Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, IMT Ghaziabad, in conversation with Ashish Jha, stresses on the importance of transparency in student selection

Published: Career360 | Date :  November, 2016

Atish ChattopadhyayQ. What is your observation on the quality and direction of India’s management education?

A. As Indian management institutes have started benchmarking themselves with international- level institutes the concern for quality further went up, at least in top institutes. Till a few years back, there were hardly any institutes that were thinking of international accreditation in India. Today, there are five, including IMT Ghaziabad, accredited by AACSB and there are a few others that are accredited by other international accrediting agencies like EQUIS. I am certain that in the next five years at least 15 institutes in India will be AACSB accredited and at least 20 institutes will have either an AACSB or an EQUIS accreditation. So the quality of management education in India is reasonably in sync with international standards.

Q. Where is the scope for improvement?
A. There is scope for improvement in terms of achieving scale while maintaining quality. In India you cannot ignore scale. So how do you do that? Technology, probably is the answer! India has always found indigenous solutions to its challenges.

Q. Do you think IIMs should release question papers and answer keys to bring higher level of transparency in CAT?
A. It is surprising that it has not happened till date. Take the example of pre-medical examination – NEET. The exam authority receives more than 6 lakh applications and every student can do an OMR check, know what the right answers are, and challenge each of the answers, then the answer keys are frozen before the announcement of results. So it is nothing new in India. Even in the AIIMS exam the same thing happens which is similar in scale to that of IIMs. This is something which has not happened and should have happened long back. If it does not then people more often doubt the process. There was so much of hoopla regarding this when I was at MICA and we changed the selection process. We made everything very-very transparent. Transparency today is not an option!

Q. How do you prepare your students for placement process?
A. Placement is only an outcome of what we do; from the process of selection, the way we plan our programme, the curriculum, the pedagogy and the student engagement. However, we are one of the few schools that conduct a personal growth lab right in the very beginning, where the students know what their strengths and weaknesses are and the areas they should work on, depending upon the chosen career track. Students work on their professional development plan which is then guided by the Professional Development Cell. Idea is that each student goes through a structured process where he or she understands his/her strengths and weaknesses, match their strengths with their career goals and the areas to improve upon and there is individual coaching as and when needed.

Q. What about alumni involvement?
A. Alumni are actively involved whether it is entrepreneurship or programme development or curriculum review or course development. They play a very vital role in strategic issues as well as operational matters. This engagement is going to become even more active in the future.

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