Title: Strengthening Rural Management Education in India
Ansu Abraham, Assistant Professor, Xavier Institute of Management, Jabalpur – 482 021, India
Abstract: Rural India is drawing more attention than ever before. To develop rural India, we need rural managers. Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) recognized this need way back in 1979 and started a course in Rural Management. However, at a later stage, realizing the need to meet the growing managerial needs of ‘all types’ of organizations connected with rural economy, management institutions groomed their students to serve them too.This paper reflects certain concerns associated with the present Rural Management Education system, and proposes some changes for its strengthening. The first concern is related to the course curriculum. There is leakage of students from development sector to allied sectors. After completion of RM, most of the students join allied sectors or even mainstream business. Here, the concern is about the quality of workforce joining these sectors. Another concern related to curriculum is the limited rural exposures offered to the RM students. In earlier times, most of the RM Schools offered two rural exposures. But in due course, this tradition has disappeared. This has affected the quality of education. Similarly, the lack of rural exposure to allied specializations such as Agribusiness, Rural Marketing, Rural Finance etc.is also a matter of concern. The second concern is related to the visibility of RM Schools during admissions. At present, the enrollment to RM is also based on CAT, MAT etc. A separate All India level entrance test specifically for RM is the need of hour. Also,the premier institutions are not in the top 20 list of B School rankings, because of the ranking methodology which is tailored for the mainstream business schools. The third concern is related to the leakage of Rural Managers to other business sectors. “Alumni in corporate’ is becoming the thrust for some institutions. ButRural Managers need to serve the Rural Sector. Hence there is need to attract and retain young talents. Several changes need to be brought to the present RM education system to make it attractive and strong. All the proposals which are shared in this paper can be made possible with the support of subject experts, management, faculty and the students. Their combined effort will strengthen the system.But someone has to take the initiative; set an example; and lead.
Key Words: Rural Management, Rural Managers, Conventional B Schools
This paper must be cited as follows: Abraham, A., (2013). Strengthening Rural Management Education in India. Business Frontiers, 4(1), 1-8.