The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill is giving sleepless nights to other business schools (B-schools) in the country that offer a postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM), the same certificate offered by IIMs. The Bill, placed before the Cabinet and proposed to be introduced this month during the Budget session by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, will allow the IIMs to offer degrees.
But about 50 B-schools in the country say with the IIMs being empowered to award master of business administration (MBA) degrees instead of diplomas in management, it might jeopardise the creditability of their PGDM programmes. As such, they are demanding better legal status for their programmes, too.
“We are planning to approach the human resource development ministry and seek recommendation for our programmes. If IIMs begin granting degrees, our programmes might suffer,” said H Chaturvedi, alternative president, Education Promotion Society for India, and director, Birla Institute of Management Technology.
“The relevance of PGDM programmes was only because of the IIMs. They started it, and others followed. With the IIMs being granted university status, B-schools offering PGDM should also be allowed to go the university way,” said Pritam Singh, ex-director, MDI Gurgaon, IIM Lucknow and ex-director general, IMI Delhi.
Institutes offering PGDM said they would meet the human resource development minister this month and seek equivalent recognition for their diplomas, akin to those offered by IIMs. “Some of us are 25-30 years old, older than some new IIMs. If IIMs begin granting degrees, it will impact the demand for our programmes,” said the director of a Delhi-based B-school.
Institutes that offer PGDM include XLRI, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, TA Pai Management Institute and Goa Institute of Management.
IIM directors said the idea behind an IIM Bill was to turn these institutes into statutory bodies to offer master’s degrees and doctorates, instead of diplomas and fellowships. Currently, IIMs cannot award degrees, as they have been set up as societies, under the Societies Registration Act.
Degrees can only be awarded by universities and institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), set up by Parliament or legislatures, and those declared deemed-to-be-universities under the University Grants Commission Act. Currently, the 13 IIMs issue certificates stating their PGDM programme is equivalent to an MBA degree.
IIM Ahmedabad had opposed the IIM Bill, saying it would threaten its autonomy. “The IIM council draft Bill’s high points are the degree-granting status, as well as autonomy to IIMs,” said an IIM director who was part of the committee drafting the Bill.
Four years ago, the ministry of human resource development had granted greater autonomy to IIMs. These institutes, however, are under the Right to Information Act and have to get their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The IITs have a council, the governing body for all IITs. The minister-in-charge of technical education is the council’s chairman. Other members include three members of Parliament, the chairmen and directors of all the IITs, the chairman of the University Grants Commission, the director-general of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), the chairman and the director of Indian Institute of Science, the joint secretary in the human resource development ministry, and three appointees each of the Union government and the AICTE.