By most accounts, the past year has been quite terrible. Some of India’s biggest corporate entities remain mired in scam after scam. Business credibility has suffered a body blow in the twentieth anniversary year of economic reforms (which, by themselves, remain a process in deep freeze). Inflation remains high, defying a worried central bank and government. And then, if the recent numbers are anything to go by, even growth appears to be slowing down, precipitating fears that the “India story” is at risk. All this is worrying. Frankly, with most of the developed world in trouble, one doesn’t know yet how severe the impact will be on India.
But the difference from 2008 is the general air of knowing calm at play. That comes from a stronger belief in the India story, that it still has a lot of steam—take hiring, as one example. As for ethics, business has been quick to react to the criticism. People are now aware of the risks—they are being careful. No one likes going to jail. Part of this debate has also shifted to the B-school arena, where Outlook’s rigorous ranking—conducted by market research agency MDRA—comes as an invaluable guide. At a time when the very nature of the MBA is changing—exam systems and foreign universities to satellite campuses and disappearing colleges—our package presents the best of the lot. Finally, we also see how young managers can do “good”, a very valuable lesson today. As always, choose wisely.
Andhra’s pride ICFAI Hyderabad, the top B-School in the metro. (Photogrqaph by P. Anil Kumar)
Our MBA programmes help only a select few (The Buzz in the B-Hive, Sept 26). What India needs is a mass ‘street- smart’ MBA programme, which benefits large sections of society. In the US, they have a few thousand lists, rather than just just a few dozen, when they are ranking mba programmes. Outlook should change its selection criteria. On another note, why the state has to spend precious tax money on an exercise which finally benefits only a select few mncs is beyond my comprehension. If the IIMs were so great, then let private industry pay for them.
Shailesh, Bridgewater, US
The IIM graduates of today are not a patch on earlier ones. If calibre is the only criteria, only 10-15 per cent would be deserving. Funnily, it’s the quota system for caste, women and weightage for non-engineers and plus-two marks et al, that keeps deserving candidates out. As for the faculty, a majority is not competent to teach at IIMs. They are responsible for destroying admission criteria.
Ramakrishnan, New York
This unholy triad of shysters, bean counters and pencil-pushers has pushed our world to the brink of eternal damnation. On the one hand, an mba’s worth is decided by the amount of consumerism he ushers in and then Outlook hopes he’ll fight the good fight against corruption. As Mr Boycott would say, this is “bloooody roobish”.
Anoop Hosmath, Mysore
How many times will you dole out the same stuff on the same topic? Waste of hundred pages.
S.G. Valluri, Bangalore
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
""How many times will you dole out the same stuff on the same topic? Waste of hundred pages."
Money makes the mare go, dear!
Nothing wrong in it, and if I were the editor of OUTLOOK, I would have done the same, and you too, brother. People at the helm have to face so many pressures, you can't even imagine. Remember OUTLOOK is the only news magazine (of standard and popularity) which gives space to the revolutionary and 'true' voices like Arundhati Roy.
I know the admissions even earlier had this criminal taint. IIMB took 3 years to come out with admission criteria in courts. I am sure if there is full revealation about earlier admissions are made available many will land in jail. But the IIMs will have to become Just in their admissions. Giving any weightage to 10th marks leave alone maximum is criminal. Indian democracy doesnot allow any arbitariness with public resources. The courts have ruled the same in case of allottment of petrol pumps.
The IIMs are at fault regarding weightage given to school levels as there is no justification for giving higher weightage to 10th or 12th marks. in the guise of Autonomy they cannot be arbitary and Courts have full power to examine the issue.There is no independent study which suggests 10th marks are indicator of future performance. A kid whose brain has not yet developed or who has not yet learned to study hard will get higher or lower marks than his true potential.
The teaching at IIMs is a big concern. In fact IIMs should be moved to places like Delhi or Mumbai to get good experienced faculty. It is a stupid idea to open IIMs in small places or for that matter IITs because the education part needs experienced teachers who have done hands on work. IIT Powai has this advantage of Industry interaction.
My experience in International area tells me that even people doing MBA from Harvard are not the best but are people who managed to get in and arranged funds. Many of them were just second rate at the time of graduation .
I dont agree that a topper of a college from Delhi can be equated with topper of IIT. In the first year at IIT you meet various state toppers but by next years the so called bright sparks fall much behind looking ordinary. I will also tell you people who were stressed at placements became different person in Job and when you meet them heading big corporations they are altogether different people with them gaining weight and becoming aggressive. I dont at all agree with EQ thing with my this life experience.
I am enjoying the exchange with you.
In the past IIMs never disclosed their selection criteria. One could only guess that the CAT scores, academic and extracurricular activities and the interview/GD had their roles to play, but nobody knew their weightage. With the same CAT score (never disclosed) one candidate could get interview call from only one or multiple institutes - not necessarily in a predictable order . People could get interview call from only one institute and made it. Others could not get admission despite getting interview calls from multiple IIMs. Even then, there were surprises and heartburns. A topper from an engineering school lost out to the BCom graduate whom the former had never recognized as a worthy competitor. Many who got admitted thought they were stars, while many of those who failed used to wonder about the "arbitrariness" of selection process. Anecdotically one could notice among the Indian MBAs of yesteryears IIMC had a large share of engineers among the graduates ( was its because of its MIT Sloan heritage or was it because of its focus on Operations/Systems management?) , IIMA had higher diversity of undergrads (read lower proportion of engineers) with strong past academic records ( probably because of tremendous academic pressure on IIMA students on campus) and IIMB had more focus on public sectors.
Perhaps IIMs used the same selection criteria in the past that are being disclosed now. Still this debate about the right weightage on selection criteria is immaterial. If professional success is a measure, IIT/IIM alumni are no better or worse than IIT/IIM rejects to prove necessity or unworthiness of an IIT or IIM degree. Neither IIM nor you need to feel agitated (or need to change professors/change selection criteria) if an otherwise academically brilliant relative of yours did not get admitted to IIM. I still hold that a brilliant criketer can play brilliantly in all formats - test matches, 1-dayer and 20-20 and a brilliant student should be brilliant in all formats of assessment JEE as well as board exams.
You still need to give up the idea that emotional and social skills do not matter much and can be easily picked up. On the contrary, business schools even after a large dose of behavioral science courses continue to wonder how social skills like values, ethics, inter personal behavior, leadership, creativity and innovation are built into MBA curriculum. In the US and the developed world the elementary, middle and high school education focuses on developing social skills, creativity and all round personality development. School kids are often engaged in sports, music and cultural activities that are given a lot of weightage in the selection criteria in colleges.
Your ignorance about the admission criteria rationale should not cause disappointment about the faculty. IITs and IIMs have been shaped by their faculty and alumni together over decades. It will be quite childish to take away credit from the faculty (many worked for decades) and shift everything to the alumni (although they do have alumni network and often alumni participate with the faculty in newer initiatives). Some of India's best minds have worked there and they indeed know what they are doing sometimes better than individual alumnus who have full time vocation elsewhere.
A more meaningful debate should have been why even after 5 decades IITs or IIMs have not developed managers, entrepreneurs and technologists that could transform India's pathetic public administration and social sectors and have remained a source of manpower for western multinationals. Or why the IIMs and IITs are not challenged enough to supply quality teachers in large numbers to teach a large population of young engineer/MBA aspirants.
But then our media is also concerned of the starting salaries of their graduates only.
I would agree that scores fo 10th and 12th should NOT be part of evaluation criteria.
I wonder what would be the new Mandate of these B-Schools apropos growing corruption – to devise a new Management Skill to avoid getting Trapped or Evolving a Methodology to imbibe it into normal Trait.
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