IIM’s one-year Programme in Trouble

IIM – the three enigmatic letters. This is not just an acronym for a magic wand. The Indian Institute of Management is a cluster of the biggest name for B schools in India. This is also the dream destination of almost all students in India who pursue graduation in Management. 

Close on the heels of several B schools across the globe that offer a one-year programme in Management, the top IIMs too have been offering this course for a while now.

But they may have to shut their doors on this course forever now. The HRD Ministry at the centre, with advice from the Ministry of Law, has communicated to the IIMs to do away with the one-year programme.

What is the ministry’s objection to the programme?

The MHRD insists that IIMs follow the University Grants Commission guidelines. The UGC has laid down the duration for a post graduate programme in India as two years, following the 10 + 2 + 3 of basic schooling and under graduation.

In this scenario, the one-year course fails to meet UGC’s requirements for a post graduate programme. The one-year post graduation can only be accepted after four years of under graduation.

But the undergraduate degrees in India, except for Engineering, Technology, and Medicine, are of three years. In this scenario, a one-year course does not fulfil the norms for a post graduate programme. 

An official, under anonymity, opined that normalizing this – the clamping of the duration of a post graduate programme to one year would set a wrong example for other institutes to follow. 

Can the ministry clamp down IIMs’ programmes?

The umbrella of B schools under IIM is an autonomous body. The one-year course was started following the IIM Act. This legislation was passed three years ago. The Act grants IIMs the liberty to not only offer degrees but also make amendments in their administration. The IIMs do not plan to take this lying down. 

What do IIMs plan to do about it?

The premier B schools in the country are not ready to give up on this yet. IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, and Kozhikode offer one-year MBA.

Many IIMs, including top ranked IIM -A, IIM-B, and IIM-C have already begun classes for the one-year programme in the online mode for this academic year.

Some of the other IIMs are also on the verge of opening up this course. The question of awarding degrees for the one-year programmes that have just concluded has arisen too. 

One of the spokespersons said that it is not as if a one-year IIM degree will be a watered down version. There will be no compromise on the quality of the programme, regardless of the duration of the course.

According to one of the directors, many graduates of the one-year programme hold top positions in big corporates both in India and outside too. 

How will IIMs resolve this?

The premier B schools plan to counter this move cordially. Heads of the top institutes have decided to hold internal discussions on this matter, followed by dialogues with the ministry. They hope to arrive at an amicable solution to the issue soon. 

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