Calamity in management education

According to experts, “Management Institutions have grown in quantity, but not in quality, and contributed too little to our kind of economy.”

Management Education in India is facing a calamity. The mushrooming of Management Institutes is worsening to help the enlargement of the crisis? And, how sensitive are these institutions and authorities concerned to the problems and challenges that have already started bothering it?

The challenges before management education, or rather managing management education in comparison to the demands posed by the industry and other socio-economic and cultural factors, need to be properly analysed and understood from an altogether fresh approach, from expert opinion.

With the concept with which management education was introduced in the country more than 25 years old, experts have an opinion that it is time to respond to the changes that have not only brought developments and progress in various fields, but also changed old philosophy.

Management education is passing through a critical phase. There is a crisis of identity, character and quality. This is the apt time to discuss and deliberate the matter by taking stock of the situation.

Too many attractive, lucrative and competent jobs are chasing very few individuals, who are highly talented, skilled and dynamic. An average student finds it difficult to sail through the acid tests of the corporate sector. The element of professionalism, an important ingredient towards building managers, is not taught by institutions imparting management education. Communications skill for students from rural areas is like climbing the Himalayas, he opined.

Commercialization

Like professional education, management education to has become a saleable product. More than 4,000 institutions have emerged in the country in management education landscape.

The origin of management education dates back to ancient times. It is a unique art developed by mankind along its evolution journey. Management education is an offshoot of the industrial revolution which created the factory system, thereby providing a ledge to the art of management. In the Indian subcontinent, management education has come over a period of past 50 years, whereas Europeans are teaching this education since the last 400 years.

Due to the slow rate of economic growth after independence till 1990 the opportunities created by industry were too few. Globalization gave a big enhance to the economy while the service sector came to dominate other sectors. This has necessitated the demand for management education.

The Indian landscape of management education is composed of the following:

The IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) top the list which pick the very best. Management institutes affiliated to universities, autonomous institutions approved by the All India Council for Technical Education, institutions without the approval of AICTE, and foreign universities are also offering degree and postgraduate degrees in India.

AICTE’s responsibility:

According to AICTE data the number of institutions imparting management education mushroomed in just five years. The question arises is that: Why was permission given to so many institutions?

In the last five years, the AICTE, by granting permission to more institutions, also allowed increase in the intake of students by more than 300 per cent, which has also been indicated in the hand book (see table). Thus, these figures reveal that the AICTE adopted a quantitative expansion strategy but paid inadequate attention to quality of management education.

Experts feel that AICTE’s policy is liberal in according permission to start institutions and increase intake.

Secondly, institutions enter the management education scenario with the intention of making quick profits as against contributing their bit to the field with some genuine concern.

Thirdly, institutions imparting management education negated quality and concentrated on quantity.

Fourthly, there are lapses in curriculum up gradation and banking on some core subjects and niche electives added to the problems.

The element of ‘skill quotient’ is not appropriately addressed to add value to the education. Faculty members with industrial experience are less in numbers to share their expertise.

Interestingly, the former Chairman of the University Grant Commission, Arun Nigavekar, who addressed delegates at a seminar, observed that under the changed circumstances it becomes inevitable to shun the old curriculum in management education and prepare CEOs by directing them to set goals and develop necessary skills to pursue them.