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IIMs to offer online courses

April 14, 2005 08:53 IST
In a bid to take teaching beyond classrooms, the Indian Institutes of Management have launched online courses for executives based in India and abroad.

Students now do not have to spend two years on campus as the IIMs have decided to offer short-term courses that can be completed in six months or one year and through the satellite broadband medium.

Three of the six IIMs have already launched such management education for executives within India.

The rest are expected to follow suit soon. IIM-Bangalore plans to take a step further by extending this form of education to executives abroad too.

To provide connectivity, Hughes Escorts Communications Ltd, a joint venture between Hughes Network Systems and Escorts Ltd, has so far signed agreements with IIM-B, IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Kozikode.

It all started with the decision of the board of governors of IIM-B. The demand for managers for the middle-level positions has been witnessing a steep rise in last few years.

The limited number of students in the post-graduate programmes run by the IIMs are not enough to accommodate this demand.

"It is an attempt to provide management education to the executives who do not need to give up their jobs to pursue full-time courses on campus at IIM-B. We have started with the Advanced General Management Programme. We have also launched Executive General Management Programme through satellite broadband medium and IIM-B has signed an agreement with Hughes for five years," Prakash Apte, director of IIM-B told Business Standard on Wednesday.

Informing that IIM-B was also going to launch another course for off campus students using the technology on entrepreneurship in next one year, Apte said, "We are also hiking the intake capacity with the success of these programmes.  From the second session onwards, due to start in August, there would be capacity for 120 of fcampus students against existing capacity of around 50."

"There will also be added capacity for 30 on campus students for the programmes through the satellite medium. IIM-B is also actively considering to introduce such courses through satellite in overseas countries depending on availability of this technology outside India," he added.

It has been learnt that with the success of IIM-B, IIM-C and IIM-K, now three other IIMs, IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Ahmedabd, IIM-Indore are also working on plans to introduce such courses.

"Satellite broadband medium for quality management education is definitely gaining popularity among aspiring Indian managers. Though we do not have any such course, IIM-A is open to such ideas in future," said Bakul Dholakia, director of IIM-A.

While IIM-B charges Rs 1.8 lakh for the 26-week long course, IIM-C charges Rs 1.6 lakh for the one-year course for which engineers, post-graduates and graduates with two years of experience can apply. To secure an admission in the satellite courses run by IIM-B, one is required to have five years of work experience.

So far there are no entrance examinations like CAT or GMAT, but a committee in the IIMs screen the candidates before admitting them to these courses.

"The programme is designed to provide managers and professionals with a broad overview of the key concepts, tools and techniques needed to successfully meet the challenges of today's global business environment," said an IIM-C source.

"The heart of the entire system is a powerful user interface that enables large number of geographically distributed students to have a highly interactive one-to-one exchange with the faculty. The system incorporates live broadcast video, two way video and data interactivity to enable the students to watch and interact with the faculty," said a Hughes source.
Joydeep Ray in Ahmedabad