Private B-schools seek level playing field with IIMs

Management institutes also want to confer degrees

Private B-schools seek level playing field with IIMs

Private B-schools have closed ranks to demand a level playing field, fearing that their post-graduate diploma programmes will find no takers once the government goes ahead with its plan to allow Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) grant degrees.

As a long-awaited bill seeking to vest degree granting powers into IIMs is under active consideration of the Cabinet, an association of nearly 300 private management institutes held its first meeting here on Wednesday and decided to ask the government that they should also be given powers to confer degree.

The institutes, however, refused to give in their “autonomy”, making it clear that they would neither seek affiliation to any university nor subject themselves to any government control in order to get degree granting powers.

The meeting was called by the Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI). XLRI, Jamshedpur, Birla Institute of Management Technology (Bimtech), Greater Noida, and Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, are among the members of the association.

The member institutes admit students on the basis of scores obtained in nationwide entrance tests like CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT and GMAT.

The institutes decided to chalk out their strategy in the next three weeks and “lobby hard” to press for their demand. The institutes, meanwhile, also decided to take legal opinion to ascertain the “viable options available to them under the Constitution” and put up a “very strong case” before the government.

The institutes indicated that going to court would be the last option and they would first make all out efforts to convince the government.

“We have seen in past that it cost us Rs 60-70 lakh per annum to fight a case in court,” one of the key members of the EPSI observed at the meeting.

“We do not have any objection to the IIM Bill. It is the decision of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It will help IIMs in many ways. What we want that we should also be given degree granting powers along with IIMs without taking away our autonomy.  We are competing with IIMs in job and admission market. We would like to retain the level playing field,” association president H Chaturvedi told Deccan Herald, after the meeting.

If only IIMs are given degree granting power, it will adversely affect private business schools as students, parents and employers would start questioning the “legitimacy, credibility, stature and acceptance” of the postgraduate diploma programmes offered by the private B-schools in the coming five years, he said.

“It (the enactment of law to vest degree granting powers into IIMs) will adversely affect us. Students are happy with us. Industry is also happy with us. Why should not the government support us?” he added.

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