The All India Council for Technical Education has approved the executive MBA programme run by the XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur. Called the General Management Programme (GMP), the approval has come with a change in the duration of the course – from the present 12 months, to a full-15 month schedule. The programme is incidentally, one of the oldest 1-year MBA programmes in the country and attracts aspirants with more than 5 years of work experience in managerial capacity. An application for the approval was made early last year.

In a way, the stamp is the first of sorts, since it is the first time that AICTE has approved of a one-year ‘diploma’ course of a reputed institute. Under AICTE guidelines, programmes which are of less than two years duration are considered certificate programmes.’ For a diploma programme, the duration of the course has to be two years or 15 months, with a stress on the applicants prior work experience. This is one of the reasons that the GMP course structure has been expanded to 15 months.

Since the approval came in only a few days ago, applicants to the 2012-2013 were not aware of the changes to the programme duration in the initial months of the admission process. XLRI has now individually informed the students about the same via letters. The admission process for the 2012-2013 GMP batch got completed in April itself.

Fr E Abraham, director of XLRI said that the AICTE stamp will be beneficial to the students. “Government jobs will also be easier to come by and it will also help in getting loans as well.” Fr Abraham added that the biggest benefit in getting programmes approved is that there is no service tax levied. “This benefits students directly and they will not have to pay the service tax anymore for this course.”

Students are as excited about the approval. They had similar positive attributes to relate. Vivek Arora who is a GMP student from the current batch said that the stamp would mean better government jobs. “Lots of government-run outfits favour those who have a degree which is AICTE-approved. Secondly, those of us who plan to further apply abroad for either study or work, again the AICTE-stamp will make a big difference.”

The only noticeable hitch at this point is the timing of the placements. With a 15-month duration, placements will also happen much later than XLRI’s two-year programme and other MBA programmes across the country. Will corporates be willing to hire people three months after the traditional hiring season? Sources told PaGaLGuY that XLRI may consider making the last three months an activity-driven work schedule, which will enable students to take part in placements and also complete the course at a convenient pace.

When asked, Father Abraham said that the present year will go on as schedule but may be from the 2013-2014 batch they will consider making changes, which may also mean starting the course earlier than schedule. “We will learn from what happens this year and then make some changes for the next course.”

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