IIMs to have closer cooperation in admissions, may set up an IIM University

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Kapil Sibal

Kapil Sibal at IIM Council meet

At the all IIM council meet headed by Kapil Sibal, union minister of human resource development, and attended by the directors of 12 IIMs, Minister of State for HRD Dr D Purandeshwari and key administrative officials of the ministry, several important decisions were agreed upon. The IIM Council comprising IIM Directors, the HRD Minister and key bureaucrats of the HRD ministry looks after common affairs of the IIMs.

Firstly it was decided that all IIMs will work closely during admissions, sharing their admission information and co-ordinate their counselling systems. This will reduce student’s worries and anxieties during the admission process while assisting new IIMs in their admissions process. However the proposal to have a common interview process like Indian Institutes of Technology was rejected as it was claimed that the IIM process was ‘sacred’.

Kapil Sibal while addressing media persons also informed that, “Every three years there would be an external review of each IIM so that any inadequacies could be identified and corrected.”

The council also reviewed the progress of the six new IIMs being set up at Rohtak, Ranchi, Raipur, Trichy, Udaipur and Kashipur. It was observed that both the land acquisition and appointment of directors had been completed for all except IIM Kashipur where the selection of director was at an advanced stage.

A Standing Committee had been constituted under Mr Damodaran for co-coordinating matters between the new IIMs.

As an extension of working closer, it was also proposed that an umbrella structure on the lines of an ‘IIM University’ be formed headed by a Vice Chancellor or a Director General, that would help IIMs offer a full-fledged Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree instead of the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) being currently offered.

However the above mentioned “IIM University” might take a lot of time to be implemented. Several experts and even the IIMs themselves have often blamed their absence in international b-school rankings and lack of foreign students on the restrictive nomenclature of the degree (PGDM) they offer which does not generate recall on the international stage.

Additionally, the revised Memoranda of Association and Rules of IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Indore had been finalized while those of Bangalore, Lucknow and Kozhikode were underway. On a related note annual work plan system and teaching requirements along with faculty peer review had been put in place at IIM Calcutta, Lucknow and Kozhikode while IIM Bangalore was working on a faculty review system.

The union minister also approved a sum of Rs. 95 Crore for a scheme to enhance research in the IIMs and increasing the output of PhDs from each of the existing IIMs for a total of at least 100 additional PhDs.

IIM Bangalore offered to bring out a pan IIM quarterly journal showcasing their research activity. IIM Calcutta and Kozhikode jointly offered to organize an international conference in India bringing together leading international management thinkers to learn from global experiences.

The HRD ministry also asked the IIMs to jointly devise a plan for upgrading their hostel facilities to a world-class level in order to build diversity on campus and attract international students without affecting the national intake. “It was also decided that IIMs could jointly organize an international roadshow pooling their resources for the purpose,” added Sibal.

The minister also asked the IIMs to conduct programmes in areas such as energy management, academic institution management, health management and agriculture management.

It was informed that the Government is in the process of providing connectivity to every knowledge institutions through the National Knowledge Network and NMEICT besides providing fibre connectivity to each village through the National Optical Fibre Network. It was decided that a network of institutions can be constructed using technology as the platform for delivering inter-disciplinary courses cutting across knowledge streams.

The IIMs offered their assistance in using technology being created under the two programmes for development of faculty in private management institutions. It was decided to organize a meeting with private management institutions and IIMs to co-ordinate efforts in faculty development of private educational institutions. IIM-Lucknow offered the use of its facility in Noida for the establishment of a Management Academy for the purpose.

IIM-Bangalore offered the use of its facilities for conducting course work for FPM programmes for the new IIMs.