Management Education (Issues and Concerns)

Management Education (Issues and Concerns)

Present corporate world is full of competition. New technologies are emerging every day and everything is turning towards globalization. In such challenging situation, young managers possessing management degree turn out to be survivors. The biggest challenge of the corporate world is to produce efficient managers.

A management degree from a reputed institution certifies that the person holding the degree has enough managerial skills required to face the competition. Management courses develops skillful workforce which constitutes of leaders of future as well as competitive managers. They have the ability to handle complex business situations. They maintain healthy relationships with clients.

Evolution of Management Education

Business education has a long history in India, dating back to the 19th century. Early Business-Schools were focused on the commercial side of business, seeking to fulfill the needs of the then British government.

  • India’s first B-school, i.e., Commercial School of Pacchiappa Charties was set up in 1886 in the southern city of Chennai (Madras).
  • In 1903, British government initiated Secondary school level commerce classes at the Presidency College in Calcutta with a focus on Secretarial practice, Business Communication, Short hand, Typing, Correspondence & Accounting.
  • The first college level Business School was founded in 1913 in Mumbai i.e. Sydenham College.
  • Soon followed by another college in Delhi in 1920 as Commerce College, later on it was renamed as Sri Rama College of Commerce.
  • The Indian Institute of Social Science founded in the year 1948 as India’s first management program with an intention to train manpower to create & spread the knowledge required for managing industrial enterprises in India.
  • Catholic community founded Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI) at Jamshedpur in 1949.
  • Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM) was set up in 1953 at Calcutta. That was considered as India’s first official Management Institute.

Management Education in India

Today managers are in great demand in every sector of economy. India needs a huge reservoir each year of people who are trained for business and for management and demands is to last for coming years. But it is matter of concern whether the demand is for what they have been taught. In management education, quality has become a necessity. To make India an intellectual capital of the world, we have to create a dynamic environment, which can encourage superior quality management education colleges and effort should be made to breathe life into management education. Government has taken initiatives in this direction by giving node to 7 more IIMs taking the total number of the premier management school to 14. India already has 11 functional IIMs in Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Tiruchirappalli, Ranchi, Raipur and Rohtak remaining three are to setup in state of J&K, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. Apart from IIMs management education is offered by university's own department in campus, affiliated colleges of universities in same place or the whole State, now technical universities have been given this role.

Moreover autonomous institutes approved by AICTE, universities running distance education program and open mode like IGNOU, Delhi University, Kurukshetra University, ICFAI and several others are also offering courses in management. Some recognized institutes and universities are also offering 3 years part time program in evening faculty for working executives. Foreign universities having collaborations in India and those having students exchange program with limited-time studies abroad are also imparting management education. New private universities like ICFAI (a national brand), Amity and several others are now coming up.

According to annual report (2009-2010), published by Ministry of Human Resource Development, there were 20 Universities and 500 Colleges at the time of independence. At present, there are 504 Universities and university-level institutions (as on 31.12.2009) 243 State Universities, 53 State Private Universities, 40 Central Universities, 130 Deemed Universities, 33 institutions of national importance established under Acts of Parliament five Institutions established under various State legislations. There are 25,951 colleges of which, 7,362 are recognized under 2(f) and 5,997 colleges recognized under section 2(f) and declared fit to receive grants under section 12(B) of the UGC Act, 1956). Table 1 shown below shows growth of AICTE approved technical institutes in last five Years. In 2008-2009 the number institutes increased at exceptional rate, thus can be called the golden year in respect to establishment of institutes.

Some Facts

Current management models are losing their relevance. A decade ago, a management degree was the golden passport — a ticket to the job of your choice, but the Wall Street collapse has forced society to question the analytical approaches prevalent in today’s business programs. The writing on the wall is ‘innovate or die’. Where chief executives of the past were sensible and required to sell things proficiently, business leader today must touch lives and change paradigms.

  • Merely 10% of graduates from business schools manage to get hired by corporate India.
  • MBA seats annually in India have tripled from 4,500 to as many as 3.6 lakh.
  • Campus recruitments have gone down by 40% in the same period.
  • Only 5% of undergraduate students in the country want a master's degree after graduation. Some students are time bounded as they already know what they want. Their priorities are to get a job at 22, get married by 24 and get on with the job of starting a family by 25.
  • About 2,00,000 students choose to go Abroad every year.
  • Brain Drain in higher education is also one of the reasons to drop down enrollment rate for Management education in India.
  • Lack of good placement is also one of the reasons that students are losing interest for higher education.

Issues & Concerns

Though the numbers of committees on management education have suggested improvements. Still there have been no significant changes in management education except in the top ranking B-schools. Now the time has come to examine the major issues that need to be addressed if at all management education has to improve in India, So as the present managers can respond to the challenges of global Competition. In recent years business management has become one of the major higher studies in India. The reason for this is that a good knowledge about this field would change the economic background of an individual rather than the development of the country. Many high quality educational institutions are being set up in our country.

Major Issue

1. Ensure Quality Faculty.

2. Promote Research Culture.

3. Faculty Development Programs.

4. Develop reading materials relevant to Indian Context.

5. Develop interaction with Industry.

6. Evolve a proper system of Accreditation & Rating.

7. Create an independent Institutional mechanism.

8. Corporate Governance of B-schools.

9. Need to broaden the specialization.

10.Create a global mindset.

11.Internationalize Management education.

Ensure Quality Faculty

Owing to the sanction of large number of B-Schools through AICTE resulted into shortages of qualified faculty. At present number of faculty members are without Ph.D. & research background. In fact, at the University level UGC expects either Ph.D. or NET/SET as an essential qualification in the selection process at college or University level. But due to shortages of faculty in management only a master’s degree is enough to become a faculty member in the B-schools. In selection process industry experience has given a special weightage but due to shortages of faculty, the industry experience is also not being judged properly in number of cases. Moreover AICTE has no machinery to develop & train the faculty to teach management Courses with an applied basis. It is also observed that some of the institutions either engage par time faculty or appoint them on contractual basis where they have a little involvement either with the institution or with the students.

Newly joined faculty members adopt only lecture methods & impart theoretical or conceptual knowledge to the students rather than brainstorming or its application.

New faculty members without any experience cannot take up the research or development of teaching materials & deliver only the lectures mainly drawn from the text books.

Promote Research Culture

The management Institutions do not have culture that is supportive of research. Imbibing a research culture requires a good library support system. Scholars should be invited to undertake research in certain areas of national interest. Regarding the research grant procedure there is a need to support more to individual project proposals. Encourage to those institutes who have adequate support system to start Ph.D. program.

Being a recent development of management discipline there is a shortage of Ph.D. guides & hence those who would like to persue for research degree they are forced to register for their Ph.D. degree under the faculty of commerce. Many a times these Research guides in this field are unable to guide the candidates in the area of management.

Faculty Development Programs

In order to create good teachers for B-schools, the faculty development programs must be implemented on a large scale. Presently the teachers in the B Schools are prepared on a trial & error basis at the cost of present generation of students who are the real sufferers. Recently, AICTE had informed to management institutes to depute their faculty members to undergo Faculty Development Programs at the selected few centers but it is too inadequate. That will require another 5-10 years period to get the trained manpower with this system. Again the FDP programs which are implemented at the institutional level they are also not adequate & rich in their Quality. As a part of formality & conditions of the AICTE this activity is being implemented. In fact this scheme must be implemented at the regional levels throughout the country with the help of top ranking B-schools.

Develop reading materials relevant to Indian Context

It is observed that the ideas & concepts which are effective in the countries of their origin but have been less effective in Indian context. So also the management practices adopted in Industrialized countries are in perfect harmony with their culture & tradition, where as India has yet to do this exercise through systematic research & study. The materials available are not yet-specific or relevant to Indian context. There are very few B-schools in India now they have started concentrating on research as well as preparing reading materials relevant to Indian context namely ICFAI, Hyderabad, MDI, Gurgaon, XLRI, Jamshedpur & Wellingkar, Mumbai.

Develop interaction with Industry

Except in case of top ranking B-schools, there are no mechanisms to forge close relationship between B-schools & industry groups. The main strength of top class B-schools like Kellogg, Wharton, Sloan & Howard is their strong relationship with industry through teaching, research, student placements, problem solving & case study preparation. This issue in India is to make this happen in case of the low ranked B-schools in the country, there should be institutional mechanism for developing liaison with industry in each B-school.

Need to Create independent Institutional mechanism

There are too many agencies deal with management education. Management education must be a concern of the body created by law for governing management education i.e. The All India Council for Technical Education & its subsidiary. The Board of management studies combining the technical & management education under one body was a mistake. A National Task Force (NTF) on Management education should be appointed. All India Management Association is of the opinion that there is a need of formation of All India Council for Management Education Quite independent of AICTE.

Need to broaden the specialization

There are some businesses which are Context specific to India, e.g., agricultural services, infrastructure management, Contract research, hospital management & NGO are rapidly growing areas in business. These businesses need customized management education. Curricula customization, Specific material development & faculty specialization are some of the neglected factors that led to poor Quality of management education in India. No doubt some of the B-schools have introduced MBA, program, focused on telecom, financial services & infrastructure management but still it requires more efforts on customization in order to broaden the Specialization.

Create a global mindset

This is a era of globalization. Industry needs executives with world-class talent. The issue is how to inculcate a global mindset through the managers who act locally. The survey Conducted by Andrews & Tyson brought out some issues like.

In the changing economic scenario at global level the important issue is to create executives with management & leadership capabilities on a world wide scale. The study shows that there has been a shift in Companies while recruiting from knowledge to skills attributes.


Indian management institutes should internationalize their approach to equip students to become global managers. At the same time, Indian business schools should take care to ensure that their courses had enough local content so that students could relate to them easily. Change in study material and teaching methodology with time as it is said "Any corporate which does not change with time is bound to die,”. Experts opine that old curriculum and teaching methodologies in B-schools has not able to keep pace with fluid and dynamic environment. Encouraging a series of private quality institutions and institutions with public private partnership completely deregulating higher education. This will open wider options for students to enroll them in Good B-school. 

The author of this article is Asst. Professor, Pioneer institute of Professional Studies, Indore


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