The Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) has softened its earlier stance of awarding diplomas instead of degrees to the IIM’s one-year management programme.
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are seeking clearance from the Union Government to allow them to award degree certificates instead of diplomas for their one-year full-time management programs that admit only professionals with work experience.
The one-year programs at the IIMs are considered equivalent to the MBA, figuring in several international rankings.
However, since the students are awarded only a diploma and not the degree on completion of the program, they face difficulties in pursuing further studies or jobs abroad in the absence of the MBA degree certificate.
- The IIMs offer one-year full-time programs under various names. The Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (PGPX) at IIM Ahmedabad, the Executive Post Graduate Program in Management (EPGP) at IIM Bangalore and IIM Indore, Post Graduate Programme for Executives (PGPEX) at IIM Calcutta and the International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX) at IIM Lucknow.
- The one-year programs have, for long, been waging a perception battle, more often than not, being mistaken for part-time executive MBA programs, mainly on account of the “executive” tag put by the IIMs to differentiate them from the 2-year full-time programs.
- Even the Indian government, under the mistaken impression, had clubbed these programs with the other part-time programs, refusing to grant them exemption from taxes unlike the 2-year programs aimed at fresh graduates.
The IIM Act 2017 that came into force on January 31, 2018, granted a huge amount of autonomy to the IIMs, including the freedom to grant MBA degrees. At least three of the 20 IIMs, namely, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta and IIM Ahmedabad have changed over to giving degree certificates to graduates of the 2-year Post-Graduate Program (PGP) from the diplomas they were earlier awarded.
While 14 members of IIM Bangalore’s Board of Directors have approved the proposal, IIM Ahmedabad was to present it at the Board meeting on April 16.
However, in the case of one-year programs, the criteria specified under the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act stood in the way. Under UGC rules that a Master’s degree in management has to be of a minimum two years duration.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had issued an order on March 8, 2018, that the IIMs will have to seek the government’s permission for awarding a degree that is “not in accordance with the UGC notification”.
This was the explanation the IIM Directors received from Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar in December 2018. The Ministry is understood to have softened its stand since then leaving the door open for further discussions, according to a report in the Economic Times.
The newspaper said while 14 members of IIM Bangalore’s Board of Directors have approved the proposal, IIM Ahmedabad was to present it at the Board meeting on April 16. IIM Calcutta was already in touch with the Ministry. The talks were stated to be in an advanced stage.
At the IIMB director board meeting, the HRD ministry representative is understood to have pointed out that the UGC rules did not allow awarding degrees for one-year programs. There was no official word from the IIM about the meeting or the proposal. Director G Raghuram did not respond to ET queries on the issue.
Meanwhile, IIMA director Errol D’Souza told the newspaper that the matter will be taken up at the Board meeting. He expected a favourable response from the Ministry. The IIM has been pursuing the issue with the government since last year.
IIMC acting director and dean (New Initiatives & External Relations) Prashant Mishra said the Board has approved degree status for the two-year and the doctoral programs. The issue of one year program has been taken up with the HRD ministry and a decision will be taken after the necessary clearance.(Image Source:wikipedia.org)