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The rapid growth in batch sizes at business schools could have a wide ranging impact on business and hinder the development of new companies, say experts. “Premier institutes like the IIMs have always had close-knit student groups and strong alumni networks”, says IIM, Ranchi director M.J. Xavier, an IIM, Calcutta alumnus. “The networking within these groups that helped old classmates conceptualize and incubate start-ups and create business connections could already be on the decline”, he says. Heads of companies believe that course content does not reflect business realities.
The cornerstone of an MBA course at a premier school is based on case studies that require intensive interaction between students, teachers and companies, but this contact is diminishing, they say. “One reason why students from the IIMs are readily employable is because faculty members are in close touch with industry and understands its requirements”, says K.S. Sundar Ram, an IIM-A alumnus and executive director at auto component’s company Natesan Synchrocones. If batch sizes continue to grow, he says, teachers will not have much time for industry contact or research. Some institutes, like ISB, Hyderabad, say; they are trying to address the issue by giving weightage to research work, which includes publication of papers and industry interaction during annual appraisal of faculty members. “Faculty time is demarcated between teaching, research and administrative matters, with research being given the largest share”, says ISB deputy dean Deepak Chandra. But company heads say the government must also act and change its policy of inclusivity at the cost of quality. Six new IIM campuses have been set up since 2009, taking the total number to 13 by 2011. As with other premier management institutes that are expanding more rapidly than feasible, inadequate infrastructure is a worry even at the new IIM campuses. Experts say the government’s mandate to decide the pay of faculty members has also created problems. Because of this, IIM-A has been forced to find other ways to supplement compensation and this has led to many unintended consequences, says Prafull Anubhai in recently-released book “The IIM-A Story”.
Courtesy: TImes of India
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