New version of IPRS to make life easier for b-schools, non-members still not convinced

The second conference on IPRS at IIM-A on September 29, 2012

If you are a b-school aspirant looking for transparent placement reports to know more about an institute, few chances you will find any. However, b-schools committed to the cause of transparency in placement reports will benefit from the new version of the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS) which was drafted recently.
For b-schools who have adopted the IPRS, their biggest impediment is collecting salary data from recruiters. In the new IPRS version 2.1, the number of salary heads under which data is to be collected has been reduced thereby making life easier for b-schools and recruiters. The MBA aspirants, thanks to the introduction of timelines, can look forward to placement reports on time which will help them make informed choices about b-schools of their interest. The changes are minor in nature aimed to reduce the audit burden on b-schools.
So, will the reduced audit burden help bring in more b-schools under its ambit? Mr Abbasali Gabula, deputy director, external relations and administration, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, one of the IPRS member b-schools, does not think so. Laying stress on the intent of b-schools instead, he said: “The problem is that many b-schools have not signed up as they do not want to disclose the salaries. The intent of the institutes is more important than draft revisions. You need the top b-schools to come on board for IPRS to be successful.”
It is correct to say that success of the IPRS will depend on the top b-schools abiding by it as only collectively will they have the muscle to convince recruiters about the merits of salary transparency. But notable non-members such as Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and IIM Bangalore are far from being convinced on the matter. Krishanu Rakshit, assistant professor, IIM Calcutta, quipped: “We still have our apprehensions about IPRS. This is not a comprehensive document.” Sapna Agarwal, head, career development services, IIM Bangalore added: “We have our own format and process. We do not disclose salaries in our placement reports and do not want to get into it.”
Mr Saral Mukherjee, the IIM Ahmedabad (IIM A) professor driving the IPRS feels that the newer version of IPRS will make it easier for lower rung b-schools to adopt these standards. Speaking to PaGaLGuY on the issue, he said: “Institutes which have not accepted IPRS due to execution issues owing to lack of resources will find it easier to come in now. It might bring in more of the lower-rung b-schools who are facing a resource crunch but not b-schools who have not accepted it in-principle.”
While more b-schools espousing IPRS will be a good thing if you are looking for standardised and transparent placement reports, member b-schools don’t have their house in order yet. Fathom this; only 5 b-schools from 28 members have submitted their placement reports according to the IPRS guidelines. Mr Mukherjee acknowledged this problem. He stated: “I am not happy with its implementation. Many member institutes have not given their placement reports yet, maybe because of execution issues.”
This online magazine thinks that if the IPRS has to gather steam, member b-schools need to show more urgency in publishing their placement reports according to these guidelines. Only when members show more purpose can one test the efficacy of the IPRS. The new version aims to address some of the drawbacks of its predecessor. Now, members need to get their act together so that the IPRS gets its wheels in motion.

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