“The three things that motivate creative people – autonomy, mastery, purpose!” wrote American Author Daniel H. Pink. Let’s extrapolate that statement on the broader scale of educational institutions that have developed mastery in training and are driven by the purpose of shaping future leaders. In his study ‘University autonomy: Improving educational output’, Dutch Economist and researcher Jo Ritzen states, “Universities deliver more competent graduates and higher quality research if they are more autonomous and well-funded.” Back home, Jaipuria, Lucknow has bagged the distinction of being one of the few institutions in the country to be awarded graded autonomy by AICTE. But how was this honor achieved, what does it mean for the B School and how does it influence its future plans? Dr. Kavita Pathak, Director, Jaipuria, Lucknow shed light on the rarest of achievements for B Schools.

What is graded autonomy?

While many look at AICTE as this almighty governing body looming large over educational institutions, Dr. Pathak reminds us that it has twin responsibilities. First is to ensure that institutions comply with set norms and secondly to provide them an opportunity to grow and excel. “The graded autonomy is a way of recognizing that institutions independently working towards excellence do not require high levels of monitoring and regulations. Such freedom can encourage healthy competitions amongst institutions to attain gold standards of academic performance. With this recognition we are certainly encouraged to improve our performance and set new standards,” she says responsibly.

How the recognition was won!

Soon after Dr. Pathak’s tenure began in December 2017, the team identified four key areas for interventions, and to develop capacity. Target number one was to get full accreditation (six month duration), which was granted for the flagship PGDM program based on National Board of Accreditations validation teams visit last year. Retail Management and Financial Services programs were re-accredited. “We are among only 13 programs and 10 institutions pan India to achieve full accreditation. Graded autonomy we received was the result of our NBA Accreditation scores being above 675 on 1000 for all our three eligible programs,” she informs.

Some of the other interventions by Jaipuria, Lucknow that went in its favor include:

  • Setting up of the incubation center two years ago. It presently incubates three physical and more than ten virtual businesses.

  • Launch of fellow program in management.

  • The thought leadership series that was appreciated by NBA accreditation team.

  • External linkages including operational MOUs with IIA, EO Uttar Pradesh, Margdarshak Financial Services Ltd and Grant Thorton, that are leveraged for the benefit of students.

  • Strong community outreach program that has resulted in impactful campaigns with Lucknow Metro Rail corporation, Department of Road Safety etc.

  • Robust alumni and industry outreach initiatives along with strong line up of client organizations for executive education including National Health Mission, Airport Authority of India etc.

What happens next?

Keeping up with industry trends like Business Analytics, maintaining one of the best gender ratios for faculty and students, Jaipuria, Lucknow seems to always have an eye on the ball. Brilliant placements, inclusivity profile are a testimony to it. Graded Autonomy recognition offers further confirmation. But how will it affect the future plans for the B School? “We have a clear growth trajectory and we would like to consolidate on what we have built for the next two years. We want to drive capacity creation in the domains of research, digital transformation of teaching and learning, pedagogy based experimentation, robust academic data analytics among others,” she concludes with a roadmap packed with initiatives for the future, asserting that the B School remains fully aware of its responsibility towards all its stakeholders.

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