Home >education >news >Independent business schools take issue with IIM degree plan

New Delhi: Scores of independent management institutes, including XLRI Jamshedpur, Birla Institute of Management Technology (Bimtech) Greater Noida and Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon, are considering joining forces to demand from the government the power to grant degrees.

Some of these institutes also plan to seek deemed university status from the human resource development (HRD) ministry. This is because an institute can offer degree only if it is empowered by law, affiliated to a university or is itself a university.

The reason for their agitation is the proposed Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill, which will allow IIMs to award degrees instead of the post-graduate diplomas in management (PGDM) that they currently offer. Like the IIMs, over 300 independent institutes too award a PGDM and they now fear that their survival will be threatened by the new development.

“Its a survival and identity issue for us," said Harivansh Chaturvedi, director of Bimtech.

“For years, we have been offering PGDM as have the IIMs. But with the circumstances changing, it will pose a huge question in front of us and may affect our standing in the market," he said, adding that dozens of B-schools were assembling in New Delhi on Wednesday to deliberate and prepare a road map for way forward.

J.K. Das, director at Fore School of Management in New Delhi, said with the HRD ministry bringing in legislation to allow IIMs to grant degrees, PGDM schools would be at a disadvantage.

“The equivalence with IIMs and the anchoring benefits will go if the IIM Bill gets enacted and we remain where we are today," Das argued.

He said the move would have wider implications and might affect students in the future. “If not now, maybe in a couple of years, parents will question the relevance of sending children to institutes which offer a diploma and not degree, while paying the same fees and spending the same two years on the course," Das said.

He added that PGDM schools were of the view that the government should give them the power to grant degrees—either through legislation or by amending the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Act. “If they are ready to give deemed university status, that is also fine," said Das.

Chaturvedi put the onus on the HRD ministry. “HRD ministry can pass a Bill for this purpose."

He suggested a way out: while the top 50 or 100 PGDM schools could be allowed to award degrees, the rest could be directed to obtain university affiliation.

“A final road map will be prepared on Wednesday, following which all B-schools will try to meet HRD ministry officials," said Chaturvedi, adding that there was also the view that a management council be established for regulating B-schools instead of AICTE.

An HRD ministry official, on condition of anonymity, said while the institutes’ argument had merit, the good ones should not worry about survival.

The IIM Bill is currently before the cabinet and would be taken to Parliament once it was cleared, he added.

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