New Delhi: Alumni from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad have petitioned the director of the institute, asking him to implement reservations for SC/ST groups in the Fellow Programme in Management (FPM – a postgraduate programme).
This issue has been raised by the alumni and researchers for a while now, ever since an RTI query revealed the dismal diversity standard at the faculty level in IIMs across the country. Deepak Malghan and Siddhartha Joshi – scholars who first raised this issue – have traced this lack of diversity back to the FPM, as most IIM faculty members have a postgraduate degree from an IIM.
In their latest letter to IIM Ahmedabad director Errol D’Souza, the Global Alumni Network has said:
World over, great institutions of higher learning recognize the value of social diversity in improving the learning experience for all students. Indeed, in your own memorable convocation address in 2018, you had declared that the “diversity fairy” has landed on our IIMA campus. Alas, the fairy seems to have missed the most gaping diversity hole on campus. In 2019, it is unconscionable that IIMA continues to defy constitutional and statutory mandates in its doctoral admissions. As you know, graduates of IIMA doctoral programmes not only teach at IIMA but also in several other leading management schools in the country.
The alumni also pointed out other IIMs have begun to implement reservations in the postgraduate programmes. However, IIMA is yet to do so.
Driven in large part by the arguments made by alumni organizations, our peer institutions such as IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Bangalore and other IIMs like IIM-Tiruchirappali, IIM-Shillong, IIM-Raipur, IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Kashipur, IIM-Indore, IIM Vishakhapatnam, IIM-Rohtak, IIM-Kozhikode and IIM-Ranchi have implemented affirmative action in their fellow programmes. Other six IIMs have no fellowship program as yet. We would love to see our beloved IIMA to regain its rightful leadership role on questions of diversity and inclusion. The right place to begin is by unequivocally committing IIMA to meet or exceed constitutional mandates for the FPM programme starting academic year 2019-20.
In their research, Deepak Malghan and Siddharth Joshi pointed out that of the 642 IIM faculty members they could gather information on, only four were from the SC category and there was not even a single ST. They trace this lack of diversity back to the post-graduate programmes at the IIMs – most faculty members have done the postgraduate from an IIM.