Whether you are about to complete your Bachelors’ degree or you have been working hard at a job for several months, beginning an MBA is a welcome change in pace. The institute you choose defines not only how you will spend the next two years, but also the rest of your personal and professional life.
Tucked away in the vibrant university town of Anand, Gujarat is the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). Established in 1979 by the Father of the White Revolution, Dr Verghese Kurien, IRMA is a pioneering institution that trains future managers to spearhead and facilitate the development of rural India.
IRMA is an institute with a difference, and its flagship two-year Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM), is only part of the difference. The legacy, culture, training and the very environment that MBA aspirants find here are unlike any other B-School in the country. Read on to know how.
The location of IRMA is ideal for students on many counts. It is right in the heart of the town of Anand, making every amenity of urban life accessible to its students. The campus itself, however, has been designed as a peaceful, verdant oasis that calms you the minute you enter the institute. For its students, the IRMA campus is a haven with sixty acres of lush lawns, playing fields, cycling tracks and wooded patches. Anybody visiting the campus is greeted by the melodious notes of the Amul Carillon Chimes within an hour of entering. The very mood on campus is soothing.
The air at IRMA is imbued with the matchless legacy of its founder, Dr. Kurien and the accomplishments of its many illustrious alumni. He was a source of inspiration for all IRMAns, and many alumni followed him to contribute to the welfare of rural India selflessly. It’s the narrative of Dr. Kurien that binds the whole community together and cuts across all batches and one can’t help but be awed by it.
An aspect that is possibly unique to IRMA is the strong emphasis on actual education over grades. IRMA doesn’t pay mere lip service to the ideal of “learning”. The faculty members go out of their way to convey concepts of various subjects to their students. Discussions during lectures (and after those) are eye-opening, and assignments and examinations are more of an intellectually stimulating challenge than a formality. The numerous guest lectures by stalwarts in their areas further add to students’ knowledge. At the end of the day (or the course), the ethos at IRMA is such that one’s personality – not the grades – define how one has grown as a student and as an individual.
What is an education in rural management without any actual interaction with rural India? IRMA recognizes the need for actual exposure to its students’ future area of work, and thus allows students several opportunities to experience life in the villages of India first-hand. Be it the short induction fieldwork at the beginning of the course, or the two-month Village Fieldwork Segment (VFS) after the first term of PGDRM, or even the simulation games that acquaint students with the intricacies of village life; the opportunities to learn are many. The walls of all buildings at IRMA are adorned with beautiful photographs that students captured during their fieldwork, a testament to the many memories they created in these lesser-known parts of our country.
Be it the hostels that allow free interaction of inhabitants, the student mess which is the hub of all activity, or the expansive campus for when one wants some solitary walks, being an IRMAn never disappoints. Students could be chatting with a professor during tea breaks between lectures, having a quick game of badminton in the evening before meeting classmates to complete a group assignment, and then rushing off to a movie screening or a jam session, all in a day. In addition to all this, any given term will be peppered with formal celebrations, informal hostel parties, festivals, sports events and institute fests that one will regret staying out of. It is highly probable that some fun activity would be scheduled for the day one visits campus for the first time. For a quiet campus, IRMA never really sleeps.
The Scope for Future
IRMA has enjoyed a 100% placements record since its establishment. The Institute strongly believes in enabling its students with the requisite skills and promote the ability to choose the kind of work they want to do. This has resonated with organizations – both national and international – as is reflected in the institute’s ever-growing placement portfolio for both the internship as well as the final placements.
A future manager’s experience at IRMA is, to put it simply, indescribable. While a place at IRMA is in itself synonymous with a fulfilling career – and life at large – any doubts that an MBA aspirant might have will be put to rest with just a visit to the institute.