Even as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) begin to release final shortlists from Friday after some delays due to the Covid-19-led lockdown, their new academic sessions are likely to start by August this year.
Usually, sessions for new incoming batches for their flagship two-year post graduate programmes in management start by July every year, however, this year most of the IIMs including Ahmedabad and Bangalore are likely to begin the same by August, provided the lockdown ends before that.
According to the premier B-schools, the six-month long admission process that usually begins in January with the announcement of Common Admission Test (CAT) results and ends with final batch selection in June has seen a few weeks of delay due to the lockdown that began in March this year. Which is why, the final shortlists which is usually out by April have been deferred to May 8.
"Typically our list is out by April 30, this year it will be delayed by couple of weeks. Between interview shortlist (January 20) and batch selection (June 30), the gap is almost six months. Covid-19 lockdown will not affect the batch selection date. However, the gap between the first offer list release date and the final shortlist release date will be reduced by couple of weeks this year," Shubhasis Dey, admissions chair, IIM Kozhikode told Business Standard.
"IIM Ahmedabad typically release/send out invitations to shortlisted candidates in the first week of April. This year, due to Covid-19 situation the results of final selections have been released on May 8, 2020. IIM-A had completed its new batch admission process prior to the lockdown. The process takes about three months (from January to March) to complete the process from shortlisting for interviews to final selection," said Vishal Gupta, Chairperson - Admissions, IIM Ahmedabad.
IIM Calcutta, typically releases the shortlist 10 days after completing the interview process. However, its admission chair Sumanta Basu said, "Like previous years, the interview process was scheduled to be over by March end in 2020 but we had to revise the plan due to Covid-19 outbreak during that time."
According to Gupta, the premier B-school plans to now commence the new batch of PGP MBA around the first week of August 2020.
Similarly, IIM Bangalore too, plans the commence sessions from first week of August this year as against the usual mid-June, director G Raghuram told Business Standard. The B-school typically sends out shortlists by April 10 which this year is being done on May 8.
With the lockdown forcing educational institutes to opt for virtual classrooms, IIMs have partly gone online with some programmes likely to be run on campus depending on the lockdown situation.
"As of now, we are not expecting any of our degree-granting programs to be entirely virtual. However, the starting terms are already virtual for the one-year MBA, the weekend MBA and planned to be for the Public Policy programme due to start mid-June. For the two-year PGP, we will decide closer to the start date," said Raghuram.
IIM Calcutta has begun its MBAEx programme online from April 20, said director Anju Seth. "Classes for the new batch are likely to begin by the first week of August as of now. However, this is subject to how the pandemic situation unfolds and government advisories for how residential educational institutions such as ours may function," Seth added.
IIM Kozhikode, according to Dey, is for far undecided on the mode of conduct for classes. "Usually classes for PGP commence in July but given the current circumstances as well as taking continuous cognizance of the evolving situation, as of now, we are hoping to commence classes in August for the incoming batch."
On its part, IIM Ahmedabad has been offering blended learning programmes for the last five years. "We began with long-duration executive education programmes and in 2017, we introduced ePGP (2-year PGP). This academic year, we launched a hybrid course in Advanced Business Analytics. We propose to offer an online preparatory programme for the incoming batch of PGP MBA," said Gupta.
Meanwhile, other higher education institutions too have joined the online bandwagon amidst the lockdown. For instance, according to RL Raina, Vice Chancellor of the Jaipur-based JK Lakshmipat University, the varsity had started online classes immediately for unabated learning process.
"In line with the UGC guidelines, by May 31st, our curriculum will be completed online, barring a few areas involving lab work and practicals. We intend to reopen the university, after a month’s summer vacation, on 1st July, provided the lockdown does not continue even after that, and would complete the practical and lab work within the first week of reopening of the university," said Raina.