New IIMs Fail To Cash In On Brand Name


Hopes of cashing in on a prestigious brand name have fallen far short of expectations for the six new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMS) that enrolled their first batches of students this year.

None of the six new IIMs, located in Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sambalpur (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Nagpur (Maharashtra), have managed to fill all the seats they offered.

IIM-Sirmaur managed to draw just 22 students, IIM-Bodh Gaya 30, IIM-Sambalpur 48, IIM-Amritsar 45, IIM-Visakhapatnam 54 and IIM-Nagpur 55, according to figures from the Human Resource development (HRD) ministry.

The original target set for each of these schools was supposed to be 140 students in their first academic session and subsequently raising the annual intake to 560 at the end of the sixth year. The HRD ministry later reduced the student intake in the first year to 60. Even this was not met by the new IIMs.

Business daily The Mint quotes Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner (education practice) at consulting firm KPMG saying that institutions located far away from commerce hubs would find it hard to attract students. “Just the name is no more a ticket to success.

“IIMs are brands, but government opening new ones in any part of the country is not going to help. Business schools coming up away from business hubs are definitely at a disadvantage,” he added.

IIM Sirmaur started functioning earlier this year from its temporary campus at Himachal Institute of Technology at Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. Poanta Sahib is an industrial town.

IIM-Bodh Gaya has transit campus at Magadh University’s (MU) directorate of distance education (DDE) building. It is functioning out of 20,000 sq feet space spread over two floors. The second and third floors house administrative and academic sections respectively.

IIM-Sambalpur is also functioning from its temporary campus at Silicon Institute of Technology, Sambalpur. Similarly, IIM-Amritsar is in the transit campus at the Punjab Institute of Technology, IIM-Visakhapatnam at Andhra University and IIM-Nagpur located in the campus of VNIT Nagpur.

Experts opine that the government should have tried a different approach that creating new IIMs at temporary campuses with poor infrastructural facilities.

Since 2007, the number of IIMs has tripled from six to 19; yet another one in Jammu and Kashmir is in the pipeline. Of the original six, IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Indore & IIM-Kozhikode and  remain the top draws for students. 

State governments lobby for IIMs for the prestige associated with the brand name.

“The government seems to have fallen victim to political pressure from states,” said a professor from an older IIM who didn’t want to be identified. “IIM-Kashipur, established by the previous government, should have been a learning experience for the new administration.”

The HRD ministry faced a tough time in hiring faculty for the IIM in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, which opened in 2011.

The IIM in Odisha was to have been established in Bhubaneswar, the state capital, but was shifted to Sambalpur, nearly 300km away, because of political lobbying. IIM-Sambalpur completed its admission process only by September-end after a delay of several weeks.

Earlier this year, a government-appointed committee suggested to the HRD ministry that top centrally funded institutions should be opened only in accessible locations with good infrastructure and connectivity. (Source – MINT. Image courtesy – wikimedia)

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