Despite being the leader in technical education in the country, IITs are still regarded less than first grade when it comes to providing business education.
Even as they work to create a pool of technical experts with good management skills, the most coveted engineering institutes of the country -- the Indian Institutes of Technology -- are not the first choice for management programmes.
IIT graduates, by virtue of graduating from the top institutes of engineering, aim for a management school which is equally high up in the rankings.
"These departments could be a choice for students who could not make it to the IIT at undergraduate level but not IIT graduates," notes Arindam Lahiri, director (academics), Career Launcher.
Going by the perception of students aspiring for management education, these departments are definitely not their first choice, asserts Jaideep Singh Chowdhary, senior member academic team, TIME -- a management entrance training institute, said.
As per the estimates by TIME, nearly 54 per cent of students across eight IIMs are engineers -- of which around 20 per cent are IIT graduates.
"IIM graduates are taught industry strategies which reduces the burden of companies when it comes to training freshers. Management graduates from IITs, on the other hand, have education in a technical environment and are thus expected to do well in the technical department. Hence, they are given second preference which does affect the remuneration of these graduates," explains Arvind Sehgal, director, New Era India Consultancy.
He points out that while the remuneration for IIM graduates typically averages around Rs 12-15 lakh (Rs 1.2 to Rs 1.5 million) per annum, a fresh management graduate from IIT pockets only around Rs 600,000-700,000.
Satya Narayanan, founder-chairman & director, Indus World School of Business, concurs that these departments are a notch or two lower than the Indian Institute of Management -- the premier institutes of management education in the country.
However, the management departments of IITs are slowly seeing an increase in remuneration packages. For instance, this year the average domestic salary at the Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, increased by 44 per cent at Rs 13.96 lakh (Rs 1.39 million) as compared to Rs 9,71,000 last year.
The Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur, too recorded an average domestic salary of Rs 11.44 lakh (Rs 1.14 million) per annum -- a 30 per cent increase over last year's average.
The gap, in any case, remains, as this is countered with a considerable rise in the salary of IIM graduates as well.
Apart from older IIMs, like IIM-Ahmedabad, where lateral placements recorded an increase of nearly 13 per cent in average salary to reach around Rs 18 lakh (Rs 1.8 million), newer IIMs like IIM Khozikode, too, registered an average salary of Rs 14.83 lakh (Rs 1.48 million) per annum, a 16 per cent increase over last year's figure.
"Of course, the IIMs are very good, but as such they cannot be compared to the management schools run by the IITs. We, in our own way, have been having good placements in recent times. Even though the IIT graduates go to the IIMs or even abroad, some of them do opt for management courses in these departments, especially in the dual degree programme which IIT-Kharagpur introduced two years ago," said Probir Kumar Gupta, Dean, VGSOM.
"There are reasons to go into diverse fields and get a management degree from the IIMs but if one wishes to specialise in technical management a degree from IITs is a good option," K Raman, executive director KPMG said.
The department of management studies came up with the objective of creating a centre of excellence in management education with emphasis on technology-driven and knowledge-based industries.
The oldest is at IIT-Kanpur, which came up in 1974. It is also engaged in a diverse set of activities including industry consultancy, management development programs, academic research, public sector projects among others.