Govt set to give more autonomy to B-schools

By Prashant K. Nanda

Govt has also abandoned its plan to mandate states to fix fees, conduct admission tests for management schools offering post graduate diploma in management

New Delhi: After a seven-year tussle, the government has decided against interfering in the functioning of private B-schools in a number of matters, including the freedom to fix fees.

The centre has also abandoned its plan to mandate states to fix fees, conduct admission tests for management schools offering post graduate diploma in management (PGDM), according to documents of the central government-controlled All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and two people familiar with the development.

The move indicates the government’s willingness to provide a degree of autonomy to private B-schools. The government has already given full autonomy to the Indian Institutes of Management by passing the IIM Bill in Parliament.

A controversy started in 2011, when AICTE issued a notification mandating how B-Schools will admit students, how they will decide fees and devise course work. It had then said that states will decide how much these schools can charge students.

Some 400 such schools, including XLRI Jamshedpur, Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group-promoted International Management Institute in New Delhi and Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) in Greater Noida, opposed the move. Some of them later approached the Supreme Court.

In recent months, groups of B-schools have met officials including from AICTE and the general feeling school administrators got is that they are less rigid on the 2011 notification, said H. Chaturvedi, alternate president of the education promotion society of India. EPSI was one of the parties that approached the Supreme Court challenging AICTE.

“The B-schools have now withdrawn all the three cases from the SC following which the education regulator has made positive changes effective 2018 academic session,” said Chaturvedi, who is also the director of BIMTECH.

He said the new regulations for 2018 have three key takeaways—AICTE is not forcing schools to fix fees as per the fee fixation committee of concerned states; it is not forcing schools to adopt a model curriculum; and it is also not asking schools to admit students based on IIM-CAT or an entrance conducted by individual states. It will now allow schools to select students based on a host of parameters including entrance, group discussion, past academic record, rather than just the outcome of the entrance examination.

The B-schools have, in turn, accepted the education regulator’s proposal to mention the entrance exams they are willing to choose for admission from a set of six national and international tests, and the fees they are charging for each academic year on their individual websites.

“PGDM…institutions shall publish the fee being charged in its web-site and admission brochure well before the admission process is initiated and inform the Applicants through specific communications,” underlines the new B-School regulation document for 2018, a copy of which has been reviewed by Mint.

It also mandates all such schools to upload both the transcripts and certificates on the National Academic Depositary (NAD), an online depository of education credentials.

Source: Livemint

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