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IIM Calcutta joins global club

New Delhi, Aug. 18: The Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, today became the first IIM and the country’s third B-school to join a global club recognised by the world’s oldest accrediting agency for business institutes.

A press statement issued by the US-based AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International said the IIM had earned accreditation in business studies along with four other institutes in Ecuador, Chinese Taipei, the UK and New Zealand.

The recognition means the Calcutta institute is one of only five per cent of B-schools worldwide to have made it to the club of 716 members from 48 countries.

IIM Lucknow director Devi Singh said the AACSB accreditation was the world’s most prestigious for management institutes. “We have applied for AACSB accreditation and hope to get it soon,” Singh said.

The other Indian B-schools that have got AACSB accreditation are the TA Pai Management Institute, Karnataka, and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, both private institutions.

IIM Calcutta dean (academics) Anindya Sen said his institute got the status within two years of applying. The recognition came after the AACSB conducted a review last month.

“They look at the mission and vision objectives and what initiatives are being taken to achieve these objectives. IIM Calcutta has said it would like to produce innovative and ethical leaders capable of managing changes in the global environment. Also, the institute wants to become a centre of excellence in teaching and research,” Sen said, adding that most of the leading international B-schools, such as the Harvard Business School, have got AACSB accreditation.

The AACSB, the Brussels-based European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and the UK-based AMBA (Association of MBAs) make up the three main accrediting agencies in the world.

While IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore have accreditation from EQUIS, IIM Lucknow, IIM Khozikode and IIM Calcutta have AMBA accreditation.

The process involves rigorous internal reviews and evaluations and can take years while the applicant institute executes a plan to meet the accreditation standards that require high-quality teaching environment, innovative programmes and active engagement with industry.

Founded in 1916, the AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. The IIMs, which offer master’s programmes, also have fellowships equivalent to doctoral degrees.

IIM Kozhikode director Debashis Chatterjee said degrees of students from AACSB-accredited institutions are readily recognised across the world. Although the IIMs have established themselves as a brand, students have been known to face problems while pursuing higher studies or jobs abroad since these B-schools offer postgraduate diplomas and not MBA degrees.

“Now our students will not be asked any questions. Once they know the student is from an AACSB-accredited institute, the degree will be recognised automatically,” Sen said.