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10 distance MBA courses for you
Navin Kumar
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September 10, 2008

A correspondence Masters in Business Administration course is ideal for the modern professional: it's flexible, low-cost and has a wide scope.

If you're a time-strapped executive or self-employed professional, it's a boon that allows you to keep building a career while learning something that can be applied to your work. So, to help you choose the best course for you, here's a two-part guide to the best distance MBA programmes in India.

The TASMAC distance Business Administration programme is an excellent option for managers and professionals. It conducts a Masters Diploma in Business Administration.

An interesting aspect of their program is their affiliation with the Adam Smith University, which accepts credits of students who have completed their Masters Diploma with TASMAC, which means that students are qualified for an international MBA from the ASU.

The ASU has received accreditation from the governments of France [Images], Liberia, etc. However, neither ASU degrees nor TASMAC diplomas are recognised by the government of India or any of the state governments.

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In order to be eligible for the TASMAC programme, a candidate must have graduated from any recognised university or be a diploma holder with two years of work experience.

TASMAC courses are divided over four semesters. The first two semesters contain coursework common to all students. For the last two semesters, a candidate has a dual specialisation: during the third semester, one specialises in a subject from Group A (Contemporary Finance, Marketing or Human Resources) and during the last semester, specialises in a subject from Group B (International Business, Advertising, Public Relations, Hotel Management, Hospital Management or Marketing).

TASMAC charges Rs 2,000 in registration fees, Rs 3,000 per semester for four semesters, an examination fee of Rs 100 and a project evaluation fee of Rs 500 for the project required in the final semester. SC/ST students can avail of a fee waiver of 25 per cent. For the MBA degree from Adam Smith University, a nominal fee of $125 must be paid as well as Rs 2,000 to TASMAC as processing fee.

The semesters start in June and January every year, with exams being conducted afterwards. The exams have a 75 per cent weightage, while the term tests and assignments have a 25 per cent weightage. A candidate requires 50 per cent to pass. The programme lasts two years: four semesters of six months each.

Address: TASMAC House, Plot No. 14, TASMAC Road, Viman Nagar, Pune 411014
Phone: (020) 65003871/ 65003872, 26632456
Fax: (020) 26632362


The Indira Gandhi [Images] National Open University is one of India's premier institutes for distance education courses. It conducts two kinds of correspondence MBA courses: one general and one specially meant for the banking sector.

For the first course, a student is expected to study all 11 courses conducted in IGNOU's Post Graduate Diploma in Management (which vary from Information Systems to Marketing to Accounting). Following this the student must complete five courses form one of the specialisation streams, which are: Human Resources Management, Financial Management, Operations Management and Marketing Management.

A student must do a course in Advance Strategic Management and Research Methodology for Management Decisions. One is also expected to do an elective course from one of five subjects. A project must be completed, which gains the same credits as two courses.

This course cost Rs 800 each, which includes examination fee. Admissions to the programme are done on the basis of the OPENMAT Entrance Exam, conducted twice a year.

Candidates are eligible if they have a Bachelor's Degree with three years of work experience or a professional degree (Engineering/ Medicine etc) or a Professional Qualification in Accountancy/ Cost and Works Accountancy etc or a Masters Degree.

The Master of Business Administration (Banking and Finance) was launched following an MOU between IGNOU and the Indian Institute of Bankers, specifically for IIB members. In order to be eligible, a candidate must be a graduate of a recognised university, have passed the CAIIB examination of the Indian Institute of Bankers, Mumbai, have worked in the banking or financial services sector for a period of at least two years and be a member of the Indian Institute of Bankers, Mumbai. The fees are Rs 600 per subject.

Address: School of Management Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi [Images] 110068
Phone: (011) 29532073
Fax: (011) 29532078

The Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning is Symbiosis's attempt at creating a 'World Campus' where everyone is able to learn and achieve his or her dream. SCDL has its headquarters at Symbiosis's Pune Campus and also has study centres in Nashik and Bangalore.

In order to sidestep government regulations, SCDL does not offer an MBA directly: it offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. The first two semesters are common for all students, while the last two semesters require the student to specialise in one of five streams: Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Operations or Customer Relationship Management.

The duration of the programme is two years. However, registration to the programme is valid for four years.     

An interesting aspect of SCDL is its' corporate programme. Under the C-PGDBA, one can receive a fast track PGDBA: the course lasts merely three semesters -- or 18 months -- unlike the normal course, which lasts four semesters (two years). Under this programme, SDCL and your company agree to conduct courses at your corporate premises themselves. There are faculty lectures every week and batches must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 40 students.

This course is not available to individual students, so if you're interested you'll have to contact you HR/ Training Coordinator. One person from HR or Training will act as a point contact between your company and SDCL. Some of the companies that have registered for this programme are Intel, HP, IBM Dhaksh, Xansa and Aztec -- besides many others. C-PGDBA also offers specialisation in Information Technology in addition to al those available under the normal PGDBA.

A person is eligible for the programme if they are graduates from a recognised university or if they hold a diploma from a recognised polytechnic institute, with five years of supervised work experience.

Address: Symbiosis Bhavan, 1065-B Gokhale Cross Road, Model Colony, Pune-16.
Phone: (020) 66211000-6
Fax: (020) 66211040/41

The School of Distance Learning is a branch of SVKM's NMIMS University. NMIMS provides Post Graduate Diplomas, rather than MBA, like most of the institutes on this list. 

A candidate is eligible for a Post Graduate diploma if he or she has a Bachelors Degree from any recognised university or equivalent degree with either 50 per cent or two years of work experience. A student who holds a degree from the NMIMS can enter the second year of a diploma laterally.

One can do a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, Marketing Management, Financial Management or Human Resources Management. The courses for the first semesters are the same across streams but specialisation kicks in during the second semester itself.

All of the NMIMS PG programmes are approved by the Distance Education Council of India, IGNOU. NMIMS has 15 study centres across in India, including Kolkatta, Bangalore, Mumbai, two in New Delhi etc.

The fees for the course are Rs 18,000 for the first year and Rs 16,600 for the second.

Be wary while choosing NM over other courses. While the NMIMS has high prestige value, it may not be what it seems. "The study material provided by NM is exactly the same as that provided by IGNOU, who provides it for much less," says one customer, "I feel duped." Whether it's IGNOU that passes NM's material off as it's own or vice-versa is uncertain.

Address: The School of Distance Learning, SVKM's NMIMS University, VL Mehta Road, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai 56
Phone: (022) 2613 4577 / 2618 3688
Fax: (022) 2611 4512
Email : 
Websites: |

The ICFAI University conducts one of India's premier MBA courses. To be eligible, one must be a graduate of any discipline with 45 per cent. Students with certain prior qualifications are entitled to waivers from certain subjects eg students with an MA in Economics needn't do Business Economics.

The degree is divided in three stages: subjects are common for all students during stages 1 and 2. Half of stage 3 consists of elective subjects (there are 10 in total and students are expected to do four of them).

The ICFAI has tied up with Cygnus and offers internships to distance students to allow them to gain the experience that usually comes only with full-time MBA programmes. Students may approach Cygnus after their second stage -- the internships will be in Hyderabad and fees must be paid separately. The ICFAI has also tied up with Alchemist HR Services to provide placements to students.

Training classes are conducted four times a year, usually during the weekends or evenings. The fees for the programme are Rs 30,000, without training classes. With training classes, fees rise to Rs 45,000.

Address: The ICFAI University, C-1/103, Indiranagar, Dehradun 248006, Uttarakhand [Images]

Part II: Tomorrow

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