Management Institutes in Gujarat: Prospects & Issues


By

Dr. Vijay Pithadia
Assistant Professor & Kidevices Chair
School of Management Studies
Shri Lauva Patel Trust College For Women
Saurashtra University
Amreli-365 601 GJ
 


Changing economic conditions and intensification of global competition have given management education an increasingly central role in the success of individuals and corporations.  Management education- on has spread in the last fifteen years in India.  Management education, at this juncture, needs a critical examination as only developing talent can take India forward. This paper examines the issues that need to be addressed and a possible direction so that management education can be rejuvenated. The purpose of this paper is to engage all concerned in a serious discussion with a view to revamping management education in Gujarat as a prelude to better participation and viability in the global economy. This will need a quantum jump in managerial capability in all the economic spheres. The objective of the discussion is to introduce a series of major institutional initiatives for improving management education, including some issues that were raised earlier but are yet to be activated.  It is the joint responsibility of Government, public sector and private firms and educators, to put management education on a new growth trajectory.

Numerous Systemic Issues

A number of committees have looked into management education in India in the past.  This section attempts to identify the systemic issues faced by management education as identified by the earlier committees. Most of the problems identified by the committees continue to be there as no major corrective measures have been initiated, hence a revisit of the critical suggestions.

The Nanda Committee

Nanda Committee was the first committee that reviewed the working of the three Management Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bangalore, to make recommendations for the promotion and development of management education in India. The Nanda Committee suggested a series of measures in 1981 for strengthening management education in India, viz.:

[1] Adequate funding for research to be provided without soliciting project funding.  Consultancy research should cover both basic and applied types.

[2] IIMs should act as mother institutes and foster growth of other management Institutions in the country.

[3] There is urgent necessity to develop expertise in international management and offering of educational and training programme in international management.

[4] Government control should be progressively reduced as each institute becomes more and more self-reliant.

Management education has to be research based, and utility based, the institutes should become self reliant and the government must relinquish control over the years.

The Kurien Committee

Government of India appointed a second review committee under the Chairmanship of Mr. V Kurien in 1991, to look into the direction and functioning of the four institutes of management. The committee submitted its report in 1992. The salient recommendations were:

[1] The mission of the Institutes of Management to strengthen management in business, industry and commerce is still relevant.  The mission statement however, needs to be expanded to emphasize the IIMs' commitment to public service and public management.

[2] The inter-relatedness of teaching, research and consultancy needs to be better emphasized for greater synergy.  Choices in approving research and consultancy must be exercised to strengthen their interconnectedness and mutuality.

[3] There should be a much greater emphasis on the development of relevant teaching materials and research.  Appropriate policies and rewards should be initiated to strengthen this aspect of IIMs functioning.

[4] The Government should take a flexible view in providing financial support to the different IIMs and encourage the institutes to vigorously pursue revenue generation, cost cutting, and fund rising efforts.  The non plan maintenance grants may be provided as Block Grant for a period of five years.

[5]  After the institutes have become financially self supporting with the creation of the corpus fund and the package of measures for augmenting its internal resources and cutting down cost, the government grants may be limited to programme considered high priority and of social relevance by government including the area of public system management.

Major issues of business education in Gujarat are discussed below:

Issue 1: Library Facilities

Library facilities are one of the important criteria for management schools any where around the world. Primary data shows that following practices done in the management schools of Gujarat

Government Management Schools:

Generally Government management schools concern with university institutions in Gujarat because most of Government management schools come under direct control of universities of Gujarat and Government of Gujarat.

Private Management Schools:

Another side private management schools concern with non university institutions but affiliated to university and don't have direct control of any universities of Gujarat

Issue 2: Computer Facilities

After introduction of Management Information System {MIS} topic in syllabus and compulsory paper of management students it becomes necessary to have an adequate computer facilities; category wise analysis given below.

Computer facilities for faculty members in Government Management Schools:

Generally government management school faculties hesitate to use the computer facilities because of poor level of computer literacy

Computer facilities for students in Government Management Schools:

Inadequate computer facilities provided in most of Government management schools in Gujarat because of faculty members don't have professional approach towards the students and students don't have any experience to get admission before joining MBA program.

Computer facilities for faculty members in Private Management Schools

Lack of computer facilities creates many problems in private management schools in Gujarat because of Managing Trustee and allied group believes in traditionalism

Computer facilities for students in Private Management Schools

Lack of computer facilities for students in private management schools in Gujarat because of Managing Trustee and allied group believed that MBA Program is not an engineering thing! But AICTE (All India Council of technical Education) defined Management education (MBA, PGDM, PGDBM etc) comes under definition of technical education

Issue 3: Internet lab Facilities

Sometimes few of orthodox founders of B-school's mentioned that B-school is not a technology school! Therefore don't ask for more computerization or computers and it create lots of problems in business education.

Issue 4: Ensuring Quality Faculty

The establishment of AICTE resulted in the sanctioning of a large number of B-Schools. While giving sanctions to a large number of institutions, AICTE was unable to create adequate machinery for the development and training of faculty to teach in management courses with an applied bias. As AICTE was unable to monitor the quality standards in the institutions, they stipulated in 1997 that from that year onwards, institutions would have to seek affiliation from a recognized university before they are given sanction to start a programme of study. The new requirement concerning university affiliation, the inadequacy of the monitoring systems and the shortage of faculty for teaching management resulted in the following conditions:

[1] Institutions engaged part-time faculty of individuals on contract who taught a course and in most cases, had little involvement either with the institution or the students

[2] New faculty members without any experience joined institutions on low salaries and carried a heavy teaching load. They had neither time nor the necessary background to take up research or development of teaching material. They gave lectures mainly drawn from textbook or materials from textbooks or materials based on their company experience.

[3] Except for the 10 % or so institutions which updated their programs and teaching technology, the quality of management remained substandard in the sense that they paid inadequate attention to application of knowledge, self awareness among students and development of problem solving, and decision making skills.

The two critical issues to be addressed are mechanisms for ensuring quality of faculty and making the learning student-centered. This requires faculty experienced in student centered learning and adequate library and computer support. The issue is to change the bottom rung of 70 % of the institutions that are located away from metros/cities.

Issue 5: Developing Material Relevant to the Indian Context

There is an increasing awareness that many of the ideas and concepts that have been effective in the countries of their origin have been less effective in India. While many industrialized countries have tested and adopted management practices that are in perfect harmony with their culture and tradition, India is yet to do this exercise through systematic research and study. For example, we do not have good cases or teaching material on managing ITES. The materials available are not specific or relevant to our context. There are no easy approaches for solving the issue of inadequacy of context specific material, but to develop an agenda for that, as developing material is a specialized and time consuming task.

Issue 6: Promoting a Research Traditions

The management institutions do not have a culture that is supportive of research. This problem existed even in (low ranked) B-Schools in US. Imbibing a research culture requires faculty with interest in research and a good library support system. A research culture needs a research community and a research agenda. Such a culture will be created only when it becomes an organizational priority and there is top commitment for building that. If the targets of B-Schools are predominantly monetary, a research culture will not emerge. It was been proposed that the enhanced support for research can be brought about in three ways, viz.:

[1] Certain themes that need special study in the next 5/7 years should be funded, and scholars should be invited to undertake research in those areas.

[2] Research granting procedure should be seriously reviewed to support individual project proposals and

[3] Encouraging institutions that have adequate support systems to start Ph.D. programs; the issue is how to make B-Schools create and support a research culture.

Issue 7: Embryonic an Accreditation System

As indicated in the earlier paper on accreditation, one of the emerging issues is to identify the process to be adopted for implementation of an accreditation system. Accreditation needs to be separated from recognition. The accreditation has to be fair, transparent, independent as well as ruthless. The accreditation process (indicated in the previous section) that is used by EFMD has been reported to be a widely accepted one. As accreditation process tends to become a political one, the issue is to evolve a method to insulate it from the political interference. Accreditation that uses benchmarks of various parameters could reduce subjectivity. The rapid growth in the number of management institutes requires a specialized body rather than the all– encompassing AICTE to carry out accreditation. A council exclusively for management education is needed, and the process of accreditation and recognition needs to be made separate.  The accreditation process has to cover commerce education as well.  In most other countries, management education covers this as well.  This will ensure that management education has a broad base in India.  All the degrees covering management commerce and accountancy should be under one agency.

Issue 8: Student Testing Service

This again is crucial as testing becomes the basis of input quality in management education. Many institutions have their own admission tests for which they usually charge fairly high fees. The issue is to ensure that admission and testing need to be segregated, as in the case of US. Evolving a national testing service and evolving a comprehensive testing system have to examine comprehensively. There seems to be no need to have so many tests and the proposed All India Council of Management Education would need to examine the possibility of reduction in the number of tests while at the same time ensuring that the quality of testing is not sacrificed for the sake of uniformity.

Issue 9: Developing Interaction with the Industry

Except in the case of the top ranked B-Schools, there are no mechanisms to forge close relationship between B-Schools and industry groups. Development of industry interaction is an evolutionary process. The main strength of top class B-Schools like Kellogg, Wharton, Sloan and Harvard is their strong relationship with industry through teaching, research, student placements, problem solving and case study preparation. As indicated in the first section of this paper top level B-schools continuously interact with major corporations. The recent example of BP setting up their learning centre adjacent to MIT, Cambridge shows that as competition increases, industry–B-School cooperation will go up. The issue in India is to make this happen in the case of the low ranked B-Schools in India. There has to be an institutional mechanism for developing liaison with industry in each B-School. 

Issue 10: Inculcating Values

Pfeiffer and Fong of Stanford Graduate School of Business have brought out some lessons from the US experience on business schools. B-Schools in U.S. face a number of problems, many of them as a result of offering a value proposition that primarily emphasizes the career enhancing, salary increasing aspects of business education as contrasted with the idea of organizational management as a profession to be pursued out of a sense of intrinsic interest or even service.

These arise from a combination of a market — like orientation to education coupled with an absence of a professional ethos. The issue in India is to make B-Schools create greater impact by focusing on values and ethics as the guiding principles.    

Bibliography:

[1] Vijay Pithadia (1998)" Management Education In India" View Point, The Journal of Baroda Productivity Council, Vadodara

[2] http://www.education.nic.in/cd50years/f/H/H/0H0H0A01.htm

[3] http://www.education.nic.in/cd50years/f/H/H/0H0H0101.htm

Annexure-1

Questionnaire
Over view of existing B-schools in Gujarat: A Fact File

[1] How many B-Schools mentioned STD code with its phone no?

With STD No
Without STD No

[2] How many B-Schools have PIN with its address?

With PIN No
Without PIN No

[3] How many B-Schools have Web Site and email address?

     University B-Schools         Non university B-Schools

Having web site
Not having web site
Having Email ID
Not having Email ID

[4] How many B-Schools have Full time Director with Ph.D. Degree qualification?

Number of Full time Director with PhD Degree
Number of Full time Director without PhD Degree

[5] How many B-Schools have Bachelor degree faculty members to teach MBA [master degree]?

No of Bachelor degree faculty members

[6] How many B-Schools have separate internet laboratory?

With Lab
Without Lab

[7] How many B-Schools have separate hostel facilities to accommodate more than 50% of total student's intake?

Having separate hostel facilities
Not having separate hostel facilities

[8] How many B-Schools have adequate infrastructure facilities like?

      Yes              No

Tutorials rooms
Seminar hall
Reading room
Conference room
Auditorium
Furnished laboratory [A/c]
Language lab
Gymkhana for indoor games
Sports ground
Gallery hall [balcony]

[9] How many B-Schools have full time placement officer?

Having full time placement officer
Not having full time placement officer

[10] How many B-Schools running with only master degree staff members' including Director? [All faculty members not having PhD]

No of B-Schools

[11] How many B-Schools have canteen facilities?

With Canteen facilities
Without Canteen facilities

[12] How many B-Schools are accredited by NAAC, NBA, AICTE, and ISO etc?

Accredited B-Schools

[13] Brief Qualification profile of the faculties

   University B-Schools           Non university B-Schools

DBA
PhD
Fellow
MBA
MComm
PGDM
PGDBM
PGDBA
MSc
MA
Others

[14] How many B-Schools have Separate rooms for each Academic Staff members?

Having Separate rooms
Not having Separate rooms

[15] How many B-Schools have Separate internet ready PC {Desirable: with Printer} for each Academic Staff members?

Having Separate internet ready PC
Not having Separate internet ready PC

[16] How many B-Schools have Separate OHP?

[17] How many B-Schools have Separate Multimedia Projector?

[18] How many B-Schools have Separate Library?

[19] How many B-Schools have Separate Toilet facilities?

[20] How many B-Schools have Separate Photo copy machine, administrative office?
 


Dr. Vijay Pithadia
Assistant Professor & Kidevices Chair
School of Management Studies
Shri Lauva Patel Trust College For Women
Saurashtra University
Amreli-365 601 GJ
 

Source: E-mail April 24, 2006

     

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