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Management Education in India: What Lies Ahead

Management education is, by its very nature, professional in contour and design. This means that management education is aimed at augmenting knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA) so that the students who receive such education attain the required KSA to become eligible to be part of a corporate or other sector for further contribution to the economy for its growth.

This essentially means that the success or otherwise of management education should be evaluated from the prism of employment generation ability by the providers of such education. Further, this employment is in the context of managerial / supervisory jobs at the entry level. This is beyond the traditional realm of skilled jobs and fall under the category of blue-collar jobs.

If one analyzes the scenario in India in the above context, the situation appears to be alarming. Assuming on a conservative estimate that there are around 2,500 business schools of different types, the number of MBA graduates entering the market place is around 2.5 lakhs per year. As per the latest statistics by Labour Bureau of India, the total jobs created across eight sectors (that have the ability to provide jobs to MBA graduates) has been 4.93 lacs and 1.35 lacs for 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Thus there is an alarming mismatch between the demand and supply. The other matter of concern has been the serious issue of under-employment in many sectors/ jobs. This has seriously affected the MBA graduates as many of them are offered the salary that the graduates are normally being paid; even if they are offered something incremental, it is marginal. The median salary of the MBA graduates of many of the business schools is hardly equal or marginally more of that of the management undergraduates (BMS/ BBA, etc.). The issue is not limited to business schools in private sector; it has impacted the newly set-up IIMs as well. Alarmed by the poor performance by many new IIMs on the employment front, MHRD has reportedly asked all the new IIMs to give full details of the placement records of the latest batch (2015-17).

Neither the government nor the regulators are taking the matter seriously enough. There are several cases of existing institutions including Universities expanding the capacity through setting up campuses all across the country. There has been phenomenal growth in the number of seats for MBA of many premier institutions throughout the country.

What therefore lies ahead?

Serious reforms are called for both at macro as well as micro level. The government must not set up new IIMs for the time being and rather try to consolidate the existing ones. Even increase in capacity (number of seats) should not be allowed as that affects the private payers quite seriously. The government/ UGC must also not allow the Universities to set new campuses for management education particularly at post-graduate level. AICTE also must not allow any new institutes or allow expansion of the existing institutes. The focus of the regulators for next 5 years should be consolidation, quality augmentation and building up skills in new and emerging areas. Mentoring by nearby better institutions should be mandatory for the tier III institutions. Mergers and takeovers may also be encouraged at the policy level.

At micro level, reforms should result into alignment of teaching-learning processes and management systems at institute level with corporate expectations.

In specific terms these include

• A visionary leadership at the top
• Consolidation and non-expansion of capacity
• Making the curriculum totally application driven
• Equipping students with newer skills of the current & future generation enabling them to be market ready
• Designing new electives on emerging topics / issues
• Imparting critical thinking as well as out of the box thinking
• Making the students sturdy, both physically & mentally, to face the stress and challenges of life in view of the emergence of extremely competitive world
• Means need to be created to seamlessly integrate skill with knowledge; German system of dual education of continued integration of classroom and industry internship may be experimented
• More focus on company specific MBA programmes
• Extensive use of technology: may be teaching some courses only through on-line or through partnership with existing MOOC providers
• Focusing on entrepreneurship skill to be developed among the students enabling them to start business ventures of their own
• Empowering students so that they can co-create value and seek suitable employment by themselves
• Increasing tie-up with international institutions so that the students can become Indian managers with global attitude
• Always trying to differentiate from others so that the institute can align with corporate expectations
• Teachers should be trained to become facilitators and not mere teachers; teachers should be mentored to co-create value of education through partnership
• Creating true research focus in the institution and to bring the same within the class so that students get new perspective of looking at the problems

Whatever the institute does at micro-level, it should define the learning outcomes perfectly well in consonance with corporate expectations so that employability aspect is taken care of.

Would all these help? What lies in future for management education in India?

The answer at this level is difficult to gauge. It is noteworthy here to quote from a recent book on rethinking MBA education by Shrikant M Datar and David A Garvin both Professors for HBS, USA that the trouble of our times is that the future is not what it used to be (by Paul Valery). That aptly describes the uncertainty and misty clouds confronting the business of future and corresponding future of business education.

What it implies is that the future of management education in the current format in the Indian scenario is uncertain. This is more particularly true for the thousands of tier II and tier III institutions below the top ones (IIMs and may be handful other institutions) unless they reinvent themselves and undergo transformation in terms of approach, design, content and delivery. They should either face the challenges and reinvent or perish under the pressure of competition.

Dr. A. K. Sen Gupta is the Founder and Convener of Higher Education Forum (HEF) and Mentor, SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS).




Original: http://www.freepressjournal.in/education/management-education-in-india-what-lies-ahead/1073395
By: Dr. A. K. Sen Gupta
Posted: May 24, 2017, 10:52 am