The most common thing at most of India’s premier institutes is that most of the students are males. And when we talk about IIM’s – those males have another thing in common – that most of them belong to the engineering fraternity.
It is now a known and a joked fact that most of the students at IIM’s are males and are engineers. As all these candidates have a similar background, they all tend to think alike. For the same problem – they all tend to give the same solution. There is no uniqueness in the solution given by each student. And this is what was worrying India Inc.
The one thing which was lacking in the previous batches of IIM’s is that there is no diversity. All students had the same engineering background and used the same logic and problem solving skills. They all reacted in a similar fashion and took decisions which were alike. In short – IIM’s was producing MBA’s – all with the same skills – in short Robots who all thought alike.
But businesses are not run by Robots. They are run by Human Beings. So they ought to understand how to react to different circumstances. And this can be inculcated only through diversity.
To add an element of diversity at IIM’s, most of the IIM’s have announced that they would be giving preference to Girls and Non-Engineers which would help them bring diversity in their batches.
The lack of diversity was always at the back of the minds of those running the IIM’s and they all were worried about the same. Suggestions were flowing in from all ends to increase the number of female candidates at IIM’s and some of the IIM’s had also started doing so.
For eg: At IIM-Kozikhode, 30% of the batch comprised of females in 2010 as compared to 10% in 2009. The same was the case at IIM-Bangalore wherein the percentage of female candidates was 21% in 2010 as compared to 14% in 2011.
But this fact that IIM’s is now giving preference to females was not documented anywhere. But now IIM’s have gone on record and have clearly written in the selection criteria that Girls and Non-Engineers would be given preference.
For eg: At IIM-Rohtak 20 additional marks would be given to Females and another 20 to Non-Engineers. So if a Non-engineer Female Candidate applies for IIM’s – she would be allotted 40 bonus marks
However, IIM Raipur has decided to award 15 marks to each girl candidate and another 15 to each non-engineer. (The Selection criteria of IIM-Raipur can be downloaded from here – http://www.iimraipur.ac.in/admission151.htm)
Do you think other Institutes should also start doing the same ?