The HRD Minister, Ramesh Kumar Pokhriyal conveyed to Indian Institutes of Management ( IIMs) not to grant One Year MBA degrees. As it violated UGC norms and asked the authorities to take corrective measures. It has been one year since IIMs have started this option.
After consulting from Law Ministry, HRD Ministry communicated to the directors of IIMs, on Friday, IIMs have been granting degrees such as the one year executive MBA degree in infringement of the UGC regulations and ‘directed’ them to act as per degree-facilitating standards of the University Grants Commission, Act, 1956, has reliably comprehended. UGC norms authorize a Master’s degree only for two-year courses as per the 3+2 higher education format. One year courses are implied as post-graduate diplomas, unlike in many western countries which follow a 4+1 format with a year Master’s degree in the proposal.
While IIMs have been keen to award degrees for the one year program in view of international competition, the issue became controversial in the prior few years as the precedent it could set for higher education in India.
After the IIM Act, 2017, degree-granting capacity to the business schools, top IIMs brought in new ordinances at their board of governors level to allow awarding of degrees for their popular one year MBA course.
The HRD ministry argued the degree in 2018 and 2019 through official letters and meetings of the IIMs’ boards of directors. However, IIMs ent forward with the degree, with IIM Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, and IIM Indore all offering them. The problem took a fresh curl with the law ministry announcing that the move violated norms after vetting the laws that were sent in for permission.
The law ministry has explained that IIMs had the authority to grant degrees, diplomas, and other academic recognition but the IIM Act, 2017, did not specify a ‘degree’ nor authorize IIMs or the councils to make any regulations in this concern.
The Department of Legal Affairs, Law ministry has therefore examined that for the award of MBA degree to partakers of one year Post Graduate Programme in Management in Executive, the universities are required to act in accord of UGC Act, 1956”- the existing laws of the land.
Hence, the HRD ministry has written to IIM Directors saying that in view of the same, all IIMs are instructed to act as per the provisions of the IIM Act, 2017 and the statement of Department of Legal Affairs that in awarding the degree, the institutes are required to act in conformity with UGC Act, 1956”.