IIMs, It’s Time To Bell The Cat – Ensure MBA Tag For 1-year MBA, MBM For PGP


OneYearMBA.co.in has been in the forefront of the struggle to ensure that the 1-year full-time post-graduate management course got its rightful recognition as an MBA program as against the 2-year post-graduate programs targeting fresh graduates that should be in the Masters in Management (MBM/ MiM) category.

With the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) set to discuss the future of their 1-year and 2-year diploma programs in the wake of the Indian Institute of Management Act, 2017 granting more autonomy to the IIMs and empowering them to offer degrees instead of diplomas, it is high time to clear the air about what constitutes the MBA degree.

The IIMs had, from the very beginning, been offering the 2-year full-time Post-Graduate Program in Management (PGP) diploma as equivalent to the MBA. However, unlike the international MBA programs that admitted only people with work experience, the PGP allowed fresh graduates to enrol on the basis of scores obtained in the Common Admission Test (CAT).

The IIMs will be compromising their credibility if they award an MBA for a course that does not meet international criteria for being called one.

At a later stage, many of the IIMs started 1-year full-time management programs under various names such as PGPX, IPMX, EPGP aimed at professionals with at least 5 years work experience. These programs had the same academic rigour as the 2-year PGP with the only difference being lack of summer internship opportunities.

Unfortunately, the ‘executive’ tag in these programs resulted in confusion with quite a few of the international ranking agencies including Eduniversal, putting in its 2017 rankings, for the second year in succession, all Indian One Year Full Time MBA programs, except Indian School of Business’ One Year MBA (PGP), in the incorrect category of Executive MBA courses.

The Association of MBAs (AMBA), the top global accreditation body for business education programs, has granted MBA Accreditation only to 1-year programs of IIMsincluding IIM Indore’s EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program in Management), IIM Lucknow’s IPMX (International Program in Management for Executives) and IIM Calcutta’s PGPEX (Post Graduate Programme for Executives).

The two-year PGP program at IIMs is accredited only as a Masters in Business Management (MBM).As per AMBA’s accreditation standards, an MBA course must admit students with 3+ years of work experience while an MBM can admit candidates with 0-3 years work experience. So students with less than 3 years of work experience are eligible to pursue an MBM only, not an MBA.

IIMI’s 1 year Epgp programme – the only full time mba at the institute as as per AMBA accreditation

Even now, there is hardly any move towards conferring MBA degree status on the One Year MBA course at IIMs, when it is the sole and rightful bearer of the MBA nomenclature at IIMs. The two-year PGP course that is being considered for MBA status should be granted the status of an MBM Degree in keeping with its global accreditation.


ALSO READ: The basics of a One year MBA in India #2 – A class that lives up to global standards

The IIMs will be compromising their credibility if they award an MBA for a course that does not meet international criteria for being called one.

Newspaper reports even suggest that the 1-year program may get converted into a 2-year Master’s program from the 2019-20 session. The Telegraph quotes an unnamed member of the faculty at IIM, Calcutta as saying that the 1-year program could get lengthened to 2 years from next year and the issue was being discussed internally.

According to another report, some of the IIMs, including IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow, want the PGP to be renamed as Masters in Management (MiM), others want it to be MBA.

The matter was discussed at a meeting of all the 20 IIM directors last month. The participants were of the view that it will require more discussion and debate. To protect the brand equity of the IIMs, all 20 institutes will have to agree on one nomenclature.

According to the latest report in the Indian Express, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has told a meeting of IIM Chairpersons on March 15 that the IIMs can offer an MBA degree only for their two-year program,  virtually ruling out the possibility of the 1-year programs getting the degree tag.

As of now, MIM does not figure on the list of approved degrees under Section 22 of University Grants Commission Act, 1956. The MBA and Masters in Management Studies or MMS are the only two names that are approved for 2-year management programmes being offered by higher education institutions in the country.

Another sticking point for students in the 1-year programs is that there is no exemption from GST for the program that has got clubbed with the part-time executive programs of the IIMs. The students contend that they are also in the same situation as their 2-year program counterparts, of having to forgo salary and other allowances for the duration of the full-time program unlike those in the part-time executive programs, mostly attended by company sponsored candidates whose expenses will be met by the companies.

ALSO READ: The basics of a One year MBA in India #1 – Executive MBA? No. India’s first globally accepted MBA? Yes.

The students have started a petition on Change.org seeking Prime Minister’s intervention to resolve the matter. One of the students, Ashwath Jayaraman, who signed the petition points out that the 2-year program at IIM costs less than the 1-year executive MBA due to the excessive taxation at 18%.

It is making the students look elsewhere outside the country to pursue the higher education. The program in most cases is equivalent to the 2-year program. Why penalize the 1-year program students to complete their education early?

The choice of 1-year program in most cases is to save time and get back into industry early, thereby contributing to the national and personal growth at an accelerated rate. Such a discrimination should be stopped, he says.

Another petition moved by oneyearmba.co.in had pressed for conferring the MBA degree on the One Year MBA, the real contender for this degree.

Tushar Gandhi, a 1-year program student at IIM Bangalore, who signed the petition, says Degrees awarded by IIMs must be in line with AMBA accreditation for long-term global impact. A reputed institution like IIM should have the right to confer degrees to the 1-year management courses, as is the global practice, says Divya Jimmi.

One year MBA in India meets the criteria set by international bodies and hence, should be considered even before discussing the PGP 2 year course. Also, PGP 2 year course should be made equivalent to MBM/MIM only, says Yishu Malik.(Image Source:wikipedia.org)


  1. Now IIM enjoys the autonomy to make such decisions without interference of UGC and politicians. They need to position themselves against some of the best MBA institutions of the world. They know 2 yr MBA cannot help them in long run. IIM Calcutta has recognized that and they are planning to rebrand PGPEX course from this academic session. IIM A is going to follow the suit soon.

  2. It seems government is planning to take india to next level and compete with developed countries with orthodox mindset. Time for Modi to revamp its cabinet and assign ministries to veterans like Ratan Tata, Narayan Murthy.

  3. Waited for this post for long. So much has been happening recently and no update on this site, unfortunately.
    The ONLY way out is to amend UGC notification. Don’t be wasting time contesting the MIM/MBM degree for 2 year PGP programs. Already IIM Udaipur started giving MBAs and also that AIU (Association of Indian Universities) equals 2 year PGP to MBA.
    Rather the focus on the issue of getting a “degree” for 1 year PGPX as well. Let the IIMs give MBA to 2 year programs and we ask MBA degree for 1 year rigorous programs too. (if the syllabus is on par with a 2Y course)
    For example, remember that IITs can give 1 year M.Tech degrees if the curriculum can be fit into 1 year. Check IIT Hyderabad – All Course one year M.Tech which is recognized by UGC and absolutely equivalent to 2Y M.Tech for jobs or further studies.

    So the best way ahead for the 1Y supporters is to demand MBA for 1Y too. If we contest the 2Y’s not to give MBA, it will not solve any issues. So focus on 1Y matters. Even international schools such as Kellogg, Cornell Johnshon, Columbia and NYU Stern have 1Y or 1.5Y MBA programs and they get the same degree as the 2Y MBA. So let’s not waste time comparing with 2Y issue. Focus on getting a degree for 1Y. Focus on UGC making the amendment. When IIT Council can pressurize the UGC to approve a 1 year full time M.Tech for professionals, why not IIMs can pressurize??

  4. Also a BIG BREAKING NEWS that i waited for this site to crack.
    INSEAD MBA and HEC Paris MBA are EQUIVALENT TO Indian 2Year MBAs for government jobs and further studies!!!!
    In March the Governments of India and France have signed bunch of MOUs, one of which is “DEGREE EQUIVALENCE and MUTUAL RECOGNITION” (first of it’s kind by India)
    So all degrees earned in France are equal to Indian degrees. No Questions Asked. (except for medical and legal degrees, obviously!! ;))
    Recognition/equivalence of AIU (Association of Indian Universities) is NOT required for degrees from France. For example an MBA from INSEAD/HEC Paris/EDHEC (even though it is only 10 month-long) is equal in recognition to 2Y MBA from IIM or any recognized university of India, regardless of duration and other issues (that’s what you call mutual recognition).
    So this is a game changer for French Business Schools. You’re my favorite website dear oneyearmba.co.in please take out a separate article on this. Very important.
    Another interesting thing is French 10 month MBAs are equal to 2Y MBAs of India and our 1 year full time PGPX/EPGP remain mere diplomas!
    Also such equivalence MOUs must be made with countries such as UK, Singapore and USA. I am sure UK must be jumping if India is willing.

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