Almost two years after its launch, the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS), promoted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), has found only two takers — Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) and Pune-based Sahyadri Institute of Management Studies (SIMS).
These institutes have decided to adhere to the IPRS for reporting their placements this year and have provided their placement data on IIM-A's website.
There are, however, 25 B-schools which had agreed to be part of IPRS, but none has provided their placement details so far.
“While we have two B-schools releasing their placement data based on IPRS, there are over 25 assignees for the standards. However, being an assignee doesn't mean they will use IPRS for reporting placement data. We have to give time to these B-schools to work out on this,” says Saral Mukherjee, former chairperson for placements at IIM-A who had introduced the concept of IPRS.
In fact, IIM-A is planning to hold another IPRS conference later this year to gauge the success of the standards across B-schools.
“We will be organising a conference after almost everyone is through with their final placements reporting. We will then invite B-schools to share their experiences and gauge the success of IPRS. Maybe then we will have a better idea on the number of takers for IPRS in future,” Mukherjee added.
Launched in October 2010, IPRS was IIM-A’s attempt to bring in more transparency in reporting of placement data.
IIM-A had held a conference and invited B-schools, students and recruiters from across the country to deliberate on parameters necessary for developing such reporting standards.
IIM-A on its website says, “Placement audit gives believeability. Otherwise anyone can (and does) report anything they want. Hence, audit is mandatory. However, the standard does not prescribe any specific auditor. Individual B-schools can identify and select their own auditors.” IIM-A has appointed rating agency Crisil as its auditor.
“The need for establishing placement reporting standards is well established in the corporate sector and B-schools. The need is felt on account of two factors: First, lack of uniformity of placement data renders any data comparison infructuous. Second, data validation is a critical component that establishes the accuracy and adequacy of data being used," said Sachin Nigam, senior director, SME Ratings, CRISIL.
“In the medium to long-term, the adoption of placement reporting standards will become the deciding factor in determination of levels of accountability and transparency of B-schools,” added Nigam.
“We have joined the IPRS. I think the standards is a good thing as it brings in transparency in the entire placement scenario. Also, being a five-year-old B-school, IPRS allows us to send out a message to the student and the recruitment community that we have nothing to hide on the placement scene,” said Gautam V K Patil, chairperson placements, Sahyadri Institute of Management Studies, Pune.
Out of nearly 4,000 B-schools in the country, only 25 B-schools have assigned for the standards and only two B-schools have uploaded their placement reports on the website. Industry players say a prominent reason why B-schools might have not taken to IIM-A’s concept is that they fear it would result in them losing out in placements to large and mid-rung B-schools and could widen the ranking gap between them and others.
When B-schools state their salary structure, they define their market position. This impacts not only their reputation but also student perception.
For others like the Goa Institute of Management (GIM), the problem is from the employer’s front. “For us, the real problem comes when all employers don’t give every information. There is a gap there. The whole issue in IPRS as of now for us is getting full information from employers, which is not possible. There is still a lack of clarity in terms of what is going to help and what is not. Therefore, we have not adopted IPRS,” said R Nagarajan, associate professor, finance, Goa Institute of Management.
IIM-A states that recruiters would not be asked for the detailed break up. “We are asking for just the separation of guaranteed cash from the one-time and variable components namely — basic plus additional guaranteed cash component; one time payment and maximum of variable component. The addition of these three components is the maximum earning potential. This is not too difficult for a firm to share,” says IIM-A on the website.