Sunday, September 03, 2006

Increased intake at IIMs: Voices from within

In a paper [pdf] from July 2006, Prof. Ramesh Gupta (professor of finance at IIM-A) takes a critical look at the explansion plans. Insisting that the paper is not about the reservation issue, he still raises some uncomfortable questions about IIM-A's priorities. In particular, he shines a sharp spotlight on its Post-Graduate Program for Executives (PGPx):

PGPx is a new program having 61 participants. These are mostly Indians who have worked abroad as software engineers for about 4-5 years and want to do MBA to enhance their market opportunities. In a bid to internationalize the programs, IIMA decided to offer PGPx (one year executive MBA program). For this program, GMAT score (considered easier than CAT) is used for admission. Competition to get in is much less as there are about 1200 applicants for 60 seats in PGPx compared to 1.5 lakh [150,000] applicants for 250 seats in PGP. IIMA offers the cheapest program in the world with top class facilities and fully paid five week international sojourn.

IIMA charges an all inclusive fee of [Rs 800,000, about $18,000] for the program. This includes tuition fee, five weeks of fully paid immersion program, lodging and boarding, computer and library usage fee, teaching materials, placement fee, etc. A rough estimate suggests that this is a highly subsidized program costing the Institute about [Rs. 20 million] (roughly [Rs. 250,000 to 300,000] per participant) just to cover the direct costs.

There is more:

Of 80 planned apartments by June 2007, 27 have been occupied by PGPx married participants. Fully air-conditioned apartments are so big that some participants even house their maid servants to take care of their children while living on campus. A rare treat for PGPx participants only IIMA can provide.

Do read his paper. It is a real eye-opener, with all kinds of interesting information about faculty salaries, their income through consulting, and even interdisciplinary politics!

* * *

Yesterday's Hindu carried a story about the views expressed by Prof. N.S. Ramaswamy (founder Director of IIM-B):

... Prof. Ramaswamy contended that the faculty in all the IIMs were putting in just about half the number of hours of work they were supposed to put in as per a decision taken by the faculty four decades ago.

He said each IIM on an average had a 100-member strong faculty.

And, as per a decision taken by the faculty 40 years ago, they have to give 100 hours annually to the two-year post-graduate programme and other long duration programmes. In faculty hours, this adds up to 10,000 hours annually and his contention is that only half is used up.


  1. Tabula Rasa said...

    interesting that his very first recommendation is to dilute the (already weak) phd program. not excise it, and not improve it, but dilute it.

    he then goes on to recommend lowering entry barriers ("compromise on english and knowledge of complex mathematical modeling") for incoming mba students, as this would increase the size of the incoming class without grossly violating "the parameters of quality which most domestic companies may require". wow - someone can even *say* that!

    okay - so he's saying, dilute the research, and make the place a teaching shop by filling it with lower quality students. is it any wonder that people don't want to join these places as faculty?

  2. Abi said...

    TR: It's interesting that we both read the same document, but focused on different things! To me the most serious indictment is the following statistic: With some 85 faculty, IIM-A graduates less than 250 MBAs and less than 15 Ph.D.s (the Fellows program). Clearly, there is room for more students, but the administration is adamant that it's just not possible to increase the intake (reservation or no reservation).

  3. Tabula Rasa said...

    yes, i agree that's interesting :-)

    i actually don't see from those numbers how it's clear there's room for more students. (a) the document mentions that top US schools graduate twice the number, but doesn't talk about the much larger faculties they have, especially when adjuncts are counted, and (b) it's also a matter of material resources, not just faculty.

  4. Anonymous said...

    About the GMAT being easier than the CAT, I thought that these tests give relative scores. In other words, if it is easy, then it is easy for all. But the scores come as percentiles. So the person who gets 99 percentile has done better than 99% of the people. So, whatever the pattern of the test, a 99 percentile scorer in CAT should have the same aptitude as a 99 percentile scorer (750 score) in GMAT. Correct me if I am wrong in assuming this.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I agree with the author's views that we need more institutions modeled on ISB (which are self sufficient and not dependent on govt) rather than IIMs