Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Whither Management Education in India

I am confused; the B-Schools are confused too; and of course the MBA aspirants in India are doubly confused.  What is the direction in which we all are moving and looking at? I wrote a few days back that thanks to the Financial Sector Reforms and LPG policy of the Government(s) in command at the Centre irrespective of their party loyalties, the corporate world has been availing of the new policies while the Financial Institutions have been gearing up to meet the new challenges and clientele groups.

The three articles I read in the Business Line in last three days have the captions like - "Crowded field of management education" by B.S. Raghavan (3/1/11); "A roadmap for MBA education" by S. Vaidyasubramaniam (4/1/11) and "Sibal favours entrance-based admission for MBA courses" by R. Krishnamoorthy (5/1/11).  I also read a notification in all the leading news papers on the 28th December 2010, issued by AICTE, New Delhi. This notice was aimed at the PGDM Institutions; wherein AICTE exercises its powers to introduce a process of e-governance for approvals (in an utmost transparent and swiftness in decision making).  While listing out changes, it dealt with duration extended to 24 months; Admission to courses through a common entrance test such as CAT/MAT or examinations conducted by the State Governments; dates to be after 31st March for admissions;  model curriculum to be issued by the AICTE; fees to be charged (decided by AICTE); conduct of examination to be decided by regulator; academic session to be between June 1st and  May 31st etc. 

The implication of the above prescriptions do not seem to have been worked out by the regulator;  CAT examination is being held by IIMs (not affected by AICTE provisions); under-graduate examination results are released by different Universities on different dates any where  between May-June-July-August-Sept., every year; and that the MBA aspirants primarily look to the 'Placement Record' of the B-School concerned before applying for admission.  Who will respond to the queries of the aspirants on these counts?

And the articles referred above, spell out the crowded field in the two of them while the third one on 5th spells out the views of the Minister concerend.  The fundamental question is who allowed this crowding B-Schools all these years without verifying the back up of faculty, placement record and so on.  How come the authorities have woken up all on a sudden (is it on account of a Court decision?) to put tremondous amount of inconvenience to the admission-program-placement-conclusion cycle to the best satisfaction of all the candidates?  Not clear as to which direction we are moving ahead during the reforms era? God save MBAs.

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