Management studies continue to be one of the popular streams of higher education in Puducherry. This, in fact, is evident from the number of applications received every year. But limited scope for employment in Puducherry and lack of adequate awareness among students are a drawback for the course. For about 1,000 seats across five institutions in the Union Territory, management courses attract nearly 3,000 to 4,000 applicants every year. Of this, 10 to 15 per cent consists of “really good students” and the rest are “mediocre.” This is because students ought to be “good” from the school and graduate level itself, says Basheer Ahmed Khan, Dean, School of Management of the Pondicherry University.

The Department of Management Studies of the university ranks number four among business schools in government institutions, he says, adding that the School of Management Studies offers MBA programmes in the following areas: General, Banking Technology, Tourism Management, International Business and Insurance Management.

MBA programmes are offered in four affiliated colleges in Puducherry: Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Christ College of Engineering and Technology and Regency Institute of Technology at Yanam.

What is expected of students? Professor Khan explains, “The key requirement in students is the aptitude for an MBA type of education, intellectual attainment, communication skills and analytical ability. The university has good faculty and facilities in place. What we expect are good students.” Students of MBA say there is no adequate exposure for interaction with business leaders or changing management practices. “Management education should be research-based, experimental and nurturing. Students with the help of professors should do real-time projects. More importance should be given to conceptual clarity, problem-solving and inter personal skills,” observes a student. With job opportunities being limited in Puducherry, experts insist that students should look out for employment outside. “The course receives students from different parts of the country and many get absorbed in companies outside Puducherry. Considering the situation in Puducherry, about 20 per cent of the management students are not placed,” says Professor Khan.