Prof. Debashis Chatterjee,
Director, IIM Kozhikode
Your institution has established a firm name in the education sector. What are the strengths of IIM Kozhikode and why should students opt to educate themselves here?
We have been able to carve out a niche for ourselves over the past 25 years, because of our innovative initiatives. Academic rigour, research focus and education excellence under the foremost thought leaders of the country has always been our strength. We have been reinventing consistently by introducing programmes like liberal studies and management, midcareer MBA programmes, online MBA programmes, and doctoral programmes for working executives. We tailor our programmes according to the changing times.
What is the motto of your institution and how do you ensure that the motto is carried out?
We think in terms of what IIM Kozhikode will be able to contribute to India and the world in the next three decades with ‘Vision 2047: Globalizing Indian Thought’. Our mission is bigger than just disseminating academic or professional courses. We focus on six interwoven concepts – creating and maintaining academic excellence; developing a diverse community; blending current trends with culturally congruent values; encouraging a sense of social responsibility; fostering imagination and staying connected with beautiful minds.
Given how competitive today’s world is, what processes is the institute involved in to ensure that you keep up with the times and provide the best facilities.
We emphasise on providing greater flexibility and freedom to students. The ability of learners to skilfully resolve problems cannot appear by itself. It must be mentored and trained through the application of the concepts taught and help them nurture their talents in a free environment. The need of exposure to non-quantitative courses along with quantitative ones is a priority as well.
The pandemic brought the entire world, including the education sector, to a standstill. What are your takeaways from the pandemic and how is it going to affect the education sector in the future?
When the pandemic struck, ‘Golden Crisis’ was the postulation with which we moved forward. For an institution like ours, which pioneered the Interactive – Learning (I-L) Program for working executives in India, the transition was a lot smoother. We took on the challenges to carve out success, exemplified by a 100% placement record for our flagship MBA as well as the inaugural batch of our one-year MBA. Blended learning is now the future. Digital education is likely to be integrated into mainstream education. Digital will be the nuts and bolts of learning, though romance of learning will still be offline.
As a Director, what are some of the achievements of your institutions that you are particularly proud of?
IIM Kozhikode was the first to admit more than 50% women students in our flagship PGP course back in 2013. Our main MBA programme consists of 54% women, whereas 30% of our faculty and 40% members of the Board of Governors are women. Further, having consistently drawn in top-five IIMs of the country, we made our debut in global rankings in QS World Rankings for our MBA and EMBA programmes, with a world rank of 90 for the ‘Thought Leadership’ Category. We are the only IIM in the country to have a museum dedicated to the journey of Indian Business along with a start-up incubation centre to nurture young entrepreneurs of the country.
The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is set to roll out for the upcoming academic year. What are your thoughts on the same? What changes and transformations do you see for the Indian education system?
The NEP introduced by the Government is a welcome step, but what remains a challenge is its implementation on ground. There will be long term impacts of NEP w.r.t management education. Many top B-Schools will rethink their programmes and course curriculum. The move to bring back focus on regional languages in formative years is also a sound move to nurture the cultural aspects of a rich and diverse country like India.