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Updated: December 20, 2012 03:31 IST

From classroom to market

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Academic rigour: But not ready for the market. Photo: G.R.N. Somashekar
The Hindu
Academic rigour: But not ready for the market. Photo: G.R.N. Somashekar

The human resource pool churned out by business management schools is often inadequate and ill equipped to fill market requirements

There has been an upsurge in professional educational institutions in the past few decades in India. Management training schools have mushroomed at a pace — leaving a widening gap between the demands and challenges placed by and in the market and the supply chain generated out of these institutions of expert management practices. This was a common observation by many panellists at a recent discussion organised at the All India Management Association.

Education and employability had often been treated as disparate principles. Therefore, the need to train students in the art of management became stark and allowed the proliferation of these centres of professional learning. But the theories learnt in classrooms and strategies and practices employed in the real life are markedly different. Hence, the human resource pool churned out of these centres has often been inadequate and ill equipped to fill the requirements — perpetrating a trend of learning, unlearning and then relearning principles to cater to the markets.

There is an inevitable requirement of management educational institutions to have programs, courses and logistic support to train the students in the practices and rigors of ethical business behaviour. This observation has led to the growing sensitivity towards concepts like Corporate Social Responsibility.

A few prominent management schools in India have already designed their syllabi to cater to this lack of social sensitisation at the moment. Compulsory enrolment of students in activities that make them interact with realities at the margins of development as part of their formal training in management; introduction of supplementary and integrated courses along the lines of social sensitisation are some ways in which they endeavour to make their students socially responsible as professionals.

Dr. Prafulla Agnihotri, director at IIM, Tiruchirappalli, pointed out, “The output of academia is the input of industry.” He highlighted the need to involve the industries at every level of business education — engaging industry experts right from the beginning in the selection process of students to designing the curriculum to acting as advisory units in conducting joint research and programs and finally recruiting them to employ their skills in the market.

Dr. Debasis Sanyal, dean of SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, added that a diverse pool of nationalities and identities need to be roped in to cater to the multidimensional challenges posed by market situations.

A.C. Chaturvedi, director of Power Management Institute, asserted that by 2022 there would be a global demand of eight million “globally sophisticated general managers” to address the shifting and enormous demands of the market. For this, he suggested the need to develop cognitive, behavioural and functional skills among the students and also the merging of innovation, adaptability and creativity. Industry experts and academicians unequivocally feel the need to bridge this burgeoning gap between market situations and the academic rigour of business education.

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