Saturday, August 28, 2010

B-School or Management Institute?

I have been working as a Professor and Academic Administrator since May 1999.  First, it was TAPMI, Manipal  between 1999 and 2006 as an Associate Professor & Chairman-Admissions, and rejoining in June 2009 as a Professor after having a break for less than three years in Alliance Business School, Bangalore as a Professor and Registrar.  I often hear students and friends referring these employers as a  B-School (may be American way) or a Management Institute (Indian way) but some others call it as an MBA College too.

A friend and colleague of mine tried to distinguish these two connotations in one of his research papers on Management Education.  I am somehow not convinced that there is any difference in these two terminologies. But, I certainly feel uncomfortable when some one refers it as an MBA College (may be under the University system in India, is is acceptable if not inevitable).  Generally, there is also enough of confusion between MBA and PGDM.  While MBA is an universal phenomenon and is well known for over forty plus years, PGDM is again the Indian version under autonomous set up.  First, it was IIMs that gave this PGDM a good standing, and later many private and autonomous institutes too proliferated it into even sectoral names like PGDM in Finance, Marketing, HR, etc., or Insurance Management, Bank Management, Risk Management, Pharmaceutical Management, Textile Management, Hospitality Management, Hotel Management, Healthcare Management, Event Management, Petroleum Management, Plantation Management, Rural Management, Advertising Management and so on.  I also heard yesterday about a PG Diploma in Educational Management being offered by some Institutes.   Again, there is an Institute in Pune offering a program for those who are choosing a career in politics.  There are institutes like IIFT, New Delhi offering a prestigeous program in Foreign Trade Management; MICA is offering Communications and Advertisement and so on.

All said and done, LPG policy of the Government seems to have opened up several opportunities to all these educational entrepreneurs to go on proliferating management institutes whether under direct supervision of AICTE or UGC.  Accreditation has become a commodity in high demand and all sorts of ill-practices have come in the system.  Cheap publicity is being resorted to by some Institutes which have no or low standing. Cut-throat competition has set in the Indian Management Education field by which even the IIMs have resorted to increase in their intake to such large numbers of 120 students per class.  A friend of mine compares such class-rooms as a Swamiji's popular Yoga Show without bothering whether the audience could follow anything or not.  And now the recent fad is collaboration or exchanges with Foreign Universities.  Added to is the policy of Government to invite more and more Foreign Universities to open their shops in education.  God knows in which direction this post-graduate professional education is heading to.

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