When IIM was established first in Calcutta followed by Ahmadabad, Dr Kurien, famous father of milk revolution advised that graduates with working experience in executive cadre should be admitted into the course, but this was ignored.

Since 2003 there has been growth of business schools reaching 5,200 numbers in 2014 and 98 per cent in private holding. Dwindling number does not indicate industry slowdown only, the root cause is elsewhere. The unemployment or mal-employment of MBAs is due to unscrupulous mushrooming of business schools throughout the country giving rise to abundant unwanted supply. The lacuna lies in substandard quality, poor academic achievement, below average IQ and EQ.

Most private business schools exploited unemployed graduates having substandard grade in undergraduate level by false advertisement and students feel that MBA qualification is a panacea to unemployment.

Howard J Baumgartel of USA who conducted research on management education in India was of the view that top priorities for institutes are to improve the quality of the faculty to address and respond to critical social, economic and technological issues. Relying excessively on lecture method rather than class participation stymies the growth of the students.

Another question to be addressed is whether management institutes should admit fresh graduates or with few years of work experience and whether faculty should have industry experience in relevant discipline for professional subjects.

Here are some experts’ opinions:

*The uninitiated students have certain perception of the industry but the reality differs.

*The art or science of management is rooted in each organisation in relation to the peculiarity therein. If MBA education is aimed more at practising managers, frustrations would diminish.

*The almost unanimous opinion of the faculties that they found teaching students with work experience far more satisfactory in terms of participant response. This clearly suggests a need for serious consideration as to whether work experience should be made an entry level pre-requisite for the full time management institutes.

*In USA both fresh graduates and graduates with work experience study MBA but very reputed institutes insist on work experience. It has been found both that MBAs with work experience start with higher salary comparatively.

*Unemployed MBAs are much more in freshers not with work experience.

*Work experience hones the knowledge while deciding course of actions and more.

*MBA is a professional course not strictly theoretical, hence qualified professional in senior position will be able to highlight the current problems, challenges, and opportunities, successful practices by dominant as they are part of it.

Faculty from industry will stress business relevance and academic will stress on academic elegance, hence faculty having PhD back ground as per regulations coupled with industry exposure at senior level will make value additions to the students far better.

It has been found that faculty with industry background has more acceptances since macro environment and concomitant effects on the industry, real life experiences can be explained effectively by seasoned executives.

UGC / AICTE have specified mandatory requirements for appointing qualified members and principals. However, both candidates can be appointed since they possess PhD qualification. The distinctive features will be “publish or perish” and industry exposure. Basically, faculties have to provide intellectual horse power to the students.

UGC wanted arrest of brain drain as well as attracting talent in teaching. Obviously UGC also stipulated certain requisites as mentioned above. But unfortunately, very few considered teaching as career either in school or college and teaching profession was taken by compulsion as not being able to be absorbed anywhere. Hence, research and publications by faculties became the casualty.

Faculties both core and visiting in universities or institutes hardly have publication, and industry background. Urgent need is experimental learning, hence integrated and energised teaching should be resorted to participation, question attitude among students. The evaluation system should not encourage rote centric, otherwise will produce large number of text book managers, not employable in the industry.

Today’s industry needs personnel with exposure to multiple disciplines. While selecting business school, students look for quality of faculty, quality of infrastructure, quality of placements and current feedback of students. Gimmicks of private business schools no longer works as there is no taker of run of the mill product of MBAs.

It is not true that MBA course has become redundant — it is quality not quantity and matching supply and demand. MSEs opt for BBA students as they find their worth commensurate with job requirements have more commitment and involvement and do not look for better employment immediately on joining, imparting inhouse training.

Private institutions have been closing MBA course, as the students have been deserting them, same is the case with universities who are continuing. Even the admission is drastically down as funding is by the government. They continue with losses, it is a natural expected death as quality of the output of the institute should be acceptable quality of the industry.

This was not visualised either by private institutes or universities. At the same time, private institutes are making more efforts to make BBA course popular and the intake quantity has not gone down.

The writer is ex vice-president, Elecon Engineering Co Ltd, and a visiting faculty to various management institutes and universities