Article posted on: 2006-01-04 16:55:36 Large scale expansion appears to have diluted the flagship PGDM course at Amity Business School. JAM visited the campus and spoke to a wide spectrum of students to understand the ground reality.
Amity Business School was set up in 1995, and earned a fair reputation over the past decade. It shared the Sector 44, Noida campus of Amity International School, although it had its own building. Entrance to Amity was through MAT (Managerial Aptitude Test) .
Amity's PGDM course was approved by AICTE and hence considered equivalent to an MBA degree. The intake of students was restricted to 150 per year.
Amity Business School was ranked no 13 by the Outlook-C Fore B school rankings 2005. However, Mr Premchand Palety, CEO, C Fore states, "The ranking was awarded only taking into consideration the PGDM (AICTE) course."
Earlier this year, there were some dramatic changes. In Feb 2005, the Supreme Court declared as unconstitutional a provision in the Chhattisgarh Private Sector Universities Act, 2002 permitting establishment of private universities for higher education. The court declared as null and void establishment of 112 such private universities under this law, including Amity University, Chhatisgarh
However, in the meanwhile, Amity University was established by the UP State legislature with effect from 12th January 2005. The notification for the same was published in Uttar Pradesh Government Gazette vide No. 403/VII-V-1-1 (Ka) 1/2005 dated 24 th March 2005 .
So, two things happened. All the students of Amity University Chattisgarh, who were pursuing their degree e.g MBA from the Raipur were transferred to Amity campus sector 44 Noida (the Amity Business School campus).
A host of new courses started being offered under the aegis of Amity University, Uttar Pradesh from the Sector 44 campus. Among them, a slew of MBAs. The complete list of management courses offered in the year 2005 is reproduced from their website.
a) MBA (International Business)
b) MBA (General)
c) MBA (Entrepreneurship & Leadership)
d) MBA (CRM & Marketing)
e) MBA (HR)
f) MBA (Competitive Intelligence & Competitive Warfare)
g) PG Diploma in Natural Resource Management
h) PG Diploma in NGO Management
i) MBA (Insurance)
j) MBA (Organic Agriculture & Food Business)
k) MBA (Telecommunication)
l) MBA (Biotechnology Management)
m) PG Diploma (Insurance Mgmt)
In addition, there are BBA and BBA + MBA combos
a) BBA - Bachelor of Business Administration
b) Integrated BBA + Master of Management Studies
c) Integrated MBA (International Business)
And some courses are offered in collaboration with foreign universities as well
a) 3 Continent MBA
b) MBA (International Management), University of East London
c) MBA (Purdue)
d) Integrated BBA + MBA (Purdue)
For reasons unknown, details of the 'international programs' are no longer displayed on the Amity website (that areas is 'password protected') but a chat with Amity's online counselor confirmed the courses are being offered for the next academic year.
The international programs offer students an option of transferring to the campus abroad for the final semester/s and obtaining the degree from a foreign university.
Too many students?
When students applied for the 2005-7 academic session, they say only 3 courses were listed in the brochure:
01. PGDM (AICTE): Intake mentioned was 150
02. MBA General (Amity University): No disclosure about number of students
03. MBA International Business (Amity University): No disclosure about number of students
Within weeks of arriving on campus PGDM students found that there were approximately 1000 students enrolled in MBA courses in the first year alone. They estimate that the total no of MBA and BBA students in the Amity Business School campus originally meant for 300 students is at least 2000.
We asked Amity Business School to provide details regarding exact number of students enrolled in all MBA courses but did not get any response. The published intake of in the year 2004 was PGDM (150 seats), MBA (380 seats), MBA International Business (240 seats), and BBA (240 seats). With a large no of new courses started in 2005, that number would have gone up significantly.
Further, the Amity school of NGO management, Amity School of Actuarial science, Amity School of Insurance, Amity Institute of Education, Amity Centre for CRM, Amity School of Communication and Amity school of Tourism Management were also using Amity Business School's library and computer lab.
When JAM visited the Amity Sector 44 campus in December 2005, our reporter found different courses being conducted in the same building. For instance, a wing on one floor that was meant for BBA classes (as indicated by a large signboard) had many different types of MBA classes going on (MBA-HR, MBA-CRM and so on). Class 3 school children from the Amity International School were being taught in classrooms that still had MBA (Gen) printed on the door.
The Amity Business School classes which are supposed to be held in the D and H blocks, were instead being held in J-block belonging to Amity International School. Clearly, AICTE was accurate in observing facilities and infrastructure intended for AICTE approved course were being utilized for other unapproved courses.
Students also allege that classes for the senior batch (2006) PGDM students and MBA students (Amity University) were often held together, by the same faculty in the same classroom.
Former students say that considering the high fees they were paying (Rs 4.9 lakhs for the 2 years including hostel fees but not food), facilities were inadequate. Their complaints include:
- Inadequate computer lab
- Lack of place like reading room to do projects
- Books often being unavailable in the library
- Classes constantly being shifted from one building to the next
Our reporter visited the sole library on campus on the first floor of the D-block. It certainly didn't look big enough to cater to the needs of the 2,000-plus students now taking classes in the Noida campus. The computer laboratory was next to the library and had around 40 machines. By 12 noon, most of the machines were occupied and it was easy to imagine the chaos there would be when the campus was full.
MBA students have been provided with laptops and there is wi-fi connectivity on the campus. But students say they still need to use the computer lab for specific software like SPSS and printouts.
There is a separate lab with 30 machines and a small reading room for BBA students.
Another major grouse is the fact that the hostel facility to 1st year male MBA students is provided in Sector 125 campus 3 kms away ( this was not specified at time of admission).
Says Diptanshu Gupta,"There is a bus facility provided but its timings weren't suitable. We often had to walk 3 kms to the hostel passing by the Greater Noida Expressway which is not safe even for the boys, late at night."
Besides physical facilities, quality of faculty and faculty: student ratio seems to be another area of concern. A former faculty member at Amity recalls, "When I was in campus, only International Business (IB) course was offered in addition to PGDM but even then the intake was very high. Plus BBA & IB admissions would go on even in the middle of the semester, in a few cases."
"Regarding the faculty, apart from a few (who are old timers) very few would stick beyond a semester or two. They would ask us to substitute for someone at the notice of an hour even for a MBA class, They had no fixed date for mid semester examinations, every teacher was free to conduct it according to their fancy."
Amity claims to have "one of the largest faculty". 19 full time faulty members are listed on the Amity website, shared between Amity Business School and Amity Business School, Amity University. Amity School of International Business lists 15 faculty members.
The Placement issue
Last but not the least, the placement cell and corporate resource center for all these programs are same. Says former PGDM student Henna Jindal, "The pressure to place such a large number of students is sure to dilute the kind of jobs and salary packages on offer."
A request for details of the campus placements so far has not yielded a response from Amity. The full picture, in any case, will only be available at the end of the current placement season.
As per information available to JAM, 90 students have been placed so far of the 650 students vying for placement. Why only 650, although there are far more students enrolled in MBA? Because a large number of students are debarred every year from the placement process.
Several sources told JAM: "If a student does not score 6.5 CGPA he/ she is not eligible for placements. The student will be asked to sign a paper saying: 'I do not want to sit in the placement willfully and want to opt for entrepreneurship'. That is how they are able to claim 100% placements".
As far as Deepak Soni - one of the students suing Amity is concerned - the main reason for his leaving the PGDM course remains withdrawal of AICTE approval. "I wanted to join a recognized MBA course," says the Chhatisgarh resident who is now preparing for his UPSC exams."I left other options such as ICFAI only because their institute is not AICTE approved while Amity's course had the approval."
The questions raised by former Amity students suing their former B school:
a) Why is Amity not fulfilling its promise re: refund of fees and transfer of students who wish to do so when it was expressly promised in September?
b) The larger question is: Are there better ways to go about the ambitious expansion of an educational institute?
c) Is there a plan of action to improve the current situation?
- Rashmi Bansal, with inputs from Jai Arjun Singh
So strt wid amity ha
Grt atmosphr and infrastucture....but temp was 5 degree ha ha..
They suprised us with other two test Essay and psycomatric test..
Essay topic was Strength of rural India...Pysco test went well...Than it was GD time..
They devided batch in group of 16 each..almost 16 groups..it was a CASE STUDY...I started disc in my groupe...U knw almost in all grps gd became Fish market ha ha..
Then after nice lunch frm Amity we were ready for PI..
My interview went well
qus were like
compare India & China?
what is Manager and Marketing?
sumthing abt commonwealth games..
what is GDP?
some tech ques from Electronics..
Latest score of India-Pak test...
weakness...aim in life..
diff betwn Team and Group?
and some other ques...
Hope it will help u sum way