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Rise And Resistance

Management education has faced challenges of relevance over the years but in a world where India is a potential global superpower, academic institutes must continue to focus on what will create the next generation of leaders

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Over the last decade, much has been written about management institutes in India facing a crisis of relevance. Questions were raised whether these establish-ments have been managing to do enough to create leaders and a workforce that have the skillsets to navigate through the uncertainties and challenges of the business battle-grounds. While much has changed, the question of whether they are creating thinkers and doers who can lead India in the new world order remains.

One of the reasons for this is how India itself has changed. In the last couple of years, India’s ambitious goals of a $10 trillion economy coupled with its call for Atmanirbharta or self-dependence and a Sustainable Bharat have gained unprecedented attention. In various sectors, India is already climbing up the ladder to become a global hub and a centre of excellence. Whether it is technology, where Indian companies are coming to the fore globally or the pharma and auto sectors, where major expansions are taking place, or even the startup ecosystem, where India is already the third strongest globally, many examples point to India’s rise as a global superpower.

Against this backdrop, the conversation around academia becomes all the more pertinent. While many still choose to look out of India for their professional education, there is no doubt that Indian institutes have schooled some of the brightest minds and global leaders we see today. This reaffirms the current direction of the Indian management educational system.

On the flip side though, there is resistance to change, which has become more prominent now. Management education institutes in India adapted to the Covid induced challenges, changing themselves in drastic ways. Digital and online picked up and changes to curriculum and newer courses came into the fray. Training faculty members saw an upgrade of sorts as well to ensure they were equipped to handle the changes in the system.

As the dust settled with back to school, it has become evident how some of the changes, that were lauded not so long ago, have at best made it to the consideration set of academic institutions. The addition of new courses, schools and institutes is good news for students but maintaining global standards should not take a backseat.

It is not certain that academic institutions understand that normalcy does not take away from the fact that leadership traits will con-tinue to change and they will need to focus more on holistic student growth. Some of the age-old pro-cesses towards admission and teaching have their merits but a deliberate attempt must be made to remember the lessons of the last two years. The resistance to change, which seems to be crop-ping up in many ways again, must be addressed immediately.

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Nooring education Magazine 19 Nov 2022