MBA or PGDM? Not Under the Same Roof, AICTE Tells Management Institutes


The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has directed all universities and management institutes offering the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programs along with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs to offer only one of the two under the same roof.

AICTE also stated that if at all an institute wanted to offer both courses, it should provide separate facilities including the building and the faculty. The reasoning behind the order is to prevent the exploitation of or scope for confusion among the students regarding the degree and diploma program.

While there may not be much of a difference between the MBA degree program and the Diploma in the Indian job market, a full-time residential MBA that typically would have a cohort with three or more years of work experience carries more weight among international employers.

The diploma would more likely be treated at par with Masters in Management (MiM) programs that attract fresh graduates with practically no job experience.

MBA or PGDM? AICTE Asks Schools to Provide Separate Facilities

AICTE Letter to Vice Chancellors

Prof Rajive Kumar, Member-Secretary, AICTE wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellors of Central/State/Private Universities and Deemed to be Universities. In the letter dated February 10, 2020, he said AICTE had allowed PGDM courses to be run by standalone Universities which were neither Central/State/Private Universities nor affiliated to any university on the lines similar to IIMs.

However, over a period of time, Central/State/Private Universities and Deemed to be universities added the PGDM course under the banner of “Management Program” in contravention of APH (Approval Process Handbook) norms.

“In this context, it is brought to your notice that as per in AICTE Regulations, 2020 and para 2.18 of APH 2020-21 conducting PGDM and MBA Courses in the same and Institution is “Not permissible,” the letter said.

“Central/State/Private Universities and Institutions Deemed to be Universities which are running PGDM programs concurrently with MBA under the banner of Management program are requested to convert PGDM courses as MBA completely and comply with the AICTE norms forthwith.

“Institutions affiliated to Universities too have the option of either converting all PGDM courses into corresponding MBA courses with respective university affiliation or vice-versa and run under a separate standalone Institute. But an Institute cannot run both programs simultaneously,” the letter said.


The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) were set up as autonomous bodies under the Societies Act. Even though the Institutes developed global standards in management education, they were not empowered to grant degree certificates like the Universities on account of being registered under the Societies Act.

Accordingly, they named their flagship two-year full-time as Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). The IIMs success with the diploma led to several of the private and public management institutes starting similar diploma programs in management.

However, the popularity of the MBA degree in the past few decades made several Universities and management institutes, both in the private and public sector, introduce MBA programs while continuing with the diploma courses.

In most cases, the facilities and the faculty remained the same for both MBA and PGDM with some differences in course content and the fees, a situation that the AICTE seeks to change with its latest directive.

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