Higher Education

Initiative to Redesign Management Education Curriculum Progresses

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Directors from the country’s top management institutes and eminent business leaders engaged in intense deliberations  to redesign the current MBA curriculum in India and infuse innovation and creativity into it at a national level workshop in Chennai has organized by IIM – Ahmedabad Alumni Association (AAA) – Chennai Chapter and Anna University with IIM-Ahmedabad and IM-Calcutta as knowledge partners. Based on the bestselling book ‘Rethinking the MBA; Management Education at a crossroad’ by renowned Harvard Professor Srikant Datar who was personally present and led the proceedings, the workshop titled ‘Rethinking Management Education with Innovation and Creativity’, saw some of India’s top academic personalities like Dr Samir Barua, Director, IIM-A, Prof. Shekhar Chaudhuri, Director, IIM-C, Dr Mannar Jawahar, Vice Chancellor, Anna University besides senior business executives like Lakshmi Narayan of Cognizant, Titan Industries’ Meera Harish and l R Natarajan and Dr Aravind Srinivasan of Aravind Eye Hospital.

The workshop part of a series organised across cities with Chennai being the fourth, is the first and most rigorous of the an initiative to bring together decision makers at India’s leading management institutes, corporate and policy makers in education under one single umbrella to evolve a clear path to arrive at a redesigned curriculum that shifts the emphasis from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’ and ‘being’ which then leads to development of competent and innovative leaders well equipped to manage uncertainty and diversity. The first in the series at IIM-Ahmedabad focused on corporate governance and ethics, second one in Mumbai had Leadership as the theme and globalization was the focus in Calcutta, the third in the series.

Dr. Srkant Datar, Harvard Professor and author of the best seller that inspired this initiative, said, “The format has been kept as a workshop to ensure there are tangible takeaways and a plan for action is drawn post the day’s sessions and more is done than said.”
In his remarks, Prof. Shekhar Chowdhuri, Director, IIM-Calcutta, said, “The very fact that competing institutions like the various IIMs and other business schools have come together (incidentally for the first time) is indicative of the need and the seriousness attached to the need to change.”

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Commented Prof. Samir Barua, Director, IIM-Ahmedabad,” The initiative is gaining momentum and the fifth event in this series to engage the stakeholders across India will now happen in January and we are looking forward to moving to action post receiving inputs and consulting all the stakeholders.”

In his opening speech, Mannar Jawahar, Vice-chancellor, Anna University, said,” The time is ripe or changing the curriculum for management education in India. And the perspective should include not only that of creativity and innovation from a student’s perspective but that of the various educational institutions as well.”

In his comments, Muralidharan, President, IIM-AAA Chennai chapter said, “The global recession with the exception of Asia or few emerging economies and the growing uncertainities across the business spectrum calls for newer skillsets more relevant in today’s environment, in management graduates. The whole thinking and pedagogy needs to thus needs to be redesigned to be in alignment with this imperative. Dr.Srikant Datar’s research in this area is a path breaking one and offers a golden opportunity for business schools to build on and see what can be applied in the Indian context. The deliberations were diverse, intensive and useful. We at the IIM-AAA, Chennai Chapter are pleased that this prestigious event was successful and exceeded expectations.”

According to Kandaswamy Bharathan, Visiting Professor at IIM-A and Chairperson of the Conference Organising Committee, “That the workshop happened in Chennai provides an opportunity for academicians, business executives and policy makers from the region to participate, provide their inputs and perspectives to the initiative to change management education in India. This is a region known for its high standards of educational excellence and of having highly renowned and visionary educators and the level of presentations and interactions were clearly indicative of that. The inputs and deliberations will be compiled and consolidated and then factored into the broader effort to get the curriculum changed in the medium term. Would like heartily to thank Prof. Srikant Datar of Harvard University for taking the time to come here personally and lead the discussion, Anna University for its support in making this a success, the two leading IIM’s who were knowledge partners and Titan Industries-our principle sponsor.”

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