Friday, August 27, 2010

IIPM's accreditation paradox

It was probably spoken in hushing undertones, but everybody was quite sure that there is something fishy about the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM). Otherwise, why would any B-school come out with full page advertisements almost every month bragging about their so called "achievements", grand course work and daring innocent students to think beyond the IIMs. Throw in a few goodies like free laptops, etc. and call yourself a self-styled management guru, a youth icon and you would have gullible people believing you. But the principle caveat emptor applies to everybody, though most are not cautious and fall into the trap unknowingly.

Notice how IIPM advertisements never carried a list of companies where their students were placed. If you brag about your courses, you can surely brag about the companies that pick your students. But no, in a recent advertisement that appeared in ToI, here's what IIPM has to say
Though almost all students have found placement in the past, we do not guarantee job since we are not a Placement Agency.

Well, they are right in one sense. But then, people definitely expect to be placed in good companies (like ICICI, Tata, HUL, etc.) as IIPM claims that its courses go beyond the IIMs. And in this advertisement, they claim to think beyond Harvard!! When, they do not have even a single faculty who holds a doctorate or conducts any research. So, placements too might come from companies who want to recruit from beyond Harvard!! Who are those? The Professors in-charge of placements at various IITs and IIMs discuss with newspapers about the previous year's recruitment including the companies that came on campus. Never saw Arindam Chaudhari doing it.

Enough of this introduction, I guess. You might know all these things about IIPM. The clincher in IIPM's advertisement is its following statement on Accreditation:
We have never attached any importance to accreditation by national/international bodies. Institute teaching only 600 contact hours have high ranking whereas others teaching around 1200 contact hours have been ranked low by criteria which has nothing to do with the knowledge imparted by such institutes. We have confidence in our own academic standard. Our competition is with our own excellence achieved in the past. Those, who seek statutory recognition, need not apply.

Now, I do not know what excellence they have achieved in the past, going just by sentence construction, whoever writes their advertising scripts, surely, isn't excellent enough. This statement is like Nokia saying, we do not go for regulatory approvals because we believe in our manufacturing capabilities. Surely, organisations like FCC, EU, etc. won't buy this argument from Nokia. Nor, will the customer, who would like an independent standards body certifying the quality and safety of the device. So, why shouldn't we be bothered about such blatant over confidence. Why doesn't IIPM openly say, "We do not offer any kind of degrees. Our so-called degrees are not recognised by AICTE, UGC or any other technical and higher education body in the country." The UGC has finally woken up from its slumber and put an advertisement in the newspapers, declaring that IIPM is not a university nor is in any position to award any kind of degree under the present laws that govern higher education. But then, UGC's mickey-mouse size unattractive advertisement comes nowhere close to the marketing onslaught of IIPM!!

But IIPM believes in the ranking system, as they have quoted it in their statement on accreditation. They believe that higher ranked institutes can do with less course work, because such institutes impart better knowledge. Now, if accreditation itself is not believed in, how can they claim the differentiation between two institutes. The accreditation process might be flawed, rankings might go wrong, but they serve a useful process to help people make informed decisions. All this stuff, makes IIPM nothing more than a private coaching institute. It is not a management institute. Still daring to think beyond Harvard, Mr. Chaudhari? First, try and get beyond Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
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1 comment:

  1. Even yesterday's "The Hindu" had an IIPM ad!

    Wonder what is happening.

    Joy always,