Monday, March 20, 2006

IIMs and M.M. Joshi

What then explains [IIMs'] failure to break into the Top 100 ranking ...? One answer is the fact that the IIMs fail when it comes to research -- which is an important way to assess the faculty's credentials.

There may be other reasons (quality of library, IT infrastructure. . .), but research is the most important. Why should that matter for the student, since he or she is there for what is taught in class, not what research the professor does outside? That is a question asked on US campuses too, and the answer is that research reflects faculty quality.

T.N. Ninan, here. He has more to say, this time, about the saga of "IIMs vs. M.M. Joshi (the previous HRD minister)":

It is interesting, though, that even as the IIMs celebrate their success, it is their old nemesis Murli Manohar Joshi (the human resource development minister in the last government) who has scored a point or two. For, without anyone noticing, the IIMs have quietly fallen in line with much of what the hard-charging Dr Joshi had wanted them to do!

He wanted them to increase their intake of students -- precisely the issue that was raised recently when IIM-Bangalore said it wanted to set up shop in Singapore. So the greater intake is happening.

Dr Joshi wanted them to use their accumulated corpus for infrastructure development; the IIMs are doing that. He wanted them subjected to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General; that too has happened. And, of course, there are now more scholarships and concessions on offer for poor students -- which was the big issue.