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‘IIMs lack student diversity'

Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: Expressing concern over lack of diversity among students in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the directors of five IIMs – Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore and Ranchi – suggested here on Monday that there is a need for significant changes in the admission process of the institutions.

“The diversity among students over the years instead of increasing has gone down, especially in our system,” said IIM Lucknow director Devi Singh at the directors' conclave organised as part of the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations of IIM Calcutta.

Dr. Singh said questions like why there are so many engineers and why not more women at the IIMs are repeatedly raised and added that the admission process was to blame for this.

“The CAT exam is debated year after year. There is some evidence that people with a certain background do have an advantage,” he said.

Pointing out that some of the non-IIM Business schools had achieved 40 to 50 per cent of their students as women, IIM Calcutta director Shekhar Chaudhuri suggested that questions that gauge a student's E.Q. could be included in the CAT exam.

IIM Bangalore director Pankaj Chandra said a survey of women in various colleges had revealed that many don't apply to the IIMs because there is a perception of a bias towards people who are quantitatively oriented. He also pointed out that “the courts have put a different kind of spanner in the works”.

“As soon as subjectivity crept into the admission process to create a different kind of diverse environment you hit against a wall on various legal provisions which said that you need to have your admission process done in a certain manner where you cannot show this kind of subjectivity,” Dr. Chandra said.

The directors also debated on other issues in management education including how research can be promoted in the IIMs and how funds can be generated by the institutes.

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