Saturday, August 28, 2010

Panel for steep hike in IIM Ph.D. funds

A high-powered committee that evaluated faculty and research in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) has recommended that in order to step up the production of Ph.D.s from the IIM system, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) should fund Rs. 30 lakh (Rs. 3 million) per doctoral candidate for four years. The committee, headed by IIM-Calcutta Chairman Ajit Balakrishnan, believes such an initiative will help step up output of Ph.D.s in IIMs to 150 per year from the present 50 every year. IIMs have also been told to increase their internal funding of research projects and make research less dependent on external sponsorships. External sponsorship, it said, often resulted in hagiography as sponsors reserved the right to edit the final product.

The committee, set up in April, also said that MHRD should fund a quarterly practitioner-oriented journal along the lines of Harvard Business Review which should be titled "IIM Business Review". The journal should consist research from across the IIM system using professional editors. Also, an annual IIM World Research Conference be held, it said.

As for the system of performance appraisal and compensation to faculty, the committee recommended that each teacher must teach a minimum of 120 sessions across the academic programmes. It was much less than the demand made on faculty in management schools all over the world. In real terms, it would mean 150-160 hours of classroom teaching.

Recognizing that once a faculty member becomes an IIM Director, he has to forego all consulting and training income, the committee recommended that directors be paid an additional amount of Rs. 10-12 lakh (Rs. 1-1.2 million)per year as an incentive. The committee justified the extra income since it would come from the earnings of IIM and would also be as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

To deal with faculty shortage, the committee said IIMs should hire practice-oriented faculty: practising managers with 10 years of work experience and a good MBA degree. Ph.D. as qualification should not be insisted, it said. Also, research scholars from abroad should be invited on three-year contracts to take up residence with a light teaching load to guide research scholars. It has given the example of how Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study gained prominence when Einstein came as a research scholar.

Source: The Times of India, August 28, 2010

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