10 Things MBA Students Want From Modi
Aspirations are flying high in this nation of 1 billion. The country has voted for change and Mr. Narendra Modi has come to power with an emphatic win. Like everyone else even the b-schoolers would love to believe that “Ache din aane wale hain”. There are a few things fundamentally wrong with Indian education system and this is my list of demands from Mr. Modi on behalf of the b-school students’ fraternity. (Also in the end is a petition to bring a small change)
Fee Cap: The astronomical level of fees charged by b-schools is something which pains the students the most. There is no rationale as to why a certain amount is charges by a school and why there is so much disparity between fees charges by different institutes. Over short duration of 4-5 years the fees has increased manifold which is far greater than inflation and is not supported by any significant change in infrastructure. Going at this rate we would have education loans for a larger sum than home loans. Therefore the first thing future managers want from Mr. Modi is a ceiling on the fees charged and a request to make it as affordable as possible.
Quality over Quantity: One thing which the previous government failed to understand is that it is the quality of infrastructure and faculty that makes a world class institute and not just brand names. There has been a significant increase in the number of seats at almost all top institutes over the past few years which have almost certainly diluted the quality and brand names because it wasn’t accompanied by supporting infrastructure. It would be good if the new man at the helm focuses on quality delivered through these institutes before opening new ones.
Transparency: One thing lacking in all b-schools is transparency. The process is opaque right from the entrance exam. The test takers have no control over the process and have little or no means of recourse. The problem of surprises in test scores has persisted for a long time but hasn’t been resolved, yet. There has been some respite for students in the form of RTI but that is only limited to government schools. The process should be made student-centric where they can access raw scores, normalized scores and the scores of interview stage.
Claims Control: The claims made by b-schools are reaching “yeh wala b-school” levels. There is no one questioning or stopping them. These claims are playing with innocent aspirant’s career. This is happening even in top schools and not just in the fly by night kinds. This will only result in increased distrust among students. We all stand to benefit from some sort of standardization and openness in b-school functioning.
Central Body: Most of the problems mentioned above exist due to a lack of any central regulating body of b-schools. AICTE’s claim over regulating b-schools has been fragile and its DNA is technical, hence incompetent to regulate b-schools. AICTE has done a decent job with technical education in the country but I think we would benefit from a different body for b-schools. Its aim should also be to increase collaboration between institutes to create synergies and diffuse the intense competition and egoistic attitude prevalent currently.
Jobs: Probably the most unanimous demand among youth throughout the nation. It is a universal demand not just restricted to MBA students and there is a great expectation from the new government.
Ease of doing Business: India’s dismal 134th rank in “ease of doing business” reflects the difficulty faced by foreign companies as well as Indian entrepreneurs. This is a major hindrance for fresh graduates in starting up their businesses. I would also stick my neck out and ask for a more liberal FDI scheme so that more companies come and establish offices in India which would result in more jobs.
Incubation Centers: There is a great need in the country to give a fillip to entrepreneurial capabilities. It is the key to being a superpower. With support from the government, India frugal innovation has lots of potential to become a potent force. Students are keen to start a new venture but lack supporting infrastructure.
Scholarships: India is a country of tremendous talent but low resources. Many talented students have to give up their MBA dream because of the lack of resources. There should be scholarships to help such students.
(Not so) Dry Country: Last but not the least. This will take away the blood and soul from b-school life. I will request Mr. Modi not to dry out the b-school parties and socializing events. This is something we like as it is and no change is required.
PS: Being a GEM(General, Engineer, Male), I would like some special privileges for us but that might be too contentious a demand . So, let’s leave that for another time.
On a serious note, I would like to suggest that we unite and make our voice heard. Let me start by signing an online petition for a demand with near unanimous appeal – fee cap. If you agree with me, you can sign this petition, share and spread the word.
Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays on internet radio in his college.