Degrees For IIM’s One Year Management Programme May Soon Be Reality


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.

Degrees For IIM's One Year Management Programme May Soon Be Reality

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.

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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

Degrees For IIM's One Year Management Programme May Soon Be Reality
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Degrees For IIM's One Year Management Programme May Soon Be Reality
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.
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One Year MBA
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  1. Why is government so reluctant to recognize the program that deserves to be full time accredited MBA program. Is this hesitancy costing one year program to effectively take on western schools in MBA rankings. Does this show conservative mindset of government which is taking India back to medieval ages. Are there fake promises from government to bring new industrial revolution that would create thousands of jobs for skilled graduates.
    IMHO, UGC and AICTE have outlived there existence. With new trends in emerging markets, education system need to be revamped to include courses such as AI/ML, IOT, CLoud Computing, AR/VR, computer vision etc.

    • Some important points to ponder over Rahul. It is unfortunate – on the one hand these institutes are expected to champion business efficiency and innovation and on the other hand they seem to have their own hands tied when it comes to innovating and responding to a changing market realities for MBAs.

  2. Prakash Kumar on

    IIMA already started giving MBA degrees for 2018-2019 batch. Hope it is coming for all other IIMs as well

    • Hi Prakash, these are for the 2 Year PGP at the moment as per our information. Are you saying they are offering MBAs to PGPX graduates too?

      • Yeah they have. IIM A PGPX graduates (2018-2019) received a Masters in Business Administration degree at convocation on March 16th. No mention of executive or 1 year in the name of the degree (which is great!). However, the text of the degree mentions that the candidate has completed full time 1 year PGPx program 🙂

        EPGP grads were given a choice between a MBA and EPGP degree by the director as well.

        Thanks to the work you guys do. This has really helped mobilize current students to push for change.

        Rohit PGPX 19-20

        • That is heartening to hear! And thanks for the kudos! That is a great start by IIM A and we will follow up on this for sure. Thanks for the heads up!

        • Dear Rohit.. Can you please confirm this? This is unbelievable! Lot of this credit goes to But please confirm this. If already an MBA is awarded to PGPX why is there so much of buzz in the news that final call will be taken in the board of directors meet and GoI ministry blah blah..? Sorry to play the doubting Thomas

          • Just checked the Youtube Video of Convocation of IIMA. It’s CONFIRMED! All PGPX of IIMA were given proper MBA degrees! Check the time at 1hour:50min in the video. Also there is a guy who posted his MBA degree on his linkedin. He is PGPX. Great job…. Follow it up with more coverage!

  3. Keep this thread going! The same UGC must know that One-Year M.Techs offered by IITs are valid and equivalent to 2 Year M.Techs. Check Hyderabad IIT All-Course M.Tech for this. Also French Degrees of one year duration are treated equal to two year masters in India due to Agreement between both countries. So, if the concerned IIM feels both degrees are same and same level of instruction given in both, One-Year PGPX or EPGP must be given MBA degree. Or else very soon you see this market getting drained. People will not spend 30+ Lakhs and an year-off job to get a Diploma which has less recognition that MBA, especially since the 2Ys are getting the proper MBA degree.

    • Absolutely, the courses are treated equally the world over and the rigor/hours must inform the decision on what degree is awarded, not the duration.

  4. Just an update. All one year programs at IIM ABC have awarded degrees this year. Thankfully these courses got there recognition what they deserved for so long.
    Talks are on to rebrand these courses as “Global MBA program” and increase class strength to take on best business schools in the world.
    IIM Calcutta PGPEX has started live projects aka internships for its current batch along with immersion program.
    Hopefully industry also take a note of all these developments and one day recognizes one year MBA as flagship MBA program.

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