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IAABS Recently Organised The 1st Indian B-School Summit

Published : Monday, 12 October, 2015 04:42 PM

Reputed Autonomous B-Schools in India Come Together to Voice Against the Anticipated Discriminatory Impact of Proposed IIM-MBA Bill

  •  An influential section of Indian Intelligentsia opined that the biased MBA Bill would disrupt the equilibrium  of management education system in India since it does not provide a level playing ground for private autonomous management institutes and with this bill government has gone against its own decades- long policy of encouraging PGDM institutes  evolve as beacons of excellence
  • Karnataka Association of Autonomous Business Schools (KAABS) also joined hands to fight for the cause
  • The First Indian B-Schools Summit by IAABS Chaired by Fr. E Abraham S.J., Director, XLRI- Xavier School of Management and President of IAABS . The founding institutions include XLRI, MDI-Gurgaon, IMT- Ghaziabad, XIME- Bangalore, TAPMI- Manipal, BIMM-Pune & PSG – Coimbatore
  • IAABS - Indian Association of Autonomous Business Schools was formed to establish a network of PGDM-Autonomous Management Institutions to contribute to the development of management education in all aspects

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.

IAABS Recently Organised The 1st Indian B-School Summit

The 2-day conference was held at XIME Campus, Bangalore on 9th & 10th October, 2015 in collaboration with Karnataka Association of Autonomous Business Schools (KAABS). The theme of the seminar was “HERALDING A NEW ERA IN MANAGEMENT EDUCATION IN INDIA”
 
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”.
 
Mr. B. Muthuraman, Former MD- Tata Steel & Former President- CII graced the event as the Chief Guest while Dr. Samuel Paul, Former Director- IIM Ahmedabad;  Dr. R. Natarajan, Former Chairman- AICTE; Dr. N Sambandham, Chairman AIBMS were present as Guests of Honour. Other eminent speakers and guests attending the conference included Dr. Bakul Dholakia, Director General -IMI (Former Director – IIM Ahmedabad); Dr. C.P. Srimali, Director MDI, Gurgaon; Dr. Abad Ahmed, Former Director, FMS, Delhi; Dr. A K Sengupta, Director, SEISCOMS (Former Director, S P Jain Institute of Management; Dr. Bibek Banerjee, Former Director, IMT Ghaziabad; Dr. Devi Singh, Vice Chancellor, FLAME, Pune (Former Director – IIM Lucknow); Dr. R C Natarajan, Director TAPMI, Manipal; Dr. Shekhar Chaudhuri, Former Director, IIM-Kolkata; Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Wellingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai & Bangalore; Dr. Y.K.Bhushan, Director-IBS, Mumbai and Prof. J Philip, President XIME (Former Director IIM Bangalore);among others.

IAABS Recently Organised The 1st Indian B-School Summit

Fr. E Abraham S.J., Director, XLRI- Xavier School of

Management and the President, IAABS

Respected Collaegues, Distinguished Delegates, Members of IAABS, Members of the Press & Media, Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally welcome each one of you to the first B-School Summit of Indian Association of Autonomous B Schools (IAABS).I am extremely delighted to see the august presence of eminent thought leaders and distinguished directors from the Who’s Who of management education in India.

The primary mission of IAABS is to contribute towards the development of management education in all its facets and take steps in positively influencing nation-wide management education policies. IAABS also aims to collaborate and associate with regional and international management networks with an avowed intent to advance management education and its eco-system worldwide. We are grounded by the principle that self -regulation is the best form of regulation, and this philosophy must guide the Association and its members.

Our primary intent at IAABS is to enhance the competitiveness of Indian Business Schools in the global scenario.The two-day Summit being held at XIME, Bangalore aims to bring together Directors of leading autonomous, private PGDM Schools from all over the country alongside leading management educationists of the country to discuss and review the present management education landscape and make a request to the Government to protect the interests of private autonomous PGDM Schools.

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 issues as earlier mentioned by Prof Philip, including : Significant contribution of PGDM Schools to Indian Management Education; Indian B-Schools: Catching up with the best Globally; Autonomy as the Core of the New Order; Facilitation and not Control to be fundamental to the New Order; The Profession’s Submission to the Government to protect the interests of autonomous, private PGDM Schools.

A quick recap regarding IIM Bill 2015: A lot of water has flowed under the ”Management Education” bridge since our first annual convention in March 2015. The proposed IIM Bill 2015 proposes to grant statutory status to thirteen existing Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Raipur, Ranchi, Rohtak, Kashipur, Tiruchirapalli and Udaipur, and declare them as Institutions of National Importance, to enable them to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by these institutes. Till now, these Institutions could award only Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management, which lacked universal acceptability in the field of academia and research. The Post-graduate Diploma in Management Programme was relatively unaffected by absence of a formal degree, both in terms of recruitment of students as well as suitable placements in job market but the Fellow Programme in Management did not get the same status as that of a Ph.D. in the job market, especially in faculty appointments. As a result, the Fellow Programme in Management (equivalent to Ph.D), without the formal degree stamp, has not, been able to attract talented students, required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of management education and also address the faculty shortages affecting the management institutions in the country. The government is of the view that the IIM Draft Bill 2015 will address this gap.

In this context, I would like to reiteratea few key suggestions which were made to the HRD minister in 2013 and have still not been implemented:

  • Any recognized international accreditation should be acceptable and the accredited institutions should be given more autonomy in terms of students, courses etc.
  • PGDM institutions should be permitted to admit students of foreign origin as this would bring in impetus on foreign exchange as well as enrich the cultural diversity. The visa rules for foreign students should be more student- friendly.
  • Sundry management institutions should not be allowed to apply for research grant from AICTE. This should be confined to top 50 B-schools which have demonstrated research capabilities among their faculty.
  • The MHRD and Ministry of External Affairs should join hands to market Indian MBA degree in Asia, Europe and Africa.
  • NRI faculty could be attracted to work in Indian B –schools by having faculty friendly policies like those in Chinese B – schools. These policies may include perks such as tax free income, moderated visa rules, and extended research support among others.
  • To attract young talented scholars to joinas teaching faculty at B-schools, a national Ph.D. Scheme can be launched, under which 1,000 scholars can be given a fellowship of INR 50,000/- p.m. for four year duration. Top 50 B-schools can be asked to run these Ph.D. Programmes.Upon Ph.D award, these 1,000 scholars can be recruited over the next five years and utilized to groom 5,000 talented faculty for B-schools
  • To encourage globalization of Indian B-schools and to imbibe best practices from B-schools across the world, there is a need for increased interaction with peers outside our country. This can be enabled by funding visits, of deans, directors and faculty members,to attend international conferences, seminars, workshops and symposiums.  

As most of us may be aware, the Hon’ble Supreme court felt that PGDM schools did not come under the jurisdiction of AICTE. However in the absence of any formal regulatory authority, AICTE was permitted to oversee the functioning of the PGDM Schools for 2014-15. As the president of IAABS, I had written to Mr.M K Kaw, Chairman, AICTE review committee. My letter to the chairman further underscores our agenda of increased autonomy of PGDM B-schools, thereby enhancing competitiveness in the global environment.  On February 22nd, 2015, I was invited to attend the AICTE review Committee meeting held at AICTE Head Office in New Delhi.

I will now touch upon some of the important propositions from my submission during the AICTE Review Meeting in February, 2015:

(i) Rejuvenate and Strengthen AIBMS : All India Board of Management Studies [AIBMS], which was the regulating body for Indian B-schools before the AICTE came into existence in 1988, should be reinstated and strengthened. It would also be most appropriate to have a top-notch business leader head the regulating body as management professionals truly understand the industry and are not limited by disciplinary background or lack of practical industry knowledge.

(ii) AICTE should evolve as a Facilitator : Regulation must be minimal especially if the management school is reputed and well-established.Annual approval process by AICTE is becoming a handicap and a time-consuming exercise especially for institutes that exercise self-regulation and ethical practices. Professional management education system should be thoroughly revamped. Regulators like AICTE should become facilitators. There should be more autonomy given to B-schools with accent on self-regulation.The composition of the regulatory committee should involve adequate representation from both industry and academia.We have suggested a desirable ratio of representation.

(iii) AICTE to remove the December 2010 notification : We have requested the committee to advise AICTE to remove the notification, which was issued in December 2010, demanding withdrawal of the autonomy enjoyed by the PGDM institutions.

(iv) Granting of MBA degrees : Autonomous institutes must be allowed to grant MBA degrees, especially in light of the fact that a bill is being proposed to be introduced in the Parliament vis-à-vis creation of an IIM University for giving out MBA degrees. Affiliation is a crutch and we recommended that allaffiliated B-schools in India should be encouraged to become autonomous institutes, thereby ushering in a level-playing ground.

(v) Management should be seen in the global context : Our focus should be on building institutions with strong fundamentals, which impart top notch education and compete on the global scale.  Quantitative standards should not be seen as absolute tools, they are not always a true measure of quality. Forward-thinking, self-regulated, management institutes should be encouraged to fly high and not be constricted by artificial restrictions.

(vi) AICTE Annual Approval Handbook is restrictive and becomes a stumbling block : AICTE  introduces new regulations in its Annual Approval Handbook and often gives just a one-month window for fulfilling the same. The recent rule that NBA accreditation is mandatory for institutes who wish to continue FPM programs is a case in point. AICTE must give at least 2 year window for institutes as the MBA parent body does not have the band-width to undertake large number of accreditations simultaneously as the number of management schools have increased considerably in recent years. Another rule that all autonomous institutes must have a Board member nominated by AICTE/University is also a retrograde step.

These were some of the important submissions to the AICTE review committee and few of them have been also recommended by the KAW Committee when they submitted their report a few months ago to the Ministry of HRD.

Another important matter that concerns autonomous PGDM schools is the continued reluctance of AIU in granting PhD equivalence to Fellow Programme offered by 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.

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.

Let us all gear up and formulate a practical strategy that would help us bring changes, and strengthen the management education system in our country. Let us make sure that we make steady progress and help create a suitable eco-system whereby greater number of Indian B-Schools is ranked amongst the top global B-Schools.

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.

I want to thank Prof. Philip and his team at XIME for their untiring efforts in organizing this B-School Summit. Without their support and commitment, this event would not have seen the light of day

I would once again like to welcome you all to this important event, and I am sure by working together we can and we will make a definitive difference to management education in India.

Stay informed, Stay ahead and stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous 

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