The AICTE Gazette Notification No.359 dated October 11, 2019!

In the backdrop of passing of the IIM Bill, 2016 and an out-of-court settlement agreed between the AICTE and PGDM institutions in 2018 on the related case in the Supreme Court, the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) has been demanding from the regulatory body (AICTE) that good quality PGDM institutions should be granted autonomy on the basis of accreditation and global ranking. UGC has already done it in 2018, when it granted graded autonomy to 62 higher education institutions.  As per the AICTE’s regulatory model adopted in 1990’s all MBA/PGDM institutions have been treated on par irrespective of quality standards.


To a great relief of the PGDM institutions, the AICTE has, now fulfilled this long pending demand by issuing a gazette notification with detailed guidelines about implementation of this decision. As per the guidelines, all PGDM institutions will be categorised into categories I, II and III institutions on the basis of the NBA accreditation status of the programmes offered by the PGDM institutions.


The PGDM institutions with majority of their programmes getting accredited from the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) with 75% or more scores will be categorised as Category I institutions. Under Category II, those PGDM institutions will be included which have majority of their programmes accredited from the NBA with 67.5% or more scores. Rest of the institutions, not included in these two categories, will be part of the Category III. Category I status will also be granted to those institutions which are ranked among the first 100 ranks under FT Global MBA Ranking or QS Global MBA Ranking.


As per the AICTE Notification, Category I and II institutions will be provided autonomy for introducing new programs, starting skill courses and distance learning courses, inviting foreign faculty, admitting foreign students, tie ups and collaborations with foreign B’schools and setting up research parks, incubation centres etc. Category I PGDM institutions have been provided eleven major concessions from the AICTE’s regulatory control and Category II PGDM institutions will be given six major relaxations.


Every year, the PGDM institutions will be given opportunity to submit application for this categorisation twice viz. June 1 and December 1. They will have to submit an application along with documents related to NBA scores or Global MBA Ranking of FT or QS.


In the notification, AICTE has reiterated that institutions getting autonomy under Categories I and II will continue to follow the infrastructural norms and corporate governance guidelines issued by it from time to time. These PGDM institutions will also continue to follow the mandatory disclosure guidelines of the AICTE.


Welcoming this gazette notification, Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) has congratulated the AICTE for starting a new chapter in the Indian Management Education which will facilitate a cordial relationship between the regulatory body and PGDM institutions based on mutual trust, understanding and empathy. It will provide a level playing field to the PGDM institutions with IIMs to some extent. It will also free the accredited institutions from red tapism, bureaucratic delays and archaic rules and help them to align their curriculum and programme bouquets with the ever-changing requirements of the Industry at national and global level.   In the context of very fast changes happening in the business due to industry 4.0, it will prove to be a boon for all stakeholders.


Dr H. Chaturvedi, Alternate President, EPSI has congratulated the AICTE and it's Chairman Dr Anil D Sahasrabuddhe for opening a window of opportunities to the good quality PGDM institutions. It is the outcome of two years' long consultations initiated by the AICTE with PGDM institutions. There may be possibility of some difficulties being faced by leading PGDM institutions in getting Level I or II categorisation but by utilising the provision of further consultation process, such difficulties could also be resolved.

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