arisen among private, autonomous PGDM schools in regard to the possible promulgation of the IIM Blll – 2015.  In this context, many private PGDM schools have been examining the possible ramifications if IIMs are allowed to grant MBA degrees. Based on a series of interactions amongst many of the reputed private institutions from the PGDM system, we felt the need to organize the Conference of autonomous B-Schools (particularly PGDM) to discuss some important related issues”.

It has been seen very recently, that the central government rejected the request from Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI), a group representing 300 Indian business schools to let them award MBA degrees. Currently, state-run IIMs as well as privately owned B-schools such as XLRI- Jamshedpur, BIMTECH- Greater Noida and MDI- Gurgaon among others grant postgraduate diplomas in management (PGDM), not degrees. If the IIM-MBA bill allows IIMs to grant degrees, it will put the premier private B-Schools at a distinct disadvantage.

Prof. J. Philip, President XIME & Former Director IIM B commented, “While we have no special view on the Government’s initiative to give degree granting rights to the IIMs, it should not in any way adversely affect the operation of the PGDM schools, which have served the nation so eminently and eloquently all these years.  The PGDM schools have given to Indian Management Education, quality, respectability and innovativeness.  They are in a way at the vanguard of Indian Management Education.  The employability of PGDM graduates would at least be twice as much as that of MBA graduates from the university system.  This distinctive contribution of the PGDM schools must be recognized”.

Recapitulating the proposed IIM Bill 2015, Fr. Abraham added, “Another important matter that concerns autonomous PGDM schools is the continued reluctance of AIU in granting PhD equivalence to Fellow Program offered by reputed autonomous institutes approved by AICTE. Currently AIU grants equivalence only to IIMs. Even new IIMs have been granted equivalence. Many new private Universities are also allowed to grant PhD degrees”.

“On behalf of IAABS, we had written to Mr. M K Kaw, Chairman, AICTE review committee further highlighting our request for increased autonomy to PGDM B-schools.  On February 22nd, 2015, we had attended the AICTE review Committee meeting in New Delhi where we had presented our submissions. Few of our above suggestions have been also recommended by the KAW Committee when they submitted their report a few months ago to the Ministry of HRD”, Fr. Abraham noted.

Fr. Abraham further added, “We still have a long way to go and only through joint and sustained efforts will we be able to create a conducive environment to advance management education in our country especially for private autonomous PGDM institutes. We will have to gear up and formulate a practical strategy that would help us bring changes, and strengthen the management education system in our country. I sincerely hope that the discussions and recommendations resulting from this two day gathering will positively contribute to the consolidation of the aims of this summit and its underlying philosophy of greater autonomy based on self-regulation by autonomous B-Schools”.

The 2-day conference was held at XIME Campus, Bangalore on 9th & 10th October, 2015 in collaboration withKarnataka Association of Autonomous Business Schools (KAABS). The theme of the seminar was“HERALDING A NEW ERA IN MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN INDIA”

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