IIM Directors discuss hiring more SC/ST faculties

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Ahmedabad, Dec 13 (IANS) Directors of 19 of the 20 prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on Tuesday discussed ways to hire more people from the socio-economically weaker sections of the society in faculty positions.

“We want to make sure that people who are socio-economically on the margins have the opportunity to be in the classroom (as faculty). We are very much aware that we should have diverse faculty with different life experiences to teach our students,” Ashish Nanda, Director of IIM-Ahmedabad, said.

He told reporters: “Each IIM is committed to having people from the weaker backgrounds and under-represented minorities, at the same time maintaining the highest quality standards.”

The deliberations were held at a meeting of Directors of IIMs and Dean of IIM-Kozhikode at IIM-Ahmedabad at the three-day 4th Pan IIM World Management Conference.

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The Directors discussed an instance of this presented by their counterpart in IIM-Kashipur. The institute has begun a special drive to enrol SC/ST doctoral students into fellowship programmes.

“We are in the middle of this special drive to bring in SC/ST doctoral students in the FPM (fellowship programme in management) programme where we will also train them to become IIM faculties. Five years down the line, we will find out whether the experiment is successful or not,” said Gautam Sinha, Director, IIM-Kashipur.

IIM-Raipur recently advertised for the special FPM programme for SC/ST candidates.

The other IIM Directors appreciated this and said they would wait to know from the learnings of the newer B-schools’ experiments.

This move from IIMs comes after their meeting with Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in September.

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Meanwhile, talking about the other key challenge faced by IIMs in the country, Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director, IIM-Kolkata, said availability of quality faculty in right numbers across IIMs continues to be a big issue.

“There are innovative ways to collaborate programmes across IIMs and there are certain things we are discussing. We have to be careful about the quality and over time ensure that education and research from IIMs are of the highest quality,” Chattopadhyay said.

One of the solutions discussed at the meeting included looking at expanding the FPM programmes. “FPM is a resource-intensive programme. Hence, if we can collaborate, we should be able to produce more number of doctorates, which can be the next pool of faculty for the institutions,” Rishikesha T Krishnan, IIM-Indore Director, said.

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