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Non –Engineering students rise from 5% to 33% in 7 years at IIM – Ahmedabad

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 Till 2011, it was given that 95% of those who admitted in India’s premiere post-graduation program in management at IIM – Ahmedabad would be engineers. That notion has been changed as over past few years it amid 2018-20 period, there has been an increased record of 33% of non – engineering students at IIM Ahmedabad.

Back in 2011-13, in a batch of 331 students, only 17 — or 5% – had non-engineering background. The number of girls was 37, or 11%, of the batch strength. According to IIM-A data, the percentage of non-engineering students rose from 5 and 4 in 2011-13 and 2012-14 batches to 32 and 33 in 2017-19 and 2018-20 batches of the PGP. The number of girl students rose from 11% in 2011-13 to 27% in 2018-20. 

IIM-A director professor Errol D’Souza said that the institute was looking at several forms of diversity in its batches to maximize learning for students and hoped that the current academic year will record a better ratio. Prof D’Souza added that IIM-A was serious about bringing diversity to students’ disciplines and work and life experience. “It’s not the entrance exam that gets you into our institute. We have tweaked the admission criteria too,” said Prof D’Souza. “If you are a topper from any university in a particular discipline, say literature or history, we will call you for an interview. If you exhibit curiosity and tenacity required to go through our programme, you will be admitted.” He was also optimistic that the number of non-engineering students will go up further at IIM-A this year. 

‘Gender ratio too has improved’ 

Prof D’Souza said that the quota system and the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PwDs) are other parameters that influence diversity in the PGP batch. “The gender ratio has improved in a decade as more women see management as a career option,” he said. Other IIMs are also trying to make their classrooms more diverse.

The pattern for Common Admission Test was calibrated recently to ensure that IIMs across the country get students from diverse academic disciplines. The director said that diversity is not being considered only in terms of academic background. “Due to a traditional trend in India, several students neglect their calling and go for engineering,” he said. “We find many students who come through the engineering route but are great in theatre or music and have all sorts of talent.” 

It’s a challenge for all IIMs to encourage diversity as a substantial number of successful candidates come with the IIT tag. Google CEO Sundar Pichai in 2017 had remarked about his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur that he was surprised to find young IITians aiming for IIMs. 


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