Thursday, April 06, 2006

Truth in advertising: IIPM

Dilip has caught something very interesting in the latest ad for IIPM. Now, this institution showcases its courses as 'unique superior to' (sic) MBA and BBA. But what courses does it offer? In Planning and Entrepreneurship.

This is a rare admission indeed. Just six months ago, IIPM was advertising its courses as leading to MBA and BBA degrees, with the accompanying text in smaller print clarifying that the 'degrees' are from the International Management Institute (IMI), Europe.

What happened in the meantime? First, of course, is the investigative work (aka Google journalism) by several bloggers, notable among them being Arzan, Gawker, Transmogrifier, Thalassa_Mikra, and Thalassa_Mikra (again). One of their main contributions was to shine some bright and harsh light on IMI.

The second thing that happened -- and this was more important in its impact -- was the involvement of AICTE. One of its rules (which apparently got tightened last May, after its new Chairman, Prof. Damodar Acharya, took over) is that degrees offered by institutions abroad must take prior approval of AICTE.

Sometime last November or December, AICTE wrote to IIPM -- and other institutions such as Rai 'University' -- asking for details about the 'foreign degrees' (see here and here). IIPM replied that its courses do not come under the purview of AICTE (or, for that matter, UGC). AICTE insisted that an MBA degree can be awarded only with its permission and approval (a process that would involve going into the academic credentials of IMI, which were already in tatters thanks to the set of blogger-journalists mentioned above). So, IIPM was forced to sacrifice its claim to offering 'degree' programs.

The bottomline now is that IIPM is unable to say what its programs really are; it can define them only by what they're not. Let's just go through them:

They are NOT MBA programs.

They are NOT BBA programs.

They are NOT professional courses.

They are NOT technical courses.

They are NOT recognized by AICTE or UGC.

So, you see, the only 'real information' in IIPM's ads (which! are full! of exclamation! marks!!) is that the institution offers some un-recognized, non-degree, non-technical and unprofessional non-professional programs in planning and entrepreneurship.

Calling its course a 'program' is all fine; what does it lead to: A degree? A Diploma? A certificate? What use is it, if it is not recognized by AICTE or UGC? For example, is it of any use at all if the students wish to pursue higher studies?

I don't expect IIPM's will try to clarify these issues in its ads.

* * *

Oh, by the way, IIPM has spruced up its faculty pages on its website. However, the old pages (about which I commented sometime ago) are still available!


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  2. Anonymous said...

    Although legaly speaking every institution is under AICTE purview, AICTE has used discretion not to include IITs and IIMs which are institutions of the government, by the government and for the government. What a discrimination in a Law abiding Nation!! With the RESERVATION issue picking up for IITs and IIMs, they might as well be renamed as RIIT and RIIM.

    What did this government do to Sarath Babu who studied at BITS Pilani and then later at IIMA and has started a Food Catering unit of his own. He did not get admission by reservation.

    What is the great AICTE all about? If the deemed universities offering BE Computer Science change the nomenclature of the degree from BE Computer Science to MSC Computer Science by a move of their respective senates, AICTE can go hang or stand in a corner and suck thumb.

    Its a joke that you have AICTE standards if you run BE Computer Science but you need not bother about AICTE standards if your University deemed or otherwise is running MSc Computer Science.

    I think the lawyers and judges handling this case of Deemed Universities versus AICTE need some quick education on the realities.

  3. Anonymous said...

    There is a Dhyaneswar Vidyapeeth in Pune going about awarding degrees and what has UGC or AICTE done about it. Today many universities and colleges are offering MSc Computer Science for which AICTE has no say. Are standards to be maintained only if its BE or BTech Computer Science and no need for standards if the degree is named MSc? Society is obsessed with talking of standards only in Technical and Medical Education. Does not Science Arts curriculum require Standards to be maintained. After all let people realize that Society does not run only with Engineers, doctors and Pharmacists and requires all fields of knowledge. Let us talk of standards in education and not confine to only technical education.