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B School
“There is a Dearth of Quality Faculty in Indian B-schools”
IITs have always been known for their Strong hold in Imparting Technical Education. But, with times Maturing, they are even Attracting Management Scholars. Dr. Sudhir K. Jain, Head, Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi talks to B&E’s Bhuvnesh Talwar about The Future of Management Education in India
Issue Date - 17/02/2011
A pioneer in IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) education in India Dr. Sudhir K. Jain has been a part of several committees set up by the Government of India which includes IPR Education Policy Committee (Ministry of HRD), National Entrepreneurship Policy Committee (Ministry of MSME), MHRD Technical Committee on WTO (Ministry of HRD). He joined IIT Delhi in 1985 and is today the Head of its coveted Department of Management Studies (DMS). In an exclusive interaction with B&E’s Bhuvnesh Talwar, Dr. Jain discusses the core issues in management education that need to be addressed on an urgent basis. Excerpts:

B&E: Management education in India has undoubtedly evolved at a fast pace over the last decade. Do you think there are gaps that still need to be filled?
Dr. Sudhir K. Jain (SKJ): No doubt, management education in India has evolved, but it has evolved more in terms of quantity and not the quality. Although there are a few dozen good B-schools in India, these constitute not even a few percent of the total. There are several loopholes, but the most important loophole is the dearth of quality faculty. With the establishment of a large number of B-schools in the country, the demand for faculty has grown tremendously whereas the supply side has remained stagnant. If you look at the output trend of PhDs in Management and Fellows of IIMs in the past 20 years, the factual position will be clear. With the bulk approvals of B-schools, the top educational planners in AICTE, UGC, MHRD, Planning Commission, and educational institutions, should have ensured higher supply of faculty with doctoral degree in management through suitable policy interventions directed towards high quality higher education.

B&E: With India becoming a truly globalised economy, the need for exposure and industry interface has suddenly started gaining weight in B-schools curriculum. How can this structure of exposure and industry interface be made more robust?
SKJ: You are correct. The need for exposure and industry interface has grown in today’s globalised scenario. For this, we need to develop linkages through MoUs at three levels: First, at the national level B-schools with MNCs and large corporate houses. Second, at the state level B-schools with state level medium and large enterprises, and last but not the least at lowest ranked B-schools, which perhaps might be more than 50% of the total, with the SMEs. All B-schools should encourage or send their faculty members to develop management cases on these enterprises. Each faculty member should develop one case per year and present it in international / national / regional conferences for peer review and feedback and also get it published in journals. Management cases of MNCs developed at world class B-schools should be made available to the faculty and students as per their needs. In fact, official system should be developed to provide exposure to the faculty of top B-schools as well as promoters of rest of the B-schools in the country.

B&E: The Indian education system has perhaps failed to produce world class research & publications. One of the reasons for this has been the dearth of in-house university press departments. How can this issue be addressed and what is DMS doing on this front?
SKJ: I agree that Indian education system has failed to produce world class research and publications. With reference to management education, I would like to say that the first stage for this would be to let faculty specialise in few special topics in their functional areas; second stage would be to allow them to offer electives on these topics; third stage would be to provide them access to the full range of related good journals; fourth and the last stage would be to create the true research environment and encourage the faculty to think, conceptualise, theorise and publish internationally acclaimed contribution. University Press may be a good option, but it is certainly not a must. In DMS, we plan to start monographs and working paper series. Further, the availability of these papers to all researchers across the globe through Internet will enhance our citations.

B&E: Has the Indian education environment provided the right impetus to the spirit of entrepreneurship?
SKJ: India has rich history of international trading, business and migration. Regulatory framework has restricted the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. Some legal reforms can make India as the top entrepreneurial country of the world. In fact, at IIT Delhi, we are nurturing entrepreneurship through SIDBI Corpus Fund Programme since 1996. These programs have been extremely successful and are unique in terms of highest quality inputs in shortest time.

B&E: If we consider the internship programme around global B-schools, it is extremely critical to the entire MBA experience. But in India students still fail to derive the synergy that they ideally should from their internship. How can this be improved?
SKJ: I agree that internship programme is extremely critical to the entire MBA experience, but I do not think that Indian students fail to derive the synergy from their internship. I think students of all good institutes derive significant gain from internship. I feel that parents should not handhold their children at MBA level. All students should do internships through official channels as this would teach them the first lessons of management and will make them more robust.

B&E: What role can industry interface play in enhancing placements & internships of a B-school?
SKJ: Industry interface can be really very beneficial for placements and internships, particularly for the second and third tier B-schools. In this globalised era, the top B-schools should necessarily interface with MNCs as this can be of great help during placements and internship.

B&E: What would be your piece of advice to the youngsters who are all set to enter the corporate world?
SKJ: Youngsters should work hard and concentrate on learning rather than thinking and talking about the ‘package’. Reward follows the intelligent hard work. They should learn more to earn more. When they complete management learning in life, they should become ethical entrepreneurs and create jobs for others in the society.

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