AMEND IIM Bill - MBA Recognition should be for MBA with global accreditation: One Year MBA

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AMEND IIM Bill - MBA Recognition should be for MBA with global accreditation: One Year MBA

This petition had 782 supporters started this petition to Shri Narendra Modi (Prime Minister) and

The IIM Bill that is set to be tabled in the Indian Parliament will empower IIMs to grant MBA degrees to graduates of the two-year PGP course (as against the diplomas that they currently grant).  

There is simply no talk about conferring the MBA degree on the One Year MBA - the real contender for this degree.

Why do we say this? The two-year PGP course at IIMs is accredited as a Masters in Business Management (MBM) and not an MBA by top global accreditation body Association of MBAs (AMBA).

As per AMBA’s accreditation standards, an MBA course must admit students with 3+ years of work experience while an MBM can admit candidates with 0-3 years work experience. So students with less than 3 years of work experience are eligible to pursue an MBM only, not an MBA.

Since the two-year PGP courses at IIMs largely recruit freshers (most admits have less than a year of work experience ), these courses are accredited as MBMs by AMBA. 

The course at IIMs that is globally accredited as a Full Time MBA is the One Year MBA. With its stricter eligibility norms these courses admit candidates with a minimum of 5+ years of work experience and therefore meet and exceeds global norms for an MBA course.

Despite these facts, there is simply no discussion on conferring MBA degree status on the One Year MBA course at IIMs, when it is the sole and rightful bearer of the MBA nomenclature at IIMs.The two-year PGP course that is being considered for MBA status should be granted the status of an MBM Degree in keeping with its global accreditation.

The IIMs will be compromising their credibility if they award an MBA for a course that does not meet international criteria for being called one.


Prime Minister Modi, one of the cornerstones of the Make in India project initiated by you is to develop top quality products in India that can compete with the best in the world. If the IIM bill empowers IIMs to bestow MBA status on the two-year PGP course instead of MBM, and ignores the rightful claim of the One Year MBA to MBA degree status, it will not only be in contradiction to global accreditation awarded to these courses, but it will also run counter to the spirit of Make in India.

Key facts we would like to bring to your notice:

1. While the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), an Indian regulatory body awards ‘MBA equivalent’ status to two-year PGP courses offered by IIMs, the Association of MBAs, UK (AMBA), a top global accreditation body that accredits management courses, accredits these very same courses as pre-experience Masters in Business Management (MBM) worldwide.

Association of MBA’s (AMBA) is one of the top 3 global business education accreditation bodies and the only one that accredits management courses instead of B-Schools. Others such as EQUIS and AACSB certify the overall quality of an institute. Oxford, UK, Cambridge, UK, INSEAD, France, HEC, France, IMD, Switzerland, are some of the other top B-Schools that have received MBA accreditation from AMBA.

AMBA awards MBM accreditation to two-year PGP courses at IIMs because they are largely pursued by fresh graduates with little or no work experience. As per AMBA standards, an MBA course (whether a one-year full time course or a two-year full time course) is expected to have candidates with 3+ years of work experience and the class is expected to have an average of 5+ years of work experience.

Outside India, substantial work experience is a basic eligibility requirement for all MBA courses, even for those that have not been accredited by AMBA. 

2. One Year Full Time MBA courses at IIMs that admit students with 5+ years of work experience meet and exceed stringent global norms for an MBA. Consequently these are the only courses at IIMs that are accredited as Full Time MBAs by AMBA.

For more Information read - Raising the standard of Indian MBAs (Deccan Herald) 

3. The IIMs have sought AMBA accreditation to establish global credence and have proudly proclaimed that wining AMBA accreditation shows that their MBA course meets global standards. 

IIM C proudly announced the winning of AMBA MBA Accreditation for its One Year MBA (PGPEX) and MBM Accreditation for its two-year PGP course in the media. "We are indeed happy to receive this recognition. It reaffirms our commitment to academic excellence, and marks a significant step towards our journey to be regarded as a global leader in management education," said Saibal Chattopadhyay, director of IIM Calcutta commenting on the accreditation in an official communique. Read more: IIM Calcutta bags AMBA accreditation (Business Standard)

Similarly, IIM Lucknow announced its win of AMBA accreditation with gusto. “It took us almost one year to get AMBA accreditation,” said Sanjay K. Singh, a professor at IIM-Lucknow. “As Indian education opens up, foreign institutes will come home and domestic institutes will go abroad. Here, international accreditation helps. It improves your brand image for sure,” he added. Read more: Indian B-schools opt for global accreditation’ (MINT)

4. Links to official accreditation page of AMBA show that IIM C’s One Year MBA (called PGPEX) has been accredited as a full time MBA while its PGP course has been accredited as an MBM: Click

Similarly while IIM Lucknow’s One Year MBA (called IPMX) has been accredited as a full time MBA, its PGP course has been accredited as an MBM: Click

5. The One Year MBA courses at IIMs have not only enabled IIMs to field a globally accredited MBA, they also represent the institutes at the prestigious Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking where IIMs PGP courses don't meet the norms to qualify. 

IIM A's One Year Full Time MBA (PGPX) debuted on the FT Ranking at Rank 11 in 2011 and is currently ranked No. 26 in the list of top 100 MBAs in the world. Read: IIM A’s PGPX Ranked No. 2 MBA in the World for Career Progression: Financial Times 2015 MBA Ranking ( In fact, IIM A's One Year MBA (PGPX) trumped Harvard's MBA on Career progression in the FT Global MBA Ranking 2015!

IIM Bangalore’s One Year MBA (EPGP) is ranked 82 in the MBA ranking.

As MBM courses, the two-year PGP programmes at IIMs do not qualify for a place in the Financial Times MBA ranking - they are ranked instead in the Masters in Business Management (MBM/ alternatively MIM) Ranking. Read about IIM C’s performance on MIM Rankings here in Business Standard: Click

6. Giving importance to local accreditation (by AIU) based on sub-par standards over global accreditation (by AMBA) for institutes of national importance is a retrogressive step and jeopardizes IIMs’ aspiration of becoming global leaders in management education.

7. If the IIM bill enables IIMs to bestow MBA status on two-year PGP courses at IIMs, it will have long term negative impacts on students, Indian companies, and the IIMs.

The Impact on Indian students: By allowing the two-year PGP at IIMs to be called an MBA, Indian students will be misled into believing that they are earning an MBA degree when in fact the course does not meet global accreditation standards for an MBA.

Also an unhealthy impression has already been cultivated among Indian students that an MBA can be pursued without any real world work experience. By bestowing MBA degree status on pre-experience two-year PGP courses, this myth will be perpetuated.

Such a step will deny Indian students a chance to leverage their graduation degree, as students do globally, and reinforce the epidemic to do a so called MBA right out of college. 

A One Year MBA in India, by stipulating 5+ years of work experience for students joining the course, allows students to activate and utilize their bachelor’s degree and find their true calling in life before they go to B-School - if that’s the path they finally choose.

The impact on Indian companies: The two-year PGP course at IIMs has all this time been creating entry level talent and not managers as an MBA course is supposed to - companies in India invest millions every year retraining this fresh stock to make them business-ready through extensive management trainee programmes. This is an undue burden on Indian companies – most of whom have been crying out for MBAs that are ready to take responsibility from day one.

Read: Only 10% MBA graduates employable (Times of India)

In an article accompanying the recent Outlook 2014 MBA Rankings, titled ‘What recruiters want‘, A.K. Balaji Prasad remarks, “Despite the beeline made by recruiters at India’s top-to-middle B-schools, there is one issue that’s been troubling them for the last several years. The fresh stock they routinely pick up from these elite campuses every year rarely match the industry’s requirements and have to be retrained and oriented for specific needs.”

In another article in Outlook India titled ‘Are we the Players‘, author Arindam Mukherjee says “most companies are getting rid of their training and orientation culture to create a workforce that is war-ready and want the B-schools to take responsibility for doing that” and that “recruiters are showing increasing proclivity towards graduates of one-year cour­ses, who tend to have worked before.”

Graduates of the One Year Full Time MBA courses at IIMs, with a work experience of five to ten years behind them, join companies as Senior Managers, Vice-presidents and CEOs, the way their MBA counterpart from any full time course (one-year or two-year) abroad would. 

This is exactly the kind of talent Indian companies are asking for, but they are being confused by the positioning of two distinctly different courses as MBA. If the IIM bill enables IIMs to bestow MBA status on the PGP course, the confusion is bound to become worse and encrusted in stone.  

The Impact on IIM’s competitiveness: The legislation will compromise IIMs ability to compete with global B-Schools in attracting foreign students since foreign students don’t want to learn in a class full of freshers – they are used to an MBA class where each individual brings years of expertise in their field.

Also, once foreign B-Schools establish campuses in India in the coming years, the huge gap in the quality of MBAs produced by foreign B-Schools (who admit candidates with substantial work ex) and the PGP students produced by IIMs will become starkly apparent. This will put IIMs at a disadvantage.

Read: IIM A PGP grads earn half the salary of Harvard MBAs (NDTV Profit) 

8. Besides meeting global accreditation standards and leading on international rankings, the One Year MBA at IIMs leads on all other parameters vis-à-vis the two-year PGP course at IIMs. These parameters are listed below briefly. For more information on each of these aspects please refer to links provided at the end of this petition:

A. Placements: Graduates of One Year MBA Courses at IIMs join companies in senior roles such as Vice-President, General Manager, CEO & Senior Managers. Average salary awarded to these graduates ranges between 18 lakh and 31 lakh across the IIMs.

On the other hand two-year PGP graduates join companies in entry level management trainee profiles at salaries ranging between 10 lakh and 17 lakh on average across the IIMs.

For more information please read:

1. Rs 1.1 Cr International, Rs 56 Lakh Domestic: the ‘High’ at IIM A PGPX 2014 Click (

2. Rs 48 Lakh Highest, Rs 18.64 Lakh Average Salary for IIM Indore’s One Year MBA Class of 2014 (

3. Crore-plus salaries make their debut at IIM Bangalore's One Year MBA programme (Economic Times)

4. Placements light years ahead (Business Standard)

5. Audited 2014 Placement report of One Year MBA (PGPX) at IIM A

6. Audited 2014 Placement report of two-year PGP at IIM A

B. Learning: The learning in a one-year MBA course is not 50 per cent of a two-year MBA (outside India) as some would assume. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Classroom hours in a typical two-year full time MBA worldwide – 680 hrs
  • Classroom hours in a typical two-year PGP (MBM) programme at IIMs – 950 hrs
  • Classroom hours in a typical One Year Full Time MBA at IIMs – 800 hrs

So a student of a one-year full time MBA at IIMs essentially undertakes more hours of classroom study as compared to a student pursuing a typical two-year MBA at an international B-School.

Thanks to their prior work experience, the candidates of the one-year course can connect class discussions to their own experiences in corporate life. This helps them question, debate and finally absorb new management concepts in a thorough manner. With almost 600 years of collective corporate wisdom available in a typical class of 60 candidates at an IIM, the peer learning the course offers is amazing. 

Students admitted to the course include IIT B.techs, CAs, doctors who did MBBS from PGI and AIIMS, experienced army folk of colonel and major ranks, nuclear scientists etc.

For more information read:

1. In step with the best in the world (Business Standard)

2. Nasa to politics, IIM-A's executive batch has it all (Business Standard) 

3. Rigour of a global two-year MBA in one year  (Business Standard) 

C. Tougher eligibility norms as compared to those of the two-year PGP programme. Students for the One Year MBA at IIMs need to have a minimum of 5 years work experience. To be eligible for the two-year PGP course, a student requires no work ex, just 50% marks in graduation.

A massive number of people apply to the PGP programme at IIMs because the eligibility norms are lenient.

For more information please read: In step with the best in the world (Business Standard)

That students take the CAT just for the heck of it is borne out by the fact that most of them fare badly at the exam: out of the 1.74 Lakh candidates who appeared for CAT in 2013, 95,000 scored zero or negative marks!

Read more: CAT 2013: Even with a blank sheet you can score in 55th percentile (

Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HRD Minister Shrimati Smriti Irani, we urge you to consider our petition to ensure that IIMs bestow MBA status on the globally accredited MBA: One Year MBA, and MBM status on the two-year PGP. Your decision will determine whether ‘Made in India MBAs’ meet global standards.

(More details on what makes the One Year MBA course the sole and rightful contender for MBA status at IIMs can be found at an eight article series in Business Standard authored by Shikhar Mohan, Founder & CEO of

Artcle 1 - Don’t mistake it for an executive MBA - January 3, 2013 

Article 2 - In step with the best in the world - January 10, 2013 

Article 3 - Rigour of a global 2-year MBA in one year - January 16, 2013 

Article 4 - Placements light years ahead - January 24, 2013 

Article 5 - Global exposure for the whole batch - January 31, 2013

Article 6 - Ranked among top MBAs by Financial Times, London - February 7, 2013 

Article 7 - Merits of a one-year full time MBA at IIMs - February 13, 2013

Article 8 - Claiming its rightful place in the sun - February 20, 2013

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This petition had 782 supporters