Thursday, September 13, 2012

IIM-Calcutta pips its peers in research projects

The Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta (IIM-C) is leading the way in research project, pipping its peers IIM-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and IIM-Bangalore (IIM-B).Of the top three IIMs, IIM-C published 40 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, and presented 25 papers at international conferences during 2010-11, according to the institute’s annual report. IIM-B, on its part, saw eight research and seven case writing projects being completed and published during the same period. In comparison, however, the oldest premier B-school IIM-A saw only one research project being completed as against 42 in 2009-10.

Such has been the struggle for improving research at its campus that in the annual report, Samir Barua, Director, IIM-A said, “Several new initiatives, including organisation of case writing workshops, were taken during the year to increase the number of cases being written by faculty of the institute.”

IIM-A has initiated a new performance system wherein research will be given equal weightage as teaching in annual appraisals of faculty members. In terms of consulting projects being completed, IIM-A scored against its peer with 105 in 2010-11. Its counterpart, IIM-B, saw 19 consulting projects being completed for the same period.

Even in terms of research projects being initiated in 2010-11, IIM-C pipped its peers with 13 new projects, followed by nine by IIM-A and eight by IIM-B. IIM-C also had more number of projects published on international platform as compared to its peer institutions.

“Our faculty members published around 40 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented around 25 papers at international conferences during the year. The institute funded 13 new research projects undertaken by faculty members and two projects received external funding support,” said Ajit Balakrishnan, Chairman of Board of Governors at IIM-C.

Further, a new faculty promotion policy was implemented this year at IIM-C with the objective of further strengthening the research environment. During the year the IIM-C funded 13 new research projects. Of these, 12 projects were in the Rs. 100,000 category and one was in the Rs. 500,000 category. In addition to this, two other research projects were launched by faculty members through external funding.

“In line with the institute’s long-term vision we saw significant progress in our efforts to transform into a research-based organisation, in terms of growth in scholarly publications as well as case studies and teaching aids,” said Pankaj Chandra, Director of IIM-B in its annual report of 2010-11. IIM-B has already entered into an agreement with Harvard Business Publishing, under which the latter will distribute its collection of teaching cases.

Experts, however, believe that Indian institutes need to put in more efforts to improve quality to achieve international standards. “India’s research base already has some outstanding activity but, it appears, thinly spread; and while research generally is often ‘very good’ it is more rarely ‘internationally excellent’. The underlying patterns of excellence and an explanation for India’s ‘deficit’ compared to other countries requires further investigation,” said Jonathan Adams, Director, Research Evaluation, Thompson Reuters, had told Business Standard.

Indian universities, added Adams, produce a modest output of research that has really high global impact. By comparison, other growing research economies are producing not only more research but also more high quality research.

Source: Business Standard, September 13, 2012

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