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Inclusivity Is One Of The Core Values Of IIM Sambalpur

From laying the foundation stone for its permanent campus to its gender inclusivity,Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur has had an impactful year. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Founding Director shares insights.

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2021 started well for IIM Sambalpur with the foundation stone laying ceremony of the permanent campus. Could you tell us about the new campus?

We started the year in the best possible way with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of our permanent campus, which is to be developed in an area of land measuring approximately about 220 acres at Basantapur village near Sambalpur city. It will be a state-of-the-art green campus featuring the art and culture of Odisha. In Phase-I, the built-up area (60,280 sqm approx) under various buildings of the project shall be constructed.

The four-star GRIHA rated sustainable campus will follow energy efficient and ecologically sensitive principles of development. Domestic water consumption will be reduced by using dual flushing cisterns, less water consuming urinals, showers, faucets, etc. The campus will be 100 per cent day lit in regularly occupied living areas and fresh air ventilated interior spaces. Treated water from STP will be used for irrigation and flushing. The use of energy efficient electric appliances will help in considerably reduced electricity consumption.

The most striking feature of the campus will be the incorporation of regional art that creates a symbiotic relationship with the architecture. Odisha’s traditional ikat—a patterned textile-dyeing technique — is mapped onto the brick facade with remarkable elegance, in colours similar to the soils of the state. The Phase-I works will have major buildings like administration building, faculty block, academic block, auditorium block, MDP block including guest house, library and incubation block, hostel buildings, mess and dining block, shopping and activity block, sports and recreation with OAT, faculty residence and staff residence, directors bungalow, community centre and site development work, etc. The new campus is expected to be ready by September 2022.
How do you look at gender diversity at IIM Sambalpur?

Inclusivity is one of the core values of IIM Sambalpur and in just a few years of our operations we have outnumbered all other IIMs in terms of gender diversity. The ecosystem we have created based on the 3I’s of Innovation, Inclusiveness and Integrity have been instrumental in creating this difference. As part of the inclusiveness policy of our core values of 3I’s, since 2019 we made a change to our admission policy where we give 5 per cent reduction in CAT percentile to female candidates as compared to male candidates while calling for personal interview and then create common merit. Additionally, innovative learning pedagogy such as flipped classroom and good placement records have also played a vital role in attracting the talented girls and boys at IIM Sambalpur. We were the first IIM in 2019 MBA admission with the highest gender-inclusive diversity of 49 per cent female students in MBA, 44 per cent in 2020 and 48 per cent female in 2021. This year we have 48 per cent of girls in a batch of 169 students in MBA 2021-23 from more than 22 different states in India.

The pandemic had a large impact on educational institutions. How did your institute manage the transition?

At IIM Sambalpur, we believe in being future-ready. Our vision and operating value system are to nurture responsible leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets. Being a new generation IIM, we have the advantage of adopting new pedagogies and implementing new technologies. For creating leaders of the future, we had introduced the concept of flipped classrooms in 2018 long before Covid turned classroom education into a distant dream. Flipped classrooms is a blended mode of teaching, and it has yielded excellent results. We became the pioneer amongst IIMs to conduct a part of our admission process last year through online proctored exams owing to the lockdown and Covid scenario. All our classrooms are smart, and we use learning management software. This makes accessing notes and study materials easy for the students. Even if they miss the class due to connectivity issues, they can easily catch up with the class recordings. Our advanced digitisation helped us in easy transition to the online mode during the pandemic.

IIM Sambalpur has launched its first Executive MBA degree program. What is the USP of this course?

Our Executive MBA is a two-year degree program for working professionals. The program is designed to capture the dimension of futuristic organisations with an immersive and active learning experience to equip future leaders. The program will benefit those having a strong entrepreneurial mindset and leverage various Government of India initiatives like Make in India and Startup India. The entire spectrum of the program will cover emerging global trends, international interface, aligned with government eco-system, and transform opportunities into actions. The program shall emphasise more on people management and digital transformation.

The uniqueness of our Executive MBA degree program for working professionals lies in its cutting-edge curriculum to build responsible leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset, and specialisation in all functional areas with an emphasis on forthcoming disruptions. The entire course structure is to make the program contemporary and relevant. The role of IIM Sambalpur is to build entrepreneurial capacity to create wealth for our country and our society. Our unique proposition is to nurture a larger number of startups and entrepreneurs across the country.    

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Mahadeo Jaiswal

The author is Director, IIM Sambalpur

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