Haryana's pride in its industrial economy, particularly the Information Technology (IT) sector, is preceded by its escalating successes in the education sector, especially the rise of a number of private world-class management institutions in the state. With the excellent faculty and global standards of infrastructure, these management schools present in various parts of Haryana, are being considered as one of the primary imperatives of growth and sustained development in the state. Every year, thousands of students reach this North Indian education hub to access the state-of-the-art curriculum and prepare themselves for the challenges in various job opportunities in the corporate sector that these management schools have direct links with, as part of their placement cells. In other words therefore, Haryana's appeal in capitalist economy lies not only in the rise of a strong industrial belt in its prime cities, but also in the availability of the resources in the state, that is its management institutions, which are the founding pillars for the global setting in the state. Can we therefore say that these different management institutions in Haryana are comparable to what is deemed as the country's best management schools, the 13 branches of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), a group of public autonomous management education and research institutes begun under Jawaharlal Nehru?
Firstly, the test of rigour that the IIMs demand before admitting a particular student to any of its campuses, is absent in the management schools in the state. Clearing the CAT entrance examination, considered as one of the most competitive national exams, with near 100% cut-off, is the mandatory litmus test for entrance to some of the top IIMs, such as IIM Ahmedabad or IIM Calcutta. For the different management schools in Haryana, which are mushrooming in large numbers every year, clearing the CAT examination with high marks is not essential. Other less competitive examinations like MAT, GMAT, CMAT, SNAP, etc. are also accepted for admission. In other words, entrance examinations criteria are not standardised across the vast spectrum of these burgeoning management schools, unlike in the IIMs. Hence, these private institutions do not always admit the best of brains in the contest. An educational institution is known by the students it nurtures. The IIMs, on the other hand, witness a clash of titans each year with some of the most meritorious students in the country competing to stand out in the crowd.
Secondly, a study of management schools in Haryana reveals that out of the massive number of institutions which have been started, a majority of them (as on 2007, out of 35 management colleges, 20 colleges offered technical education along with MBA, while 15 colleges concentrated solely on MBA education) offer additional technical degrees along with MBA, while a small number offer only MBA degrees. For the colleges offering additional degrees, the main goal is maximum utilisation of resources, and not quality education, which is often compromised.
Again, the fees structure of the regional management schools of Haryana is often so exorbitant, that many meritorious students and their families cannot afford such costly education. This limits the student composition to a particular strata of the society, the rich, upper-class, urban high middle-class and elite sections of the society. This high cost of education often, though not always, compromises with the quality of the students, thereby producing mediocre results.
It has also been found that while in the IIMs, the teacher-student ratio is 1:15, for these private management institutes in Haryana, the ratio is often as low as 1:25 (Management journals, 2007). This impacts not only the equitable accessibility of education to all students, but also compromises to a great extent, on the standard of education and research abilities of these students. This often restricts a clear understanding of students orientations and their differential aspirations from the courses they are offered. This hinders the productivity of both, the teachers and the students.
In comparison to the IIMs which are considered to provide top-class placement opportunities from the best corporate houses across the world, the upcoming management institutes in Haryana cannot provide such top jobs to its students. The lack of trained placement officers and regular placement trainings in these private institutes adds to the low percentage of satisfactory job placements, as compared to the IIMs.
Having said this, it must be acknowledged that IIM Rohtak in Haryana, started in 2010 as the 8th IIM in the country, is gradually excelling in the standards of global innovations and technological advancements as the older IIMs such as IIM-A and IIM-C. But this is a slow process, and the role of IIM Rohtak can be understood only some years later. The other private management institutes in Haryana must follow IIM-R's model of growth-inclusive education, to be truly successful in today's phenomenon of management education.
On a final note, we must acknowledge that the network of management colleges in Haryana, which echoes the importance of the country's capitalist economy and global standards of innovation and technology, is a welcoming move to employ the youth in the country. These colleges must administer more effectively, following the IIM model, to reach out to the various sections of students more systematically and uniformly.