Monday, September 12, 2005

Confirmed! Next IIM in the Shillong

The Express India article confirmed the erstwhile unconfirmed reports that the next IIM would be in the North East.

The confirmation comes as a real surprise since it is kind of unbelievable that such a remote place would be the best available place for an institution like the IIM, when globally established cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh etc have neither an IIM nor an IIT.

The report says that Meghalaya beats Assam in getting the IIM, which gives a feeling that a lot of political pressure has went behind such a decision. One of the frequent arguments regarding the decision is to achieve ‘national balance’ and to ‘develop North East’, which, on the face of it, sounds downright ridiculous.

How would an IIM help achieving national balance? I would agree to the fact that an ideal institution would help in development of the area, but it’s always two ways. For example, we suspect that the main idea behind setting up an IIM at Indore is to help the SEZ near Indore, despite the fact that Indore is pretty badly connected to most parts of the country. This seems to be an okayish decision since we do interact a lot with the companies in the SEZ region. But then, there are a lot of things where big cities always score over.

Plus, it’s a known fact that students who come into IIMs are mostly from metros and big cities all over the country, and would love to settle in those kinds of places again. This again is the sentiment felt by corporates who feel students from IIMs are not 'made for rough and tough rural kind of work'.

The problems I see:

1) Inaccessibility: How would students commute to such a place? Not everyone could afford an air ticket all the time. What would students do in the free time? As far as my experience goes, the student profile would be more than happy to have the regular 'chillouts' such as parties, pubs, outings, cafes, good restaurants etc. What would students do to commute home during holidays? We get something like 7 days once every 4 months!

2) Industry: What would students do for interacting with the industry through projects, consultancy etc? And guest lectures?

3) Faculty: Why would top-notch faculty want to stay permanently in such places? They would definitely be more worried about the education of their kids, exposure etc. And pulling in visiting faculty is a very tough and costly affair.

4) Placements: I’ve heard that even age-old and established institutions frequently commute to nearby metros for interacting with corporates, particularly if air connectivity is an issue.

5) Foriegn exchange: All the IIMs have foriegn students coming from top notch international B-schools. For them again, places like Bangalore etc would definitely be more preferable due to their cosmopolitan nature.

Taking more practical examples, one of the foremost reasons why IIM-B is considered better my many when compared to IIM-C despite having started late is because of the software industry backing it has, and the fact that Bangalore is one of the most happening destinations in the world, let alone India. Considering this, such a decision would perpetually put an IIM behind some of the non-IIMs, which would be damage to the ‘IIM’ brand in itself.

I just hope that more thoughts went into the decision rather than just being political. This decision certainly beats me. I, for one, would certainly be looking for some rationale, apart from the news that Meghalaya won over Assam!

Update 1:

I think this post triggered a lot of sentiments, particularly folks from NE. Some of the opinions voiced are very valid, while some are just offshoots of sentimental attachment one has. I'd deliberate my opinions once more on this.

1) I never argued that Indore, Kozhikode etc are the best places for IIMs. I would NOT stand behind Indore just because I'm studying here. So please don't make it a comparison-based OR 'my daddy strongest' routine. I'd stick to my stand that Hyderabad or Chandigarh would be much better options than Shillong, or for that matter Indore or Kozhikode - if it's going to make anyone feel better.

The larger question is: Is Shillong the best place? Please do not compare it with any exisiting locations.

2) I would, however, take back part of point (1) of my initial post. I haven't been to Shillong, but from the voices here, it appears that Shillong seems to have a good dose of 'chillout options'. Taken! But I still am looking for answers for inaccessibility issues, which is a much bigger problem. Air travel isn't for everyone. My friends here from NE almost never go home due to the time it takes. When almost 75-80% of the batch comes from up-North, far West and deep-South, isn't inaccessibility a valid concern? Engineering is very, very different from a 2-year stint at B-school. And demographics are very different. A comparison with IIT Guhawati is not really applicable.

3) Industry: Discussing about Shillong, I don't see why people are harping on non-availability of industry in Kozhikode etc? My point was that industry interaction would be a problem in Shillong. I stick to it. We often run out of companies to survey upon for the projects, even here in Indore which has a rather flourishing SEZ.

4) Faculty and related stuff: It's still a concern. Maybe their kids would get good education; maybe the location would be heaven, or its nearest cousin. I can't help but bring up the usual complaint: Whenever a fest is organized, cities like Bangalore or Mumbai always get more share of participation from industry experts, corporate big-wigs etc. Wonder why? And faculty would ideally build up their profile working on consultancy projects with nearby companies. In simple terms - more interaction with nearby corporates, industry experts etc would be the only way faculty build their resume and value - not just by teaching for a long time.

5) Foreign exchange programs: I'm taking back my views on this. I agree that foreign students come here for the India experience. If readers feel that Shillong would provide that - fair enough, I'm ready to take it.

Last word: Maybe my impression of Shillong would change if I get to visit the place. But for now, given the information/perception I have, I stick to my views. I'd still like to hear from folks who know more.

A note to those anonymous folks: I would not respond to people who remain faceless.


At Monday, September 12, 2005 12:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Monday, September 12, 2005 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...


At Monday, September 12, 2005 12:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Dave Jackson, Naples, FL

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 4:27:00 AM, Blogger Chandra said...

Hey... gud 2 find that u posting regularly again...n appreciate the analysis that goes into most of them.....n as always...cudn't agree more with u abt this issue too...

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can never understand the logic of saying that an IIT or IIM will help in that region's developement....apart from providing some employement to the locals and a few consultancy projects for SMEs in that area, i dont see any contribution from these instis to the local company sets up their office or plant just becoz an IIT or IIM is their in the area...

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'there' instead of 'their' :)

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Chandra: Thx!

@Abhishek: Exactly my points. Whatever makes them think that wayy!

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah da machan.. too much.. rascals are politcising everything.. what the hell.. next they will start an iim in rann of kutch , then one in sunderbans.. all coz these areas are underdeveloped.. sucks major time da


At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 9:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came here from DesiPundit.

I guess an IIM at Shillong would help motivate a lot of people from the region to compete and get into it, thereby giving them access to a better life, and benefit the region in the long run (more the business-savvy folks from the region, more would be the investments that flow into it). In fact you may be in a better position to verify this theory, from your present campus life. Any statistics on the % of students in your campus who are from the region? (i.e, Central India).

I'm not sure if the IIM brand image would be lost just because it is located in a not-so-happening place. That way, IIT should have lost it, coz you have IIT's in places like Kharagpur, Guwahati, Roorkee etc.

At Tuesday, September 13, 2005 9:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Govar, this is Ritika Sachdeva from Lady Shriram College. I wanted to have your contact email address (preferably your IIM official one). We girls at LSR, Delhi are coming out with a new magazine oriented towards management and wanted to have your contribution (either one article or if you are comfortable, a regular column). This magazine has got the sponsored support of three of the ivy league universities. It'll be a refereed magazine also in some months to come. Currently the magazine is slated to be a monthly to be starting from October. If you are interested, I can send you the remuneration details alongwith section guidelines. But then again, only if you are interested. My email address is
Thanks and regards,

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 7:13:00 AM, Blogger Subrahmanyam KVJ said...

Hmm..@ the risk of sounding contrarian, is it all abt brand/image/recruiter's perception/et al??....I mean...Why don't ppl take it as a step from the Govt towards reaching out to the hitherto neglected areas..And committing such brands as IIMs/IITs which have a LOT of respect is, imho, a sure way of proving (less achieving) their commitment...And yea, I don't buy the theory of brand dilution of IIMs...Isn't each B-school a separate entity?? Why try to exist off one-another !! And @ eod, no one forces an aspirant to take a seat there, right ?? ;)

ps:Apologies in case I came across as rude..But this thing has been going across too many places now!!

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

@Anonymous: The number of students coming from NE is just 23 out of 120. And most of them have education from the elike of RECs. Its an idealistic thing to say that they would get motivation et all, but realistically speaking I don't really see how a presence of IIMs in that region would enhance their spirits. Brand image is especially impoprtant in the case of IIMs coz of the foriegn exchange programs and the possibility of international placements, plus the emphasis on the guest lectures.

@Rithika: WOuld contact u asap...

@Subbu: That wasnt rude. :) IIM would be seen as a contribution of Govt to those areas, agreed, but it stops there. The purpose of settting an IIM would be achieved if they are in accessible areas and is in the 'preference' listt of students.

And exactly my point. CHoosing the indiv IIMs is students discretion and thats why it can fallback if students dont prefer.

net-net, all Im tryinig to say is an IIM at Hyderabad or Chandigarh or Pune would be much better than at Shillong.

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Govar said...

Errata: The number of students coming from NE is just 2/3 and not 23 asa mentioned in the previous popst.

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Govar, my question to you was pertaining to IIM-Indore and the % of its students from the region where it is located i.e. Central India (MP, Chattisgarh, Vidharba region of Maha.) . If you have a decent pertcentage like 25 or upward, then I would say it has served the purpose of locating it in a 'not-so-happening' Indore. My guess is that same would be the case if there were to be an IIM in Shillong.

It's not just 'enhancement of spirits' but the fact that a facility is located right in their backyard, which would prompt many to compete, who may not be currently doing so, for the fear of going to far off locations to pursue their higher education.

The 'same' anonymous ;)

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:50:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Same anonymous:

You mean MP and surrounding areas? We have none from Indore, and a total for 3/4 from MP, zero from Chattisg. Around 4 from Bihar/Jharkand. The IIM batch strength is most of the time skewed heavily towards metros and surrounding areas. Our batch: 30 from delhi, 10 to 15 each from other 3 metros and Bangalore. Some 15 others from AP/TN, 15 from UP/Punj/haryana. Yes, things are that skewed, and it will be for a good time in future primarily due too the stress on English skills in these areas compared to the rest.

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go, I think a IIM in NE would be a good idea. We already have ISB @ Hyderabad and GLIM will soon 'shine' in Chennai.. The three most important factors that give the edge to IIMs are 1) Quality of students 2) Brand Name 3) Teaching staff.
I think good students will definitely come to a IIM irrespective of the place. The brand name is already inherent. There must be lot of profs who would love to stay in a beautiful place like shillong for a few years . Or IIMs can come up with the plan for rotating its staff with the new IIM atleast for a few years.

NE has been a largely neglected region since independence. Also it provides the students with a better prespective of the region and hence opportunities for entrepreneurship.

With the cost of flying coming down, transportation should it be a big problem.

And lastly, generating jobs in the region will go a long way in reducing the number of youngsters flocking towards terrorism.

At Wednesday, September 14, 2005 4:08:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Mukesh: Whatever u've said is quite idealistic. We'll dissect each of them and see them practically:

IIMs are made of much more stuff: Number and quality of companies visiting, guest lectures, consultancy and educational projects, visiting faculty, foriegn exchange programs, seminars etc. For all this, accessibility is one of the most important criteria. For exammple, its an extremely simple thing for IIMB to ccall some hotshot from Wipro/Oracle/IBM to the campus, but its a different thing even for Indore.

2: Students would NOT come if the location doesnt provide any benifits. Given an equally rated college in a different city, they'd go there. Pubs, restaurants, hangouts etc mean A LOT to students.

3: Air tickets are coming down, but thats mostly between established tier-2 cities and metros.

I can't buy in to the argument that IIM would provide jobs that would make an economic difference and stop people from going into say terrorism.

And cities like Indore/Kozhikode have been and are sending around 2/3 students. A presence of an IIM hasn't been that much of a motivation.

Again, Im not against those regions. Its just that given the options, Shillong is certainly not THE BEST place.

At Saturday, September 17, 2005 12:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha! IIM shillong will give a bad name to the other iims? well if you think abt it this way then let me point out that IIM I gives a bad name to the big three!!! he he ha ha ha!
you are not in IIM A dude.
apni aukat mein reh!

At Saturday, September 17, 2005 1:41:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...


If yoy say sth, you gotto do two things: 1) have guts to reveal your name, identity and 2) backup with complete facts. Otherwise, your words don't exist.

And like I said, we never argue that Indore is one of the best places for an IIM, but we aren't much affected by that since its a big city and very close and connecte dto delhi and bombay.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 9:58:00 AM, Blogger Arunkumar said...

I really enjoy your blogs da. Lots of facts coupled with your lots of analysis makes a good read and a useful one too.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 6:44:00 PM, Blogger abhinav suresh said...

hey thats a lot of info and data that u have there/ nice piece of work...

At Monday, September 19, 2005 8:24:00 PM, Blogger Chandra said...

posts!!...want more regular posts!!

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes GO.. Definitely, Shillong is not the best place. But I think Government of India should be thinking in terms of what is good for a region.

Or else, IIMK shud have been in Chennai. IIML @ Delhi and IIMI @ Mumbai or Pune. :-)

Mr. Anonymous, what are your credentials.. U from IIM A. :-)

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:43:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Thanks Arun and Abhishek!

@Chandra: Deep into some games.. :) updates will hopefully be proper fromm now on...

@Mukesh: LOL! I dont think he's from IIMA. He would've give out the credentials otherwise!

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 11:52:00 AM, Blogger Jammy said...

Have you thought on the lines of why an IIM was started in Indore? Please don't say industry interaction as you know how many guys aspire to join one of those lala manufacturing companies in Indore.

At Friday, September 30, 2005 5:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where you heard that XLRI comes down to calcutta to meet Recruiters?

At Friday, September 30, 2005 5:51:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Aa friend of mine, batch of 2005, XLRI. I wont disclose the name as long as you remain anonymous. As far as I remember he tolme that XLRI came down so that they could meet some foreign companies. That really doesnt matter. The point I was trying to make is simple: why would anyone want to choose a remote plpace when other good destinations are easily available.

At Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to see to worried abt the condition of education in ur country. don't you think it'll be better if GOI stops spending so much money on educating a bunch of IITians and IIMites who run away frm the country anyway and instead focus on primary education. that way the govt. does not need to run any of these institutions. Sad to see that you are so prejudiced against one region of the country. khozikode and indore are worse locations than shillong.

At Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:21:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

All anonymous folks out there:

I gave 'objective' reasons why Shillong isnt the best place around. I cant emphasize enough that I have nothing against any region. So dont be 'subjective' passing judgements. If you have arguments, Im game.

At Monday, December 26, 2005 9:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice on ur part to giv info about IIM shillong. however i would lik to clarify that shillong may be remote but it has some of the top notch educational institutes in setting up of an IIM there will be yet another pearl added to the necklace.

At Friday, December 30, 2005 3:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Govar ...just pondering over google..n came across ur blog and the subsequent topic of an IIM in Shillong...and ur arguments against it..well me along with few other frnds from XLRI went for a trip to shillong and cherpunji. we stayed there for close to a week and many of our misgivings and wrong impressions about that place being under-developed and not being well connected turned out to be not correct. I do not agree with your contention that an IIM and IIT does not really help to build a region or contribute towards its long term development. most of ur arguments were mostly short term in nature and focusing more on operational issues.. fare enough ..but i guess u gotta think of the long term mandate ..of any educational institutes of this is not to dole out fancy jobs to people who manage to get in there ...they also aim to let people get inspired ..n be up for a this case i m talking of North East..i have seen this strange phenomenon of people from central, northern india treating North East as something of an over-shoot of greater indian geography which they some how hav to bear with ...n the same feeling among the youth of north east who dont really identify themselves with the country India as a whole. All these north eastern states do contribute to the tax-revenue jus like we do and has every right to claim an educational institute in their region jus like we do..talking about more "practical points" that u raised


Shillong has an airport and with low cost airline serving this regions u can get air tickets as low as 3A/C train fare..given the kind of fixed schedules Bschools have u can plan ur travel details well in advance there by ensuring the apex fare or the low price of low cost airlines. It takes 3 hrs from Gwahati to Shillong by road so we can also get a flight till gwahati n thn take the 3hrs journey from there.
i m nt quite sure wht u meant by "As far as my experience goes, the student profile would be more than happy to have the regular 'chillouts' such as parties, pubs, outings, cafes, good restaurants etc." ..if u meant that shillong has no such happening places like pub,disc and reastaurents then i will request u to make a short trip to shilliong and see wht it is like has all the modern amenities, pubs and a very hip social under-current influenced mostly by western fashions and music. the youth of Shillong are one of the most hip and upmarket that i have seen so far. n given its night life u dont have to bother about having fun quotient there


I dont know how many IIMs or FMS and XLRI truely has industry interaction in its truest sense. All that we get in-terms of industry experience is talks by visiting dignitaries from various industries..either in a conference or as a guest faculty. my home-town is Calcutta and I dont think IIMC in its present avtar has a great deal of interaction with industries from West Bengal. most of the guest faculties are anyway out-station guests who come by flight stay for two weeks at a stretch in the insti guest house take two or three classes a day and finish the course in 2 weeks !! all the institutes are following the same system. If we are all ok with it then i dont understand why the same cant happen for Shillong !!


You see based on my experience most of the experienced faculty are of an age where their kids are already grown up and established in life some way or the other. given the kind of pollution free cool weather and easy pace of life Shillong has to offer they will be more than willing to come here and spent rest of their life here..:) ...n talking of young turk profs ..their kids need good school? then Shillong has some of the best missionary schools of india with a great history and tradition to back its School level education. It also has quite a few Army Central School given it is the head quarter of Eastern Air Command and one other major Regiment whose name i forgot. It also has very good medical facility ...this I am saying from a personal exp.


i guess I already talked about the air connectivity issue so i m not repeating the same here.

Foreign exchange: I dont really buy ur argument that foreign students really look for the most "happening" place when they chose a school. I guess they anyway live a more "happening life" then most of us. i have interacted with few of them ...n for them the whole "india" thing is an experience n whether it is shillong or some other cities does not matter as long as they get some valuable inputs in-terms of learning and culture of the country.....

At Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the student-industry interaction,IIM shillong might have some problems. But, come on man Shillong ain't some Timbuktu.For a guy who has done all his schooling from a boarding school in Shillong, all this talk about connectivity and lack of academic facilities and "exposure" for the kids of the Profs, sounds hilarious.
Regarding connectivity -- it is just a two and a half hour drive from Guwahati.
Regarding the academic scene -- Well Shillong has got some of the best Missionary schools.Remember - Shillong was set up by the Britishers and it was the erstwhile capital of Assam. And we have quite a few Anglos settled out there.
Regarding the chillout factor -- Shillong is the rock-heaven of the east. Well at least I haven't heard of Firehouse, MLTR or other bands coming to Indore,Ahmedabad or Kozhikode.
But, off course the industry and militancy scenario may be a put-down.
Well, m waiting for ur reply

At Tuesday, January 24, 2006 1:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these "EXPERT ANALYSIS" about Shillong being "inaccessible" and missing in "chill-outs" sounds ridiculous.
Mr. Govar did you ever visit Shillong before putting up your blogs.
Well, during my engineering(I am from an REC mind you) I met guys from AP,MP,UP,BIHAR,RAJASTHAN who couldn't complete a sentence in English -- I don't blame them, they were from the vernacular medium. Now, I would like you to visit Shillong or even the whole of Meghalaya and find me one school ... (yup only one would do), the medium where isn't English.
And if you say that setting up an IIM in Shillong is all -- political manoeuvring -- then I say why not. If it weren't so, then Patna might be having the next IIM (well it did get a State Engineering College converted into an NIT(or REC) as soon Jamshedpur went to Jharkhand).
As far as your concerns for students' regular chill-outs, I guess studying management(from IIM's I mean) isn't like engineering(even if you were from IIT) where the only pre-occupying thing is masti.And even if chill-out factor was a concern, be assured that Shillong hasn't any dearth of them.
And yes having an IIM in Shillong would definitely change the scene quite a lot there.IIT-G does inspire the Guwahati school kids when they visit ALCHERINGA - the college fest.
And I don't buy your arguement about the industrial-institution interaction. And even if it were so, then I would like the updates of industrial/economic scene of Calcutta ,Indore and Kozhikode.

At Friday, February 03, 2006 1:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

govar i guess prithvi's post must have cleared all ur confusion about shillong.if not well i'm at ur service :)

well nice post but yes a bit more research abt the region cud have been useful.
i totally agree with prithvi that " its a strange phenomenon of people from central, northern india treating North East as something of an over-shoot of greater indian geography which they some how hav to bear with ...n the same feeling among the youth of north east who dont really identify themselves with the country India as a whole."

beleive me i have lived with all these prejudices and yes i dont know how many people from the north east will be motivated by IIMs but i do know that in my town tura in meghalaya, me getting into IIMK did indeed motivate people to atleast walk upto me and inquire about future prospects after an MBA degree.
yes it did make a difference.

---- btw some of the anonymous comments were worth pondering on

At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 5:10:00 PM, Blogger Sabya said...

Govar, it just goes to show how little people know about the northeast. At least I would have liked to see educated people not make such ill-informed comments about Shillong!! I am sure when the IIMs were set up at the other locations, they were not such great industrial/economic regions. The students from the North-East study all over the country. I am sure people who are interested in the course will travel to Shillong too. In the end, I hope at least the opening of such institutes will at least make people more knowledgeable about the northeast and remove their prejudices about the region!!

At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 5:20:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

I just don't understand.

What was 'ill-informed' comments? I put forward clear arguments - objective, as I'd like to say - about the pros and cons. My argument was that Shillong isnt the best place. Why is everyone taking it as something against the whole of NE? I would've probably said similar stuff if it had been proposed in say Madurai down south or Bikaner in NW. I've even updated a few of my earlier points based on the feedback.

If you have any *points* to discuss, please do. Just giving views without backing up is null and void.

At Friday, February 24, 2006 3:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your backing up of point 1 : your friends from NE do not visit their hometown... well bcos there is no direct flight from Indore to Cal from where they can get a connecting to Shillong..moreover how many days of break we get neway..? 5-7 days max...most of my friends..from South and North not go to their home also..its a common thing..and a choice that u make before coming to the Institue
I dont understand the argument that Air travel is not for everyone..its a well worned out arguments that socialist used to give..lemme c..we have our routine up by the begining of the ..we know when exactly is the term ..? we can have a two months visibility of out tour date and can easily grab apex ticket or Air Deccan walla at 1500 max...

feeling very sleepy..will come back with the next point ..tom morning..

At Monday, March 06, 2006 6:56:00 PM, Blogger Nitin Chandil said...

Govar! hats Off!
You are a real find for of now you have given me enough to read...from ur blog..i dont know that how can i thank you!

Though, i dont like Mcdonalds...but i have to say that "I am Loving it".

At Monday, March 27, 2006 2:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dude

If IIMI was not created you would be in MDI Gurgaon or some other shit place. And if you don't like it don't go to Shillong.


At Thursday, April 06, 2006 1:48:00 PM, Blogger Soumyadip said...

This comment is a little late considering that you posted this in September and I’m commenting on it in April. But anyway, the discussion is still open. The setting up of an IIM in Shillong has many things in favour of the argument and many against the very idea. I cannot claim to be unbiased since I’m from Shillong.

First let us consider why the seventh IIM shouldn’t be in Shillong. As many of the other readers of this blog have commented (I didn’t have the time to read through all of them and you’ve got a lot of them), Shillong is inaccessible, Shillong doesn’t have a thriving business hub within a thousand kilometre radius, Shillong might not be able to attract quality faculty. Inaccessibility is definitely a problem, but not very much first the city has a functional airport (though unsuitable for larger aircraft) and the nearest rail-head and larger airport (Guwahati) is only a 100 kilometeres away and take my word, the three-hour drive is immensely enjoyable. The lack of business and industry in the periphery is definitely a problem, but as someone else pointed out, reducing airfares have made the barriers of time and distance almost meaningless. But then corporate honchos cannot deliver guest lectures during their lunch breaks.

I at this moment am not able to think of any other factors which go against the largest hill-station. Let us now look at the brighter side of things. First, Shillong has a blossoming cosmopolitan culture (much to the chagrin of ignorant ‘mainstream’ Indians) and the fun scene is developing fast. There’s music in the souls of Shillongites – wherever you go you get to hear the best from around the world. It is said that every lane houses a rock band. Then, Shillong is a breathtaking beauty (though now the spreading tentacles of urbanisation is killing the charm). The infrastructure is excellent, no powercuts – that’s something which the metros can’t even boast of. The climate is pleasant. In fact I never saw an air-conditioner in all my growing years.

And since IIMs are all about quality education, Shillong boasts of some of the best schools and colleges that there are in the country (the jurnos doing all those school and college ratings are blissfully unaware). The level of awareness of the happenings of the world far surpasses that I have experienced in so called A-class cities. Well, I could go on and on and on singing paeans for Shillong. You got to live there to know what it is all about.

Lastly, our country has a lot of regional imbalance with the northeast the most neglected of the lot. An IIM is just a small step in putting things right.

At Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ihave been born and brought up in shillong ,to my personal view shillong is an excellent place for an institution like iim
.shillong is a heaven made by god.concluding the debate it isthis place where the next iim shouldbe constructed.

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At Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:03:00 PM, Blogger Harish Nair M said...

Hey everyone... i know iam commenting pretty late and most of them will no longer be checking this blog... But my view of setting of IIM in Shillong is really good decision which govt has taken.. I think they do think rationally sometimes :d.. I have travelled and stayed in Shillong when i was in school my dad was posted there in one of the army regiments, shillong was said to be a peace location for everyone there, with less militancy and disturbance.. Setting up IIM in Shillong will give boast to buisness operations in Shillong, more than i think people in other parts of India will have a idea what Shillong is and where its located in Indian Map and Iam sure this year good smart students will be interested to get themself started from IIM-S and give a good name to that region..


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