When Samir K Barua took over as the director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) in November 2007, he had listed knowledge creation, hiring and retention of faculty members and increasing contacts with the industry as his priority work areas.
Four months on, Barua is planning a number of initiatives in the upcoming academic year towards achieving his objectives.
Keeping with his focus on knowledge creation for the institute, the director is thinking of making case study writing a must for every student who completes the post-graduate programme (PGP). What's more, Barua would like the case studies to be focused on social issues.
"We are thinking of an initiative to make case study submissions compulsory for every student. This would add value to the students' work at the institute and would also help create knowledge resources for IIM-A," Barua said.
He added that case studies in the social sector and concepts like social entrepreneurship would be explored.
Having seen recruiters from varied sectors evince interest in hiring students, the director is keen on introducing new courses in the real estate and insurance sector as part of the PGP's electives.
To tackle the problem of lack of quality faculty members, the director has already sent out offer letters to a number of qualified candidates and is expecting close to 25 of them to join the institute by March 2009. The institute has 84 faculty members currently.
Admitting that he was 'apprehensive' about placements this year due to the sub-prime crisis, Barua said most recruiters had been attracted towards the 'value proposition' offered by the institute through five different programmes this year.
Other than the flagship two-year PGP and PGP-Agri Business Management programmes, IIM-A had the second batch of post-graduate programme in management for executives (PGPX), first batch of post-graduate programme in public management and policy (PGP-PMP) and the certificate course in business administration for officers of Indian Armed Forces sitting for placements.
Following the footsteps of PGPX, the second batch of PGP-PMP has had a fee hike from Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh and is expected to go up to Rs 15 lakh for the third batch. The batch size will go up from 33 to 45.