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Become IIM alumnus in 3 weeks for Rs 10,000

Ahmedabad, May 3: You don’t need to bell the CAT any more to become an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad.

Under a revised policy brought in by the institute, anyone who has done a minimum three weeks’ course at the premier B-school will be officially entitled to “alumnus status” — for a price, of course.

All they need to do is pay a one-time fee of Rs 10,000.

So far, only those who pursued the IIM’s long-term, two-year postgraduate programmes after clearing the tough Common Admission Test (CAT) were eligible for the tag.

According to the revised rule, which kicked in last month, students doing short and medium-term courses — of more than three weeks to a year — at the management institute will also be entitled to the status if they pay the fee.

They will be given an identity card with their name, photograph, programme name, batch and alumnus number printed on it.

Those who have done their postgraduate diploma in two-year programmes in management, agri-business management or public management and policy will also get a similar identity card. But they won’t have to pay Rs 10,000 for the alumnus status.

Apart from the prestigious alumnus tag, the status allows these former students to get discounts and access other facilities if they visit the campus and stay there.

Under the new policy, those who have already completed multiple short-duration courses totalling three weeks would also be eligible for the status provided they pay the fee. The changed policy does not specify a cut-off year for past students.

Atanu Ghosh, dean, alumni and external relationships, said the idea behind the revised policy was “to differentiate” between students of core and short-term programmes and “improve” connection with ex-students.

“Essentially, we want everyone to be actively involved with the institute and contribute,” said Amal Dhruv, former president of the alumni association, who had given his inputs for the revised policy.

The alumnus status fee, he added, would also help generate “surplus” revenue for the institute’s corpus to “carry out important activities”.

Nearly 1,500 students enrol for short-term courses every year at the institute.

At a convocation, IIMA director Samir Barua had said the institute’s projected expenses for 2012-13 were estimated to be around Rs 140 crore. The B-school has a corpus of Rs 54 crore now.

Ghosh, however, denied that revenue generation was one of the reasons behind the move to expand the alumni ambit for a fee.

“Several global business schools follow the same practice,” he said. “In fact, they charge much more annually for the alumni status. We will charge only one time.”

Ghosh said the institute had not been taking any grants from the Centre for the past six years. The business school, he added, was getting by on its own from funds generated from tuition fees, consultancy assignments and management development programmes.

According to an official, management development programmes that range from two days to five weeks bring in about two-thirds of the institute’s revenue.

Many new courses, he added, have been introduced. Fourteen courses were introduced in 2010-11, with a 10-day course costing Rs 4.99 lakh.