By Mayank Jain:
In a parallel world from ours, the stage is set. The dictionaries are a little torn up but the thesaurus is holding its own against the flustered fumbling hands of the Honorary Dean and his team who have been vigorously looking for the synonym they can use next, now that the High Court has forbidden them from calling themselves a ‘management institute’. Such is the case of IIPM which has been asked to not use the words like management school, business school or B-school to describe itself.
Words, like statistics, can mean whatever we want them to mean and the recent judgment will only make ourÂ faith stronger in the Verbal Ability of the IIPM’s ‘think-tank’ which will soon ‘innovate’ a new marketing campaign. The only way to lure people into ‘management education’ which is not even backed by a real degree is through the mirage of global exposure. They accomplish this through fake associations with some of the best universities in the world.
The website brandishes logos of New York University, Berkeley, and Stanford among others as the partners of this famous (rather infamous) institute. But, a little digging revealed that official circulars from these universities have nullified all these false claims of ‘associations’. In fact, Stanford University even issued a notice clarifying the fact that they don’t have any such association with IIPM. The only real collaboration is with a clone university in Belgium, however, thinking of that as a real institution will be too optimistic.
What the whole fiasco reveals about the education system in the country though, is the fact that students end up being gullible because of the neglect of those publications and surveys which end up listing such institutes. Surveys should not rank universities on what they claim on the web since such claims can be easily bought or sold. The rankings, the surveys and everything about institutes like these turn out to be a sham at some point.
In a day and age where our IITs and IIMs aren’t able to make it among the world’s top 300, forget top 30 if you even harboured that dream, we really don’t need fake management institutions to rank themselves high up on the surveys that they sponsor themselves.
There is hardly a rational reason to enrol for management education which isn’t about management and receive a certificate which is not really a recognized degree. Even the fake placements they promise will not come to one’s rescue at the point because UGC has been warning against such frauds for a long enough time. Ergo, no education is better than a really expensive illusion of education achieved over a period of 2-3 crucial years of one’s life, right?
After this institute leaves the space of fake institutes serving degrees to those who fall into the trap and end up paying lakhs, the race will open up again. This time the field will be level and empty for those con men who will rise once again. They will do it all, invent jargons, institutions and their own rankings to keep the spread of real education in check. They will have a tough time diluting the monopoly of IIMs and IITs but with the grit as that of the institute in question and taking a leaf or two from their marketing strategies, they might just make a fool of us, once again.
Till the time it happens, thesauruses will suffer, money will continue to flow for publishers and newspapers who carry their ads and universities like Stanford and Harvard will see a drop in their quality of education and classes won’t happen. Professors will spend extra hours defying the claims of fake universities in India announcing associations with the best in the world.
Maybe it is indeed too early to dare to think beyond IIMs.