In the last five years, the number of business schools or B-schools in India has almost tripled. There are around 4,500 B-schools in India today and collectively there are more than 3,60,000 MBA seats. There has also been an increasing trend of B-schools having foreign collaboration. In fact, the education sector has reached a stage where anyone aspiring to get an MBA/PGDM degree can now get admission easily in one or other B-school somewhere in India or even in foreign institutes or universities. With the increase in the number of B-schools in the country every year, the big question that crops up is what is the quality output of students passing every year from these institutes?
Why there is a craze for an MBA degree?
Today there is stiff competition everywhere. The rat race to reach the top, to chase the dreams of family and society make many students fall into the trap of doing an MBA without realising their own dreams, abilities and interests. Most Indian students consider an MBA as the next step in their education after graduation before embarking on a job life. This is clear from the fact that in the Common Aptitude Test (CAT), 80 per cent of applicants are freshers or students in their final year of graduation.
According to a recent survey, it was found that almost 80 per cent of students who are doing graduation are interested to do an MBA because it increases the chances of getting a job. Similarly, most professionals after one or two years of experience want to do an MBA because it increases the chances of a higher paying job. There are also a few who took up management as they wanted to join their family business and hence needed a formal training from an institute. And in the survey, it was also stated that there were just a few respondents who really wanted to pass out from a reputed MBA institute. But most of them wanted to get an MBA degree just from any institute. Most of them have no inclination towards management but still wanted to join a business school because they want to get an MBA degree and an attractive designation. These students actually do not have any idea on to what kind of job they would want to take up after completing their studies.
Causes for the mushroom growth of B-schools in India
- Today, in India, management education is not imparted but actually it is sold. B-schools claim that they can provide the best placements available in the market for their students and students are ready to pay heavy fees for getting admission in such institutes. The result is that most of the students who seek an MBA degree actually join an institute for the placements the B-schools provide.
- Since February 2000, 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed in the higher education under the automatic route. This is another cause of the growth of B-schools in India.
- The promise of heavy compensation packages attracted many students to pursue management degree.
- The birth of many management colleges in the country is because of the impact of the global markets.
- Many industries like information technology and manufacturing, including MNCs are setting up base or their offices in India.
- There has been increase in the demand of skilled manpower and high paying jobs.
Negative impact on education
- An MBA degree is basically an education given to people with work experience so that they can further increase their management skills. So logically seen, a student who has no work experience, will not be able to understand, analyse and resolve the challenges and issues of management in everyday life, just because he or she has passed his exams successfully and acquired his MBA. It is seen abroad, all the B-schools compulsorily require two to five years of work experience as a pre-requisite to take admission. That is to say, those with the basic interest and inclination in the job will only decide to go for that study, as guided by the experience they acquired by themselves in that job for that period. However, in India, most B-schools (including IIMs) admit approximately 50-70 per cent per cent freshers into their course every year.
- Large numbers of MBAs especially in the IT and software fields are available in India but they are forced to do the “not-so-MBA-type” jobs. This is called as “forced jobs” because in spite of an MBA degree, they are less-skilled for the lucrative and high-end jobs and are little better than those who are actually ideal to do that job and without the MBA. This is the negative impact of the high growth in B-schools and professional education all across the country.
- Although most of these schools are affiliated to the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), it does not mean that they are superior in quality. In fact, the AICTE approval has only increased the number of such institutes but not the quality in the name of higher education.
- In the long run, you will come across many students who make it through an entrance examination but cannot prove themselves in the real corporate world. This is because, only a few of them are be able to actually comprehend the real scope and purpose of an MBA degree.
- Lastly, how can we ignore the ethics and value system inculcated by these B-schools in their graduates? B-schools today mainly emphasise on results or output rather than the process to attain them. The Indian education value system proves inefficient for long-term success although it is successful for short-term glory. Students today whether from a lesser known management institute or an elite big B-school prefer a luxurious lifestyle and they prefer to opt an MBA degree that will land them a job in a high-end office with huge perks and amenities.
The desire to reach to the top of the corporate world has led graduates rush to management studies. With globalization, foreign investors have struck more and more prospective business deals in India. This has led to a demand for more management institutes and B-schools, which necessarily do not produce quality and talent. So at the end we can say that India has a large number of business schools but only a few of them qualify in terms of quality. Sad but true, even the IIMs do not come in the top educational institutes of the world considering the overall development and ethical grooming of the student. It is necessary that we inspect and monitor the quality of education provided and modify them if need be.
What can be done?
- Almost all B-schools in India claim to be the best institute, an excellent centre of education and charge huge fees. This is true for not only the private institutes or autonomous institutes or private universities, but also the State-aided or controlled B-schools (IIMs included). In most cases, the employers of many organisations are clueless and they blindly support some B-schools and pay huge salaries. It is very essential that organisations and employers should also do more research and give support to good schools by their own research. It will pay them well in the long run.
- It is time now that the Government and education authorities set strict rules and conditions for the entrance to management courses. Not only the entrance test and the group discussion should be judged but also the students’ general knowledge, aptitude, personality and ability to handle a given situation should be judged.
- Equally good trained faculty is required, who can groom the students academically and also train them to handle real life job situations. Faculty should have both teaching and industry experience.
- The Government should provide more incentives, scope for other kinds of professional education as well so that the youth get the options to make right decisions suiting their inclination.
- The mushrooming of management colleges should be considered as a serious matter by the Government as this leads to a large percentage of youth opting for management degrees, which lead to talent crunch for jobs in other professions.
- The governing councils like the University Grants Commission (UGC) and AICTE must stop providing grants and approvals to any new institutes applying for MBA course.
- The authorities must also do a proper inspection on the existing institutes providing management courses to know the quality of students and the institutes.
- It is also necessary that steps should be taken to popularise other fields which are interesting and can be good career prospects in the country. The other professional fields should also be made more lucrative and more jobs should be created in other fields too.
- Top recognized institutes should also introduce courses beyond engineering, technology and management. This will help students think of areas other than the popular courses.
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