Weekend reading (July 10-16): IIM Indore’s iPGP, Backdoor admissions in Pune and iPhone apps by B-schools

(Photo credit: Preetam Rai)

Ambitions of venturing into undergraduate education ran into rough weather at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore this week which was reprimanded by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry about the three-year exit option in its five-year Integrated PGP. Reports The Hindustan Times,

A fortnight ago, the institute had proposed to allow students to leave after three years of undergraduation with either a diploma or a degree. Now, students will need to complete five years after school to receive a diploma in management, the IIM has decided.

With no provision in the Indian system to allow IIM Indore to legitimise its undergraduate degree, the school is exploring associating with Canadian universities for the purpose, reports the story.

IIM Ahmedabad is tightening its grip over its financial aid policy and does not want students from wealthy families with low incomes to get away with fee waivers. The Times of India reports,

Head of IIM-A’s financial aid committee, Ajay Pande, said, “Fee waivers, from this year, will be given to students on the basis of a combination of factors like family income and actual need. This is to ensure fairness and also that the provision of fee waiver is availed by the deserving candidates only. We will be cross checking details of the students’ wealth to know better about their real financial standing.”

The police have arrested two touts in Pune who fleeced an NRI of Rs 11 lakhs with the promise of admission into the MBA (Finance) course of a ‘reputed’ Pune b-school. According to the Indian Express,

Police said the two had taken money from Siddhiqui a few weeks ago for admission of her friends daughter. She had paid the money to them, a part in US dollars. The complainant approached the police after the duo stopped responding and did not do anything about the admission.

Backdoor admissions to reputed Pune b-schools has been a decade-old folklore. For each guy who gets caught once in a while, there are dozens of illegal admissions that reportedly go through successfully. Can such rackets successfully exist without the b-schools’ connivance? Perhaps not. Yet it is pratically impossible to trace the scent back to the b-schools because there are enough checks and balances put in the fraud which insulate the school from the agents.

US b-schools have started developing mobile apps to engage prospective students and alumni. At the basic, those such as the ones developed by Berkeley-Haas or Rochester-Simon are spinoffs of their websites, detailing course listings and facilities at the school. But the most hi-tech one is by Thunderbird School of Global Management, which tracks alumni locations via GPS subject to privacy permissions. Reports Businessweek,

The GPS feature is secure, she says, because users can opt to have their location displayed or not displayed, and can even choose whom their location is displayed to, including students, alumni, and faculty.

“You cant look up an individuals name and then map them,” Sunnucks says. But that doesnt mean you cant have some fun with the world map. “I zoomed in on one that was in the middle of the ocean and it wasnt an island and I was like, That persons on a cruise, ” she says.

Among other updates, we’ll soon start publishing the best articles among the several dozen responses to our Summer Internships Writing Contest. What other aspects of b-school life would you like b-schools students to write about? Let us know and we’ll hold contests around that topic.

Earlier this week, yours truly, Deepak Gopalakrishnan (yeah, the PaGaLGuY comics guy) and another trekking-mate met with a car accident near Mumbai and survived with a kingsize helping of sheer luck. All of us are out of danger and doing great. But methinks that you should wish Chuck the best of luck by tweeting to him (twitter.com/chuck_gopal/) so that he leaves the hospital soon and bangs back with a new series of comics enriched with new experiences gained from contemplating about life and its truths from a hospital bed.