Having said that the courses were not in line with the UGC approved programmes, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is shutting down five-year integrated MBA courses. AICTE has said that five-year integrated or dual-degree MBA programs need to stop.
AICTE, governed by the Human Resource Development Ministry, has directed universities and independent management schools to close such courses from the academic session 2016. This is not the first time that AICTE has closed a course. The four-year undergraduate degree in universities was shut down earlier on the directions of AICTE.
Students currently pursuing the five-year integrated MBA are provided with the option to exit but there will be no fresh admission for the courses. “The AICTE has decided the following: the dual degree courses have been closed (sic) and no fresh admission should be permitted from AY (academic year) 2016-17,” stated the circular issued to all institutions.
AICTE regulates more than 11,000 institutions, though the number of institutions that are running these programs or the number of students enrolled in them are unknown. The Indian Institutes of Management don’t befall under the regulatory framework of AICTE.
The AICTE gave its nod to the five-year integrated MBA in 2012-13 as a customization that was mandatory to adapt to the needs of the Indian market and the industry. The five-year integrated course was designed to provide an undergraduate degree by the end of the 3rd year, followed by a master’s degree at the end of the 5th year.
According to the regulator, there are three key objectives of starting such courses:
a) “To educate and groom the students to get entry level managerial positions in manufacturing/services organizations or to start and run own ventures with good business knowledge.
b) To facilitate the development of students to take up growing challenges and find and implement solutions that are environmentally viable, ethically correct and socially acceptable.
c) To provide for job opportunities at different levels of management within organizations starting at supervisory level in small and medium enterprises and middle level management in large PSUs and MNCs.”
When asked about the closure of the courses, AICTE reassured and wrote that the closure will safeguard the interests of the students who are already enrolled in such courses since 2012-13. It said, “There will be an exit option at the end of three years for the students, who have joined the dual degree courses in 2015-16 and prior to that, by awarding a BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration) degree instead of a BM (Bachelor in Management) degree.”
Students in their pre-final year will be asked to complete another year and will be “allowed BBA/MBA degree after completion”, as exit option is not provided to the students who have completed their fourth year.
The AICTE also mentioned that the University Grants Commission and the higher education regulator were also involved in the decision-making.