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IIM-Ahmedabad controversy over changing of historical logo

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. File

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. File | Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

The country’s top B-School, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IM-A), finds itself in a major controversy over the management’s decision to change its historical logo, a move fiercely opposed by the past and present faculty members. 

The top governing body of the institute has decided to replace its existing iconic logo with two new logos, each for domestic and international audience. 

The existing logo adopted in 1961 when the institute was set up consists of a motif inspired by an exquisite carved stone latticework ‘jaali’ in the 16th century, the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, popularly known as Sidi Saiyyid ni Jali locally, built in 1572-73 AD in Gujarat.

The logo also includes a Sanskrit verse ‘Vidya viniyogadvikasa‘ meaning development through the distribution or application of knowledge. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, regarded as the pioneer of India’s space programme, had selected the logo as a key architect of the premier business management school in the city. 

Recently, a letter signed by over 40 faculty members raised the issue of the change of logo contending that the management did not hold any consultation with the faculty members regarding the change. 

In the letter addressed to the IIMA board of governor chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, the faculty members contended that the move to change the logo would have “far-reaching implications and long-term consequences” for the top management school with global reputation. 

The IIMA board approved the proposal to replace the present logo with two new logos in a recent meeting as per the letter signed by the faculty members. 

In the new logos, the impression of the mosque’s grille is present, however, it is less prominent. While the Sanskrit shloka is only there in the international logo.

In the letter, the members have stated that the present logo provided the identity of the institute. “The logo is our identity – the ‘jaali’ and the Sanskrit verse define us and our Indian ethos. For us, it is a symbol of our Indianness, our connect with “vidya”, our link to the Institute.”

Former IIMA director Bakul Dholakia also slammed the move, asking that how it could have been even considered when it did not come from the academic council of the institute. 

According to him, the move “defies logic and reason” and will lead to dilute the strong brand of IIMA. 

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Printable version | Jun 9, 2022 10:24:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/iima-controversy-over-changing-of-historical-logo/article65280587.ece