B-Schools Wary of Fallout from IIM Bill


Ever since the Centre has proposed the IIM Bill, which is likely to pass later this year when it is introduced in the Lok Sabha, many business schools across the country who offer the PGDM or Post-Graduate Diploma in Management, are very wary of the situation. They are asking that the government ensure that there is some modicum of a level and fair playing field maintained after this massive and ground-breaking bill is passed. The institutions who are currently offering PGDM courses and the educators behind them are seriously concerned that after the bill has been passed in parliament, many of the recruiters, as well as the partners abroad, would end up questioning whether the PGDM course holds any relevance or validity anymore in this new situation. These institutions have expressed that they would like the government to create a National Management University (or NMU). The very purpose of this NMU would be to empower the institutions to be able to award complete degrees too, which would make sure that the IIMs do not completely destroy them.

Why the bill was introduced

The IIM bill was introduced in the first half of the Lok Sabha’s Budget Session. It aims to award total autonomy to 20 of the IIMs which currently exist. This was done with the goal of empowering the topmost management institutions in the country to be able to award degrees instead of diplomas, and also to have much more control over their own functioning. This means that if IIMs no longer offer PGDM degrees, only the more common universities would now be awarding these, and would thus be perceived as obsolete. It is indeed a serious cause for concern as the syllabi of these institutions are heavily customised towards PGDM and it would not be simple and in fact would be excessively tedious to change over to a degree format without the introduction of the NMU.

This would also mean that the many students from these universities and colleges who would now be sitting for placements may indeed face issues getting placed as employers may not be too keen on hiring from institutions they perceive as offering an obsolete degree. Further, this would severely strain their ties with foreign universities as well. All in all, there is a valid reason for the concerns that are being raised by the institutions who offer PGDM courses at present. The IIM Bill may indeed cast a dark shadow over them.

The directors of more than 50 of the largest PGDM institutions across the country got together under the banner of the Education Promotion Society for India (or EPSI) so that they may brainstorm over this issue and come up with what exactly the fallout of the passing of the IIM Bill would be and how to best combat the negative effects that would follow. The EPSI acts as an overall Umbrella body for more than 500 private institutions across India, notable inclusions are XLRI, IMT, MDI and Bimtech. It is through this meeting that they came up with the initial idea for the NMU, which is what they feel would be the best compromise in the current situation considering all the stakeholders in mind.

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