Monday, February 07, 2005

IIMs set to increase the number of seats – Boon or bane?

The article (link below) confirms the speculation that IIMs are increasing the number of seats. It’s kind of surprising to all of us that even IIMs A, B, C and L are increasing the seats since all were speculating an increase only from IIMI and IIMK. But then, no one disagrees with the fact that IIMs are known for throwing surprises.  Most of the increase seems to be in the courses other than the regular 2 year PGP course, but IIMs K, L and B are increasing PGP seats as well. In all possibilities, IIMI would follow with an increase in a couple of years. id=13664251&headline=IIMs~to~st

This must be some news for PGP aspirants since an increase of 100 to 200 is enormous, and a lot of the candidates in the borderline who had lost hopes would get benefited. And, more importantly, the conversion of CAT to an IIM seat is becoming easier by the day, particularly from 1995 levels after the heavy focus on IIMs. The other advantage is the increase in the pool of IIM graduates for the corporates. I guess the seat increase would continue till all IIMs have equal number of seats since the total seats in IIMs – which is hovering around 1200 now – is far less compared to the IIT pool. Ofcourse, Engineering education by itself provides lot more streams that cannot be matched by Management in variety.

The interesting part of the story is whether such a rapid increase is good for the respective institutes and for the larger interest of the IIM community. One major concern is the quality of offers that IIM graduates would get on graduation. In simpler terms, there seems to be a lot of difference (placements wise) between the students who are in the top 10 percentile from ones in the bottom ten. For example, while the top 10 percentile students (particularly in A, B and C) might get into Investment banks, the last ten percent can’t possibly dream of such stuff. Considering the fact that there is a limit in such high end offers (atleast in the short run), the increase in the seats would further augment this divide, and the competition would increase multifold since not many would want to be in the lower rung in the batch. This could have a direct impact on the extra-curricular activities and other interests. For example, with my little experience, I could note that students would normally fall into two broad categories: One category is those who make sure that they don’t miss a single thing academics-wise, and others who participate a lot in other activities – which could include sports, clubs, functions etc. Ofcourse there are some who do both and achieve both. But if the batch size increases and if there is a huge difference in placements between the top 10 and bottom 10, students would easily attribute it to academics and hence would stop concentrating on other interests, which *might* not be good in the long run to the institute and the students. Excessive competition isn’t that healthy! 

Other B-schools might also get affected since the top sect tend choose IIMs before the rest. All said and done, it would be interesting to see the developments that await us.


At Tuesday, February 08, 2005 10:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi govar,
You said that the top 10 in IIMs would be constantly getting plum jobs eventhough the total strength changes from 200 to 300 thereby creating more only 'academic' guys...But again these criteria for companies change every year.So we cannot predict how many each would recruit.Sometimes they have a certain benchmark(including academics) and if one satisifies that they may hire them. Otherwise it would be a case where they just have 'x' openings coming up and they hire only 'x'. So assuming 'fixed' jobs I think is not the right way. Moreover I feel most of the guys do extra-curricular just because they feel its a part of them. Someone may be a quizzer even if it is a 10 student school or 1000 student school. it is their personality and some interests are really hard to stop. Im pretty sure all the intelligent brains in IIM's have the capability to mix both acads and non-acads. I stronlgy feel a growing economy like ours need more managers and IIM's and a few top schools are the only b-schools currently having the reputation to produce top managers. Let them produce 'more' managers to fuel our country's growth until more b-schools build up their reputation and a few decades down the line we would be like US having like 50 top b-schools(Including the 6 IIM's)


At Tuesday, February 08, 2005 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

Your point that we need for managers from IIMs and our country deserving it etc is well taken. But some problems like extra curriculars hold too. You could see the difference if the load is high and the pressure is high. Guys play, quiz and chill out when the load is less, but when there is a lot to study and competition peaaks up, there won't be anyone around. Even if one or two are interested - in say Quiz - I've personally witnessed zero support to activities when load and competition is peaking. Anyway, looking at the bright part, we should slowly move towards high numbers.

At Wednesday, February 09, 2005 8:10:00 AM, Blogger Rohit Anand said...

me not complaining about the increase in seats :P
am just happy that its easier to convert the calls now

At Wednesday, February 09, 2005 10:48:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

he he. Perfectly understandable. :)

At Wednesday, February 09, 2005 12:49:00 PM, Blogger Vagabond said...

IIMs are the best in the india, so this should have been done earlier. In a country of 1 million+ , number of seats and quality factors should be reviewed every two years...

At Wednesday, February 09, 2005 6:56:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Once in a couple of years sounds like too much - particularly for established IIMs. 300 is a very decent number for an institute in India, and that's why most of the B-schools limit themselves within this number. beyong this, the increaes should be very gradual and should have a strong reason... this is what I believe.

At Thursday, February 10, 2005 5:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Increasing seats because of a large population is stupid! Spoken like a typical chappie who thinks that the MBA is the only ticket to success. And that the MBA is nothing other than a ticket to the good life. get a life!

Increasing the intake places a tremendous load on the institute. To maintain the fac-student ratio, there will be a need for more profs. Quality becomes an issue. Individual attention crashes.

There's also more pressure to improve GPA to have a good shot at placements. Extra-crurrics outta the window. Finally, there is a higher number of students who are dropped.

There's not a SINGLE positive. I am praying L does not increase intake. Any sensible person will know why.

Govar, you asked me not to be anonymous. Well, I am John Doe.


At Thursday, February 10, 2005 6:41:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Hmm. John Doe, I guess I know who you are. :)

Anyway, you aree taking a strong side that there is no single advantage in increasing seats. But we gotta forget abt the 'management of institute' kind of problems and see the bigger picture. Surely, I guess IIMs can hold 300 odd people, and 1200 to 1500 students from IIMs is peanuts for a country like ours!

At Thursday, February 10, 2005 8:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Govar, you say there is no point looking at the "management of institute" problem. But there is! At a time when the IIMs are trying to improve quality and are still having a tough time of it, increasing student intake will be crippling. Faculty of the highest level is not too easy to get at the salary levels that even the IIMs offer. As for consulting money that the faculty make and research etc., let's be realistic. The best faculty will always have MUCH better offers elsewhere!

You cannot afford to overlook these issues. Overlook them now and the IIMs lose quality and will descend to being just as ordinary as the B-school around the corner of the paan-shop in Patna (no reference intended and no offence meant. Just stating a point.)....this is a process that should not just be implemeted at the whims and fancies of a populist government. It would be criminal and would end up screwing up, just like all other populist policies do.....

At Thursday, February 10, 2005 8:34:00 PM, Blogger Darth Midnightmare said...

One more thing. When you talk of the bigger picture, what is the bigger picture? Quantity or quality? It's easy to answer for me. IIMs exist with the aim of being "centers of excellence", not with the aims of existence of a government primary school that exists to provide education to as many as possible.

JD (the prev post was also me)

PS: May sound harsh to aspirants. But think of it this way. Would you want to enter an IIM, if it was the same quality as the B-school next to your house?

At Thursday, February 10, 2005 10:22:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Oh C'mon! You think increasing the seats from 1000 to 1500 may make IIMs 'next door' institutes. Naa. I agree that there are a lot of problems with management, faculty et all, but I guess it's all 'curable' ones. If IIT's, being the institutes they are, can take like 4000 people and manage with them with good quality (atleast IITs KGP, Bbay, Chennai and Delhi), IIMs can certainly manage with 1500 people. But then, yes, Rome can't be built in a day!

At Monday, April 03, 2006 4:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am planning to give CAT this year. How many seats are there in IIM Indore this year



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