New chapter for IIM in Bodhgaya

Hope to make up 2-month delay

By Alok Kumar in Gaya
  • Published 1.09.15
Students of IIM-Bodhgaya attend the event on Monday and (right) Union HRD minister Smriti Irani lights the inaugural lamp. Pictures by Suman

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Bodhgaya's first academic session began on Monday after Union human resource development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the institute.

The course started over two months late but the authorities are hopeful they will make up for the lost time and the minister threw light on her vision for the institute.

Thirty students from nine states attended the first class on behavioural science, conducted by IIM-Calcutta teacher Amit Jyoti Sen.

The class started at 3.30pm - on the first floor of the directorate of distance education (DDE) building on the Magadh University campus - and was of 90-minute duration. Another class on the same subject and duration followed soon after the first one. The classes would continue there till a permanent campus comes up.

The first batch expressed happiness that their campus was located at a peaceful place, away from the bustle and din of town.

Ankur Barot from Mumbai said: "It is of great satisfaction that the institute is located on a well spread-out campus with peaceful atmosphere, away from the crowd. Of course, it is some distance away from the city, but that is actually a positive point because we can, this way, concentrate on our studies."

Prashant Kumar of Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh), Vivek Sinha of Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Rupam Das of Cooch Behar (Bengal) agreed with their classmate.

Prashant said: "We have opted for Bodhgaya because the faculty at IIM-Calcutta (mentor institute for IIM-Bodhgaya) is the best in Asia. Facilities available here are also good. The campus has Wi-Fi facility, the classrooms are air conditioned. We have a computer laboratory and a library. Hostel facilities too, are good. We were initially a bit worried about our meals but now a mess has started."

Teachers from IIM-Calcutta would keep guiding the new institution.

The B-school's academic session started two months late. Manish Thakur, convener of the task force constituted to look into IIM-Bodhgaya's affairs, indicated that classes should have started from June 22. But IIM-Bodhgaya got cabinet approval on June 25. "We will make all efforts, like holding extra classes on Sundays, to cover the syllabus. At present, faculty from IIM-Calcutta will be arriving to hold classes as per requirement. Appointment of other staff is also in the works. We have appointed three attendants and are going to appoint three office assistants soon."

Union human resource development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani, who inaugurated the institute on Monday, stressed on preparing a separate management intervention plan for it, based on field survey of nearby places by students to explore possibilities for business, scale up local skill and religious tourism. She suggested adoption of a nearby village and efforts for all-round development there with the help of students.

State education minister P.K. Shahi said the Magadh University administration has made available 119 acres on its campus for the B-school. The process of land transfer in the name of the committee constituted for IIM-Bodhgaya has to be completed. Land would be transferred to the committee after the state cabinet approves the proposal.

IIM-Calcutta director Shaibal Chattopadhyay, who is also mentor director of IIM-Bodhgaya, said: "We have got a second opportunity after successfully mentoring IIM-Ranchi. We will design a programme curriculum that suits the new B-school. Full-fledged faculty and other staff would be recruited once a director is appointed."

Foundation stone

At another function on the campus of Central University of South Bihar (CUSB) at Panchanpur on the Gaya-Tekari road (around 15km west of Gaya town) the HRD minister laid the foundation stone for construction of seven buildings. Here too, she asked vice-chancellor Harish Chandra Singh Rathore to adopt five nearby villages for all-round development. She announced that the entire CUSB campus would be a Wi-Fi zone. She asked the VC to get world-class faculty for the university. Responding to the request from the VC for a Kendriya Vidyalaya on the varsity campus, she asked him to send such a proposal. "I will hold a meeting with the committee concerned within a week and get the proposal approved," she said.

NAAC exemption

Smriti virtually turned down state education minister P.K. Shahi's plea to not make National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) assessment necessary for universities and colleges to get funds under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (Rusa). NAAC assessment is done at least five years after an institution is established and after the first batch passes out. "Five years are enough for an institution to develop infrastructure, appoint teaching and the non-teaching staff," the Union minister said. Shahi had sought exemption from NAAC assessment on the pretext that Bihar was a financially weak state.