Prospectus and issues of Management Institutes

Dr. Vijay Pithadia

In India the first school to offer Management Educa­tion was the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management established in 1954. This was followed by the Dept. of Commerce, Universityof Andhra Pradesh, and then Bombay, Delhiand Madras Universities started courses in Business Management.

Sir Jehangir Gandhi of TISCO the "father of Management Education in India" gave a moving formula­tion of the First Board of Management Studies in 1955. He defined the task as" Evolving courses of study in Management, advising the all - India Techni­cal Council on the selection of Suitable Institutions to voffer courses in Management, laying down standards, conduct of exams leading to the Award of National Diplomas and Certificates in Management and gener­ally promoting the co-coordinated development of Man­agement Education in the country." The fifties had been marked by direction and content with regard to the management programs in India.

The establishment of Indian Institute of Manage­ment (IIM) - Calcutta (1961) and IIM - Ahmedabad (1962) partly on the basis of Prof. Herbert Simon's (an eminent American scholar commissioned by the Ford Foundation to examine the possibility of promot­ing U.S. type business schools in India) recommenda­tion in the early sixties achieved landmark position in business education in India. These IIMs were set up by the Government in partnership with Industry and Ford Foundation. XLRI (1966) was followed by MIT'S Sloan School and HBS Education System.

In the 1970s there were more than 50 manage­ment schools with the founding of IIM (Bangalore) in 1973, but the 1980s showed explosive growth in the number and variety of institutions offering manage­ment degrees and diplomas : 50 more schools came into being and a number of private colleges affiliated to Universities began to offer MBA courses. IIM (Lucknow) was set up in 1984, patterned on the tradi­tional model. IIM - Delhi developed with interna­tional tie - ups.

While AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) laid down the norms of recognition of management schools in 1986, the AIMS (Association of Indian Management Schools) were formed in 1988 to bring uniformity among management schools in India. A new set of norms and standards for the rec­ognition of management schools was approved in 1989. AIMS cover more than 200 Institutions. The current decade has also been marked by growth in the numbers of management institutions, most of which have come up in the private sector. A record number of 222 new management Institutions/Programs were approved by AICTE in 1994, which became functional from 1995. Next to USA, India has the largest number of Management Education Institu­tions in the world.

Management Institutions:    

The mushrooming of management schools pro­vides more opportunities for students but at the same time, raises a number of doubts too. How does the student evaluate a management institute and its programs? This question is particularly relevant as management education in India is of very disparate quality. Therefore an effort has to be made to provide some sort of rating mechanism for the management schools based on criteria like infrastructure, faculty, method of teaching, job placement for training, re­search undertaken, etc.

Emphasis on Technology Management:

Today, technological changes are happening very rapidly and better, improved models are flooding the marketplace before the existing ones live out their lives. There is no way that we can resist this situa­tion. Without up-to-date knowledge of technology, graduates in Management and MBAs cannot compete in the markets of reality, of fulfilling employment. There­fore Management Institutions should develop subjects like Technology Management which should expand on subjects such as Transfer Selection, Negotiation, In­novation, Research, as the key elements of curricu­lum. The new areas of Technologies could be -- Information technology, - non conventional en­ergy, - hydrocarbons, - telecommunications, - elec­tronics, - power, - chemical engineering & pharmaceuticals, - consumer durables, - infrastructure, - trans­portation, - multinational factor, and - leisure and travel.

Demands of the corporate world

Increasing competition and quick changes in the business environment have brought in more work pressure in today's business world. Stress has become unavoid­able and one has to learn to cope with it, otherwise it could result in emotional instability, health disorders, depression etc. In a study of 6427 executives con­ducted by Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre, 30% tested positive for stress. It is in this context that areas like stress management and time management, office psychology, and so on, have become highly relevant in today's corporate world. Also risk taking, results orientation, team spirit, ethics in business, adaptability are some of the values which the man­agement institutions have to inculcate among the students.

Research and Teaching Methodology:

Management education carries basically three kinds of research inputs in its syllabus design.

(1) Studies in feeder disciplines, the most important among these being social and behavioral sci­ences. Mathematical, biological, engineering and technical, disciplines,
(2) Studies of organizational functions and processes.
(3) Study of experimenting with teaching method­ologies that can develop into a habit of applying knowledge to deal with the problems on hand. These would cover,
[a]  Systematic research in specific areas of study.
[b] Preparation of the teaching material such as case studies, exercises, management games, etc.
[c] Faculty seminars, exchange programs, etc.
An interaction will make management education more practical and need-based and on the other hand with the active involvement of practitioners, the prob­lem of inadequate faculty can also be solved. Also the students have to be given more exposure to practical business, and working in an industrial environment.

The profile of an American management student
is quite different from that of an Indian student. The
American management student with an average age
of around 27 years also has prior industry experience of 5 to 7 years before joining the management institute, whereas his Indian Center port has that much less maturity with an average age of 22 years and very little work experience      

Towards this end a close association with industry is desirable and the mutual benefits for industry, business and the institute that this will serve will have to be properly brought forward. Ultimately the success of management institutions, and thereby management education, would largely depend on how quickly and soundly they are able to adopt and address themselves to the requirements of the society and the changing business environment.

"Knowledge is precious to us because we shall never have time to complete it". Rabindranath Tagore