MBA degree offered by IIMs will increase the student enrolment in full time and part time management programs.As per IIM Act passed in the year 2017 IIMs were given the autonomy to offer MBA degrees to their students.Earlier to this act the students were awarded PGDM despite their admission into Master’s programmes.
IIM Bangalore was the first to award an MBA to its Post Graduate Programme in 2018. Other IIMs, most notably Indore, Ahmedabad and Calcutta, followed suit to bring the traditional Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) under the degree-granting fold. “Last year, we had granted MBA degrees for the regular 2-year post graduate programmes, but in March 2019, we granted MBA degrees to our one year Executive Post Graduate Programme as well,” says Himanshu Rai, director, IIM-Indore.
Prior to the Act, all IIMs were separate entities registered under the Societies Act. Since societies are not authorised to award degrees, students were awarded a PGDM despite being admitted to a Master’s programme. Likewise, those pursuing doctoral programmes were awarded the title of a ‘fellow’ at the end of their research. While the PG diploma and ‘fellow’ titles are recognised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the HRD ministry as being equivalent to an MBA and a PhD degree, respectively, the equivalence is not universally recognised, especially for the Fellow programme, which led the government to bring in the Act.
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The award of an MBA degree, says Rai, will help at three levels. The first is the recognition of the degree in the eyes of the recruiters and universities who are unfamiliar with Indian system of management education. For example, if a student were to apply abroad with a PGDM or FPM (Fellow Programme in Management), he/she would be asked to submit equivalent certificates to establish their’s is a Master’s/doctoral level degree. Secondly, before the IIM Act, other Indian universities were allowed to give both PGDM and MBA degrees that created confusion in the minds of people. With IIMs awarding MBA degrees, that confusion seems to have been dispelled for good. Thirdly, the move has raised students’ satisfaction levels since some of them earlier felt that their PGDM is equivalent but not the actual degree itself, says Rai. The MBA degree will help save time, energy and resources for both the students and the IIMs which had to dig up student records to produce equivalence certificates.
“In the current scenario, while the quality of education will not depend on whether the students at the IIMs get a degree or diploma, more number of students will now apply for the 1 year full-time and 2 year part time programmes because they would earn MBA degrees instead of diplomas. Likewise, more students will now apply for PhD degrees now that the Fellow programme has come under the degree granting mould,” Rai affirms.
“In order to grant degrees to our students,” says Rai, “we are trying to standardise the parameter of our programmes be it in terms of the number of contact hours (physical classroom interaction) or the duration (minimum three years after Master’s degree for PhD). This has given us the opportunity to relook at all our programmes and redesign them to make them contextually relevant.”
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