Saas, Bahu aur Saazish-Our Expectations from the new HRD Minister
The bahu of the nation is settling into her role as the Honorable Human Resource Development minister of the country amidst heavy controversy about her academic credentials. The reason for such vigorous debate on her credentials has been because of the criticality of her position. For India to be able to leverage the strength of its youth and to develop its younger population better, education is the sole key. She has time and again requested her detractors to let her work speak for her and the nation is now waiting to see how she proves herself by her work.
While the education system in India needs reforms at all levels, we are going to look at the expectations that we, as management students or management education aspirants have from the HRD ministry. There is a lot of pressure on the existing quality B-schools in India which is reflected by the ever increasing batch sizes. The problem here is not about the dearth of management institutes in the country; it is the lack of quality management institutes. Let us consider some facts from a research report by CRISIL:
1. No. of B-Schools in India- Increased from 3000 in 2009-10 to 4500 in 2012-13 (a 50% increase in 3 Years)
2. 176 institutes shut between 2012-13 and 2013-13 due to poor performance on placements, faculty quality
3. Explosive growth in B-schools mimicked the boom in Engineering colleges, followed by a rapid cooling period
The gap between the skill set required for employability and the skills imparted in a majority of the country’s B-Schools is a cause of concern. Barring the top 25-50 B-schools, the gap between the aspirants’ expectations and the reality at the end of 2-years is widening. It is due to these factors that the popularity of a traditional Indian MBA is waning. A lot of students are now opting for management programs abroad which would offer them a more holistic learning experience, as well as better employment opportunities. The same is evident by the falling number of CAT taker in the recent years.
The need of the hour is to enforce more stringent criterion for affiliation for B-Schools. The onus of ensuring better quality in B-schools lies on the HRD ministry. While premier brands like IIMs are required, just increasing their number won’t help. There is even a risk of dilution of the brand called IIM if the institutes are not able to function along the lines of the existing ones that have excelled. With increasing reports of the existing IIMs struggling to get experienced and quality faculty to guide the students, the newer IIMs will be plagued by these problems in a greater magnitude. Something similar has been the case with the new IITs that were established mostly without even proper infrastructure. The answer here lies in a gradual overhaul of the management education system in India to one with better quality faculty, greater industry exposure and a course curriculum that makes the students job-ready.
The dean of each of the IIMs is appointed by the HRD ministry and being a student of a B-school whose dean is on the verge of the expiry of his term, I would expect the ministry to be able to make a well weighed decision. The impact of the decision can’t be emphasized enough as the vision of the leader is what shapes a community.
She has won accolades as the quintessential drama queen on television, let us hope she is able to replicate her success in her current role as a lot hinges upon it-the future of our nation is at stake.
(This article is written by Swati Thakur, a supposed economist, proven day-dreamer, self-certified poet. She is a PGP student at IIM Lucknow, batch of 2016 and member of the Media and Communication Cell.)