IIT Ahmedabad shoots letter to Union Government opposing CGPA criteria

IIT Ahmedabad – Expressing reservation on the eligibility criteria formulated by the Union Government for admission to the doctoral program offered by the Indian Institute of Management, the IIT Ahmedabad had shot off a letter. It may be recalled that the Human Resources Development Ministry of the Government of India had written to all 20 business schools across the nation as early as October this year, allowing these institutions to admit students with a four-year bachelor degree directly into the PhD program. The duration of the doctoral course for such candidates is fixed at four years, and only those with a minimum of eight CGPA or equivalent are eligible to apply, according to IE report.

In case of the three-year doctoral programme, the HRD Ministry has clarified that applicants should either have a master’s degree or a two-year PG diploma or a professional qualification such as CA/ICWA/CS with B.Com. Precisely, IIM-A director Erol D’Souza has taken exception to the above criteria, especially the requirement for two-year diploma and a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of eight for applicants with an engineering background.

D’Souza confirmed to IE that he has written to the higher education secretary, R Subrahmanyam, requested him latter to amend the government notification. Justifying his opposition to the CGPA criterion, D’Souza said that this is inconsistent with the practice followed by institutes before the new IIM Act kicked in.

“If we look at our admission record (for the doctoral program) from the past decade, almost half of our students are engineers and roughly 60% of them have had a CGPA of less than eight. The reason we don’t focus only on CGPA is that we also ask for a statement of purpose and conduct an hour-long personal interview. So it’s a holistic assessment of which CGPA is just one of the things we consider. What is more, as per the latest notification, none of those who qualified for the doctoral programme in the past would get admission today. Many of them are currently teaching in the IIMs. So with this notification, you are saying that those guys are worthless.”

The director, in his letter, has also objected to the Union Government, not including the one-year PG diploma (executive program) offered by the IIMs in the eligibility criteria. IIM-A, in the past, has admitted candidates with a one-year PG diploma to their doctoral programme. “Why to change what has worked for us in the past?” he quipped.

The Ministry’s notification on the eligibility criteria for admission to the PhD program was brought out in response to clarifications sought by some IIMs, who are now empowered to award PhD degrees instead of offering the Fellow Programme in Management (FPM), added the report.

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