Focus on increasing intake of international students, women, non-engineers

Traditionally blamed for their lack of diversity, India’s premier business schools, the Indian Institutes of Management are making conscious strides to improve representation of non-engineers and women in their new batches for their flagship management programmes this year.

Interestingly, in its admission process this year, the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) has included the diversity factor with a weight of 5 given to diversity in discipline and gender, out of the overall weightage of 50.

“Diversity of perspectives contribute greatly to the discussion-based learning that we employ at IIM-A. Having a broader mix of participants without compromising on quality will enrich the academic experience of the students even further,” observed Prof Ashish Nanda, Director of the institute. The institute has made some changes in the recruitment and admissions process too, for the 2014-16 batch this year. The changes in admission process were brought in both the stages of applying — Common Admission Test (CAT) scores as well as performance in the Written Analysis and Personal Interview stages.

Historically, a weighted average of CAT scores and prior academic performance was used to generate a merit list of candidates invited for Written Analysis and Personal Interview at IIM-A. This year, the institute has included CAT toppers (top 50 or 1 per cent of candidates from the academic stream, whichever was lower) from five broad academic classifications to arrive at the set of candidates invited for Written Analysis and Personal Interview.

“Partly as a result of these changes, and partly with greater recruiting effort by IIM-A in non-traditional areas, non-engineers constitute 11 per cent of the students to whom offers have been made this year, compared to 5 per cent or less of the entering classes being non-engineers in each of the past three years,” said the institute. Also, 28 per cent of the offers, a record high, have been made to women applicants, compared to women constituting 11 per cent to 22 per cent of the entering classes in the past three years.

Going global

IIM-Bangalore (IIM-B) is focusing on increasing its international students and faculty. The institute gets 100 international students, of different academic background and gender on campus every year. The international students team up with the IIM-B students for projects.

“ IIM-B students will participate in Global Networks – where students from different schools and different countries come together and have classes together,” said Devanath Tirupati, Director in-charge & Dean (Academic), IIM-B.

IIM-Kozhikode too is planning to improve the overall diversity in its new 2014-2016 batch. Incidentally, in last year’s batch, IIM-K inducted 50 per cent more women (196) in its total batch size of 361 students and 33 per cent more non-engineers (56).

Classes from June-end

The institutes are expecting final acceptances from students until May 16 and the classes for the new batch are expected to start from June end.

IIM-Calcutta too has made changes in its admission procedure to promote diversity in the new batch. The institute allocates 3 points for female candidates to ensure gender diversity before the personal interview stage and 2 points are allocated for non-engineering bachelors degree. After the personal interview stage, one point is awarded to candidates whose post-graduation (Masters) degree is in a non-engineering field.

(This article was published on May 13, 2014)
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