IGNOU's new eligibility criteria for MBA aspirants backfires

Published: 23 December, 2013 05:44 IST | Niranjan Medhekar |

Number of students applying for course via distance learning has declined drastically after institute made three-year professional experience compulsory to improve quality of students

The revised eligibility criteria of having at least three years professional experience to pursue MBA set by the Indira Gandhi National Open University’s (IGNOU) seems to have boomeranged, as the number of candidates registering for MBA course via distance education seems dwindling. The IGNOU’s decision has surprised students and educationists considering that thousands of seats form the previous academic year are still vacant. 

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IGNOU’s Pune regional centre has witnessed a drastic fall in numbers of fresh registrations of its MBA course. While the number of candidates who took admission for the MBA distance education programme was 331 in January 2012, only 63 candidates for the same course in July 2012. The poor response for the course had continued in January 2013, with just 71 candidates and dropped further to just 59 candidates July 2013.

“Until last year, graduation in any discipline with 50 per cent marks was the criteria to qualify for the MBA programme. But IGNOU introduced the new criteria of three years (post-qualification) managerial, supervisory or professional experience to maintain quality of students. This can be one of the reasons in sudden decline in the number of students taking up MBA,” Dr Kalpana Gupte, regional director of IGNOU, said. Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), which conducts MBA centralised admissions in the state, is yet to introduce such work experience criteria -- introduced by IGNOU -- to pursue MBA.

“University of Pune’s (UoP) management department admits student as per rules set by the DTE, and it doesn’t have any such requirement of work experience,” Cap C M Chitale, senior professor of management department, said. According to Chitale, about 12,000 MBA seats are lying vacant this year.

Declining trend
Like IGNOU, Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) too has been witnessing a similar decline in number of students applying for management courses for last three years. Dr Swati Mujumdar, Director of SCDL, said, “We run 21 different management courses, out of which post-graduate diploma in business management (PGDBM) received highest response. But like other institutes, we are also observing low response to management studies for the past three years. Adverse demand-supply is the main reason behind it.”  

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