Food neither to munch, nor to chew, not to taste, but to swallow

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Abstract:

From day one of human civilization, education has been utilized as a tool to serve the purpose of a selected few with vested interests. Till date this article bets the bottom dollar, education has not been allowed to glow on each face as sunshine does; neither was it allowed to illuminate the path from the heart of darkness. The dark practices like sati rites, child marriage, dowry, polygamy, economic exploitations, slavery, bonded labourhood, etc. simply acted as the accomplices of the darkness.

As observed earlier, education has always been exploited to serve the ruler. In the days of slavery or feudal system it used to serve the King. In the post feudal system it began to serve the ruling community (the bourgeois). Right from the days of feudal system the concept of statehood has made to penetrate deep into the thoughts and contemplations of human being. This fascinating concept of statehood solely served the purpose of have’s within a certain geographical boundary. This education could hardly fuel Chanakya’s concept: VIDWYAN SARVATRA PUJJYATYE.

Agencies had been there, to channelize the springs of education to delineate the contours whom to serve and whom to exploit. The history pages will second the concept how priests and clerics unabashedly exploited the downtrodden. Today’s management education, so far, had been successful to wipe out the traces of have not’s by making them non – existent through paper works from this sub-continent. They had set up the Manhattan of statistical graphs to show how this country is leaping forward like a dancing horse (frog), but behind this limelight of frog jumping, beyond the roads Volkswagens can traverse, do the people exist? Are they Indians? Are they literate?

Pomkin-lau-kumro; kokomber-shosha

Filojofer-biggolok; ploman-chasha

Pomkin is the accent of early day’s Bengali baboos (please read pumpkin for pomkin, cucumber for kokomber, philosopher for filojofer and ploughman for ploman).

 

FOOLISH TIME

In the wake of British colonial invasion in India a good number of mid 18th century Bengali baboo’s tried their best to keep themselves a little closer to their the then lords. And this very pursuit made them feel insecured, if they had not been aided with this alien language. One of the Bengali literary stalwart Hara Prasad Shastri observed this in his essay Sekalar Bangla. However funny their accent may sound, or whatever the degree of incorrect English sentences they had used speaks for the efforts to adopt a new language, if not to come out with a new culture – neither Indian nor British, but something in between. Obviously, these native accents of the British words formed one of the most favourite time pass for the colonial lords, as we poke fun with the same today. In those days the trend was set in such a pattern that the more English words one could utter the more would have been his social status. And the person in question groomed himself in that way only to demonstrate his social stature and distinction.

EDUCATION – YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW

Down the river of time, everything changed, so changed the pattern of teaching methodology as well as learning way. There’s no denying the fact that in ancient India education didn’t have the secularity. It had been a weapon only at the hands of the elite to exploit the downtrodden. However, the motto must have been different. Education is often compared with light which is all pervasive. It is only the elite class of people that barred the luminous way to let the downtrodden distinguishable. With the advent of European education system, these traditional ways of teaching methodology began to fade little by little into the thin air. For if we are to seek the traditional educational system today, we will find nothing but a few crumbs of paper that are supposed to speak on teaching and learning concurrent on those days from the National Level Libraries. Having said that, what we intend to speak is with the passage of time education undoubtedly has been given the chance to find more people to bring them into its fold but the real purpose of education is still a far cry. Education is not being allowed to glow on each Indian face. Apart from that, adulteration is a plague that plagues every sphere of our existence and education is no exception! From the early Vedic age to this date, education is forced to remain kept at the hands of a group of people with vested interest. In the Vedic age it was supposed to serve the Brahmins and Kshatriyas (of course the Vaisya people had the knowledge of 3 R’s). In the British time it was made to serve only the British companies and in the post independent era it is supposed to serve again the elite. Here let me put you in the know it is not the education I am speaking about probably I spoke of literacy in the name of education. Otherwise, Indians folks are all educated they may or may not be literate.

MANAGEMENT EDUCATION – A BIG BUSINESS

Business schools are the success story of late twentieth-century education. Both undergraduate and graduate business administration enrollments in degree-granting colleges and universities have soared. There is little doubt that business education is big business and for many, including business schools and their professors, a lucrative business at that. Although business schools and business education have been commercial successes, there are certain questions which can be about the relevance of their educational product and doubts about their effects on both the careers of their graduates and on management practice. The imbalance between demand and supply for management graduates has led to an overly commercial and exploitative environment in management education. It is not clear how many of the recently started institutions are merely speculative and how many are seriously committed to the cause of management education.

With the unprecedented mushrooming of business schools all across the country to match the increasing demand amongst students, many financially motivated entrepreneurs started entering the field of education. In addition, indiscriminate approval of institutions and the absence of a consistent mechanism to ensure institutional accountability have resulted in a situation where suboptimal quality education is being offered in a few institutions and little importance being imparted to faculty quality and placements. The main reason behind the mushrooming of sub-optimal quality of education provided by such institutions is the lack of a balanced regulatory environment, maintaining the fine balance of autonomy and accountability.

GAPS THAT NEEDS TO BE FILLED - UP

Management education in India has not changed as per the requirement of the industry need and before this gaps widen enough; proper steps need to be taken. A few suggestions as to what steps need to be taken:

  1. Quality of Faculty needs to be Improved: Most of the faculties recruited for the teachings in the management schools were incompetent and they are also are not from industry background so they cannot prepare the students as per the requirements of the industry. New faculties recruited were paid low salaries and they have heavy teaching load which further detoriates their quality. They are no time left for their self development. The quality of management remained inferior in the sense that they paid not enough attention to application of knowledge, understanding of concepts, and development of managerial skills institutions.
  2. Need for a separate dedicated Government body for Management Education: In India, both technical and management education is governed by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). But both have different requirements, so it calls for a separate body for the management education which can look into the issues relating to the improvement in management education.
  3. Designing proper curriculum and developing material relevant to Indian context: Management education curriculum should be designed in such a way that it should be able to meet the industry needs. In most of the Indian Universities and B – Schools of India the syllabus takes a long time to get revised. The course content should be prepared and developed as per the current and immediate requirements of the industry and also it should be country specific because some ideas and theories which have been successful in the origin country may not be relevant to the Indian context.
  4. Support to Research Work: Conducive environment which is supportive to research is not being provided by any of the Management Schools. All the management institutes need to work in this field. Research not only leads to updation of knowledge in concerned subject, but also leads to knowledge creation. But this requires a change of mindset among those people who are involved in the management of management institutes. They should motivate and create an interest among faculty for research by giving them proper incentives, due weightage to research activities and also providing them with a good library facility. UGC has already taken step in this direction by giving due weight age to research and publication for promotions. This needs to be implemented in each and every institute which is imparting business education.
  5. Industry Interaction: Industry interaction need to be emphasized so that students get more exposure to the real problems of the industry. Presently students have industry interaction only at the time of their summer internship and which is not enough to understand the dynamics of the changing environment of the industry in this era of liberalization and globalization. Time limit for the summer internship needs to be increased and assessment should also be based on it. Exposing the students to real life situations will bring them much closer to reality. Institutions should be encouraged to arrange tie ups with business houses because that’s the success mantra for the management institutes today.
  6. Specialization needs to be customized: Customization is the call of the day. Every industry has its own set of challenges & dynamics, and it requires specific skill set and expertise. This could be only done by bringing specialization in concerned field. Management Education today should not be confined to certain areas like Finance, HRM, Marketing etc only it should take in its fold other growing areas of business where the knowledge of management can be applied. The course content should be designed in such a way that the management graduates can acquire that specific skill set and expertise which is being demanded by the industry.
  7. Inculcate Multiple Perspectives: Management education need to inculcate multiple perspectives since technological, organization and personal perspectives could differ. Management education needs reconstruction in regard to imparting education as regards to political, ethical and philosophical nature of management practices. A manager need to connect to wide array of duties which is ensured only if management education is imparted aiming multiple perspective.
  8. Global Managers: In today’s world success depends on how fast you can enhance your knowledge, sharpen your skills and pace your learning process. Information is increasing at an alarming pace so mastering of knowledge and skills has become essential. India needs to produce global managers with world class talent and which calls for new approach towards imparting management education. Business schools should look now to develop global managers.

      

MOVING TO THE NEXT STAGE – A VERTICAL GROWTH

Management Institutes in India is inspired by the “greed is good” credo have been over- influenced by business schools in the western countries. In the early days of management education in India, the management institutes are hand – held by its US or Europe counterparts. Most management institutes have not moved to the next level of growth, especially a vertical growth. The most worrying factor is that there has been a tremendous growth in the management institutes in India but it has not resulted into a vertical growth in top management institutes in India. The top management institutes in India were not able to differentiate between a management institute and a business school, the latter exists for promoting the business sector, while the former is a more wholesome management institution.

THE ROAD AHEAD

The present scenario of management education is just like food which is being served to us but it can neither be munched, nor to chew, not to taste, but simply to be swallowed. The management education needs to become more practical oriented and industry focused. It needs to be holistic, targeted and customized with the aim to remove the gap that exists between industry requirement and academic curriculum. Mentoring and carrier counseling has to be introduced.  Most B – schools claim to have it but only as a lip service. If Management education in India has to really extend its image on international scenario institutes, industry and government has to work in alignment to improve quality of management education.

Posted by: Soumendra Roy. in Finance | Date: 05/04/2016

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