The latest edition of the InsideIIM Academic Diversity report has brought out interesting facts and figures around diversity in Indian business schools. In terms of academic diversity within MBA batches graduating in 2021, many private business schools have showcased highly diverse batches, including some that in-fact have more non-engineers than engineers in their MBA batches - a rare occurrence amongst India's top b-schools. But what of the IIMs? How impactful have been initiatives by IIMs to introduce more diversity in the MBA classroom? This report, based on data for the MBA class of 2021, provides key insights about academic diversity at India's top b-schools.
Why Is Academic Diversity Important In A B-School Classroom?
In recent times, many business schools have been pushing for more academically diverse batches in their classrooms. Many IIMs have included points for academic and gender diversity in their selection criteria. The trend is similar for global business schools, with non-engineers making up a major chunk of the MBA batch at top business schools, the leading example of which is the Harvard Business School, which has less than 40% STEM graduates in it's MBA batch of 2021. So how does academic diversity impact a classroom full of aspiring corporate leaders?
Savita Mahajan, former Deputy Dean at ISB, explains what diversity brings to a b-school classroom. “Diversity of any kind; in educational background, gender, culture, is very useful in the learning process. It brings different skill sets and perspectives in the analysis of a problem situation and its possible solution. Particularly in management education, where the case method is used to illustrate real life situations, usually there is no single ‘right’ answer. Diverse opinions can challenge the mainstream view, and throw up out-of-the-box solutions, thus enhancing the whole group’s learnings and insights.” (As told to The Hindu Business Line)
According to Prof Anindya Sen, director in-charge, IIM Ranchi, “Engineers tend to think that there are always precise, mechanical solutions to all problems. However, management problems which usually have to do with human beings, need a more flexible approach. Moreover, male students sometimes lack in certain soft qualities which are essential for a harmonious workplace. Hence the need for diversification - with respect to both academic diversity and gender diversity.” (As told to Hindustan Times)
Dr. Himanshu Rai, Director At IIM Indore has spoken at length about the importance of diversity in business schools. Fr. P. Christie, Director at XLRI, and Dr. Ashis K. Pani, Dean of Academics at XLRI have also explained how academic diversity impacts a b-school classroom.
Here's the latest update on how Indian b-schools fare in terms of academic diversity.
India's Most Academically Diverse Business Schools - Key Highlights
- DoMS IIT Madras, Welingkar and SDA Bocconi Asia Center come out as the most academically diverse b-schools in India this year, with more non-engineers than engineers in the Class of 2021.
- IIM Shillong and IIM Rohtak emerge as the most academically diverse IIMs in the country.
- Private management institutes such as MICA Ahmedabad and Welingkar Institute and SDA Bocconi Asia Center are some of the most academically diverse business schools of the country.
- The legacy IIMs including IIM Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Kozhikode score comparatively low on the academic diversity index, but we see a consistent number of non engineers at these b-schools.
- IIM Indore seems to be increasing academic diversity as compared to last year, despite there being no points for the same in their selection criteria.
InsideIIM Academic Diversity Report - Class of 2021
We received data of academic profiles of the batches of 39 business schools from different parts of India. Important points to be noted:
- The academic diversity of business schools will be segmented based on batch-strength, as follows -
- a) Batch Size > 300
- b) Batch Size =< 300
- c) Batch Size < 150
- We received data about batch sizes pertaining to various courses offered by certain b-school. Our survey is based on only the leading management programs from these schools.
- The data for XAHR, XSRM, XSC-MBF, XSoS, and XUMG will be collated under the umbrella term XUB (Xavier University Bhubaneswar). The data for XIMB is separate from that of XUB.
The Top-10 Most Academically Diverse Business Schools of India - Class of 2021
The bar-graph below captures the business schools with the highest percentage of non-engineers in their respective batches, in descending order:
|Rank||B-School||Percentage of Non-Engineers|
|1||DoMS IIT Madras (MBA)||61.67%|
|2||WE School (Multiple Programs)||58.45%|
|3||SDA Bocconi Asia Center (IMB)||58.24%|
|4||IFMR Chennai/SriCity, Krea University (MBA)||50.86%|
|5||MICA Ahmedabad (PGDM-C)||50.23%|
|6||IIM Shillong (PGP)||44.00%|
|7||IIM Rohtak (PGP)||41.06%|
|8||Goa Institute of Management (Multiple Programs)||40.09%|
|10||XUB (Multiple Programs)||39.24%|
The following figures emerge for the academic diversity of the 30+ business schools included in this report.
Most Academically Diverse B-Schools In India (2019-21) - B-Schools With Batch Size Greater Than 300
With an intake of over 300 students for their 2-year management programmes, these business schools have a massive challenge in maintaining a significant balance in the academic diversity of their respective batches.
For example, while IIM Rohtak and IIM Shillong are more academically diverse than IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode, the batch size of the latter institutes is much greater than the former, therefore presenting a bigger challenge for IIM Bangalore and Kozhikode to bring in more academic diversity and sustain it.
The bar-graph below indicates the percentage of non-engineers in institutes with a batch size greater than 300 students, in descending order:
The legacy IIMs, including IIMs A, B, C, L, I and K score lower on the academic diversity index compared to private business schools like Welingkar, NMIMS, TAPMI Manipal and KJSIMSR.
Welingkar is one of the most academically diverse b-schools in India according to our report. To be noted is that WE School provided us with consolidated data for multiple programs, some of which may be less appealing for those with Engineering backgrounds, such as the PGDM M&E and PGDM Retail programs.
ISB (Hyderabad and Mohali campuses), which offers a 1-year PGP program, has 33% non-engineers in its current total batch of 896 candidates. NMIMS Mumbai maintains a healthy academic diversity with more than 30% non engineers.
IIM Calcutta is the least academically diverse IIM in the country, with only 13% non-engineers in its MBA batch of 2021. It must be noted that for the selection process for the batches of 2021 and 2022, IIM Calcutta awards points for academic diversity at the stage of the final composite score calculation, and has no points for academic diversity in the WAT-PI shortlisting criteria.
With almost 83% engineers in its PGP 2019-2021 batch, IIM Bangalore follows IIM Calcutta as one of the least diverse business schools in this report, once again. This does not come as a surprise, as there are no points for academic diversity in IIM Bangalore's selection criteria.
IIM Kozhikode also scores low on the academic diversity index. With a batch size of 480, IIM K still boasts of 72% engineers in it’s 2019-2021 PGP batch. The same is true for XLRI Jamshedpur, with only 16.94% of non-engineers.
Despite scoring low on the diversity index when compared to private institutes, the legacy IIMs with a batch size exceeding 300, including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode have managed to consistently maintain academic diversity over the years. IIM Indore's higher percentage of non-engineers can be explained based on the larger batch size that the institute is inviting. This overall means that IIM Indore has a higher number of applicants and backgrounds to choose from. But the selection criteria at most of these b-schools still expect a sterling academic record with less focus on graduation, which might end up favoring engineers.
|B-school||Engineers||Commerce||Arts||Others||Total Non Engineers||Total no. of students (2019-2021)|
|Welingkar (PGDM + PGDM BD + PGDM E Biz + PGDM HCM + PGDM M&E + PGDM R&BA + PGDM Retails + PGDM Rural)||41.55%||26.06%||3.70%||28.70%||58.45%||568|
|Goa Institute of Management (PGDM + PGDM HCM + PGDM BDA)||59.67%||16.32%||12.59%||11.19%||40.09%||429|
|TAPMI Manipal (PGDM + BKFS + HR + MSM)||62.71%||18.96%||3.13%||15.21%||37.29%||480|
|XIMB (MBA - BM)||66.93%||16.00%||3.20%||13.87%||33.07%||375|
|ISB (Hyderabad + Mohali) (Class of 2020)||0.00%||32.70%||0.00%||0.00%||32.70%||896|
|NMIMS Mumbai (MBA Core + MBA HR)||68.78%||16.94%||13.11%||1.18%||31.22%||679|
|IIM Indore (PGP & PGPH)||71.26%||10.01%||-||18.64%||28.74%||515|
|IIM Kozhikode (PGP)||72.29%||11.46%||4.58%||11.67%||27.71%||480|
|IIM Lucknow (PGP)||73.85%||11.30%||3.56%||11.30%||26.15%||478|
|IIM Ahmedabad (PGP)||73.97%||21.13%||3.09%||1.80%||26.03%||388|
|IIM Bangalore (PGP)||82.99%||10.43%||0.00%||6.58%||17.01%||441|
|XLRI Jamshedpur (PGDBM + PGDHRM)||83.06%||7.22%||1.11%||8.61%||16.94%||360|
|IIM Calcutta (PGP)||-||-||-||-||13%||480|
Most Academically Diverse B-Schools In India (2019-21) - Batch Size Less Than/Equal To 300
The batch-strength of these business schools ranges between 175 - 300, which still presents the challenge of balancing academic diversity; though to a lesser extent as compared to institutes which a greater intake. The bar-graph below indicates the percentage of non-engineers in institutes with a batch size less than 300 but greater than 150 students, in descending order:
With a batch strength of 170, SDA Bocconi Asia Center is the most academically diverse b-school in this cohort, followed closely by IFMR Chennai / SriCity (Krea University) and MICA - the most diverse b-school in the academic diversity report last year.
SDA Bocconi Asia Center has managed to increase their diversity from 40% non engineers in the class of 2020 to 59% non engineers this year.
With a batch size of 217, MICA is one of the most academic diverse b-schools in our report. MICA has no extra points for academic diversity in its selection criteria but still has more than half its batch from a non-engineering background. This could be attributed to the kind of job roles that are offered by recruiters at MICA, such as Media Planning, Account Planning in Advertising, Brand Management, Marketing Analytics, Content Marketing, Corporate Communications etc. - attracting individuals less inclined towards IT, Systems, Operations or similar functional areas. The 'Mecca for Marketing' is the epitome of a well-balanced management institute in terms of diversity and is the most diverse B-School in this report.
IIM Shillong and IIM Rohtak have maintained a healthy academic diversity with more than 40% non engineers in their PGP 2019-21 batch. They are also the only two IIMs to feature amongst the top-10 most academically diverse business schools in India.
MDI Gurgaon, a non-IIM premier management institute, has shown significant progress in admitting students from diverse backgrounds. With 82% Engineers in the Class of 2018, 80% in Class of 2019, and 72% in 2020, and now 66% in 2021, MDI Gurgaon's efforts to become a leading business school in all respects seems to be paying off.
IIM Ranchi and IIM Trichy have also maintained academic diversity above 30% this year. IIM Trichy seems to be well on it’s way to increasing diversity. This can be observed from the decrease in the number of engineers from 78.49% in the 2020 batch to 68.94% in this year’s (2021) batch. The same can be said for IIM Ranchi, where the number of engineers fell from 81.18% in the 2020 batch to 67.02% in this year’s (2021) batch.
On the other end of the spectrum, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai and IIM Udaipur are among the least academically diverse b-schools in our report, with a large percentage of engineers.
|B-school||Engineers||Commerce||Arts||Others||No. Of Non Engineers||Total no. of students (2019-2021)|
|SDA Bocconi Asia Center||41.76%||30.00%||8.24%||20.00%||58.24%||170|
|IFMR Chennai/SriCity (Krea University) (MBA)||49.14%||39.43%||0.00%||11.43%||50.86%||175|
|MICA Ahmedabad (PGP)||49.77%||21.66%||12.90%||15.67%||50.23%||217|
|IIM Shillong (PGP)||56.00%||24.00%||9.00%||11.00%||44.00%||200|
|IIM Rohtak (PGP)||58.94%||19.11%||2.85%||19.11%||41.06%||246|
|MDI Gurgaon (PGPM + PGPHRM)||65.89%||14.05%||12.04%||8.03%||34.11%||299|
|IIM Ranchi (PGP/PGPHRM(2019-21))||67.02%||14.89%||3.90%||14.18%||32.98%||282|
|IIM Trichy (PGPM)||68.94%||13.62%||2.13%||15.32%||31.06%||235|
|SPJIMR Mumbai (PGDM)||72.15%||13.92%||2.53%||11.39%||27.85%||237|
|FMS Delhi (MBA)||74.55%||10.00%||15.45%||0.00%||25.45%||220|
|IIM Udaipur (MBA)||82.62%||14.54%||2.48%||0.35%||17.38%||282|
Most Academically Diverse B-Schools In India (2019-21) - Batch Size Less Than 150
The bar-graph below indicates the percentage of non-engineers in institutes with a batch size less than 150 students, in descending order:
With 37 students graduating and stepping into the corporate world in 2021, DoMS IIT Madras is the most academically diverse business school in this cluster, followed by TISS Mumbai and IIM Amritsar. IIM Sambalpur, and Sirmaur seem to rank lower on the academic diversity spectrum.
|B-School||Engineers||Commerce||Arts||Others||Total Number of Non Engineers||Total No Of Students|
|DoMS IIT Madras (MBA)||38.33%||31.67%||6.67%||23.33%||61.67%||60|
|TISS Mumbai (MA - HRM & LR)||69.44%||6.94%||13.89%||9.72%||30.56%||72|
|IIM Amritsar (PGP)||70.95%||16.22%||3.38%||9.46%||29.05%||148|
|IIM Sambalpur (PGP)||73.96%||9.38%||2.08%||14.58%||26.04%||96|
|IIM Sirmaur (PGP)||87.60%||7.44%||0.00%||4.96%||12.40%||121|
B-schools across India are interested in augmenting and increasing academic diversity across programs and campuses. Despite this, it’s a fact that engineers still form a large part of the MBA classroom. One of the main reasons for this is the industry trend that requires tech skills. A large number of corporates wish to hire engineers with management skills to match. Another fact is that engineering students, post graduation, discover monotony and boredom in their jobs. They yearn for something more fulfilling, and one of the obvious avenues for them to live a comfortable life is getting placed through top b-schools.
Finally, entrance exams like CAT have a huge emphasis on quantitative ability. This ends up providing an apparent advantage to engineers. Engineering graduates seem to have a better aptitude for Quantitative Ability in the entrance exams. They also happen to be a larger number of engineers as compared to other academic streams in India. This can adversely affect classroom learning and may also not meet the requirement of campus recruiters.
Meanwhile, we can see via this report that more and more b-schools, especially the private ones, are aiming to augment academic diversity. Even the legacy IIMs are taking note, by inviting more and more doctors, CAs, CFAs, and students from other disciplines to be a part of their programmes. This can also be seen via the evolving placement trends where not just corporates, but startups too are hiring big from b-schools. Being from different backgrounds makes the classroom environment richer, discussions broader and learning deeper. And it seems b-schools across the country are catching up.
This report highlights that the top management institutes of the country are walking the extra mile to change the status quo and invite more non-engineers to take admission. This can be seen through additional points for academic diversity in the selection criteria of most business schools for the past few years.
If your b-school has a higher ratio but still hasn’t featured in this list, it is possible that the data wasn’t shared with us. In case you want your b-school to be featured on this list, please send the required stats to firstname.lastname@example.org.