Specialised MBAs, UG courses on IIMB agenda | Bengaluru News – Times of India

Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan, the new director of Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore

BENGALURU: Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan, the new director of Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, has a host of plans for the premier B-school.
In an interview with TOI, the professor said besides ramping up the institution’s online education infrastructure in context of the pandemic, they are considering launching innovative academic programmes like specialised MBAs and undergraduate courses. Excerpts:
You’re the first director who has taken charge after the IIM Act came into force and may be the only one to have been an IIM director before. What’s your vision for IIMB, considering it has already reached the pinnacle in most rankings in India?
In the short-term, the institute’s priority is to offer the best possible educational experience to all our students who are now attending classes online due to the pandemic. We have made special efforts to upgrade our digital education infrastructure and the faculty’s digital teaching skills. Our students have appreciated these efforts and classes are progressing smoothly.
An important priority for IIMB is to further enhance our impact. Multiple platforms can enable us to do this:
* The outstanding research capabilities of our faculty and specialised research centres offer us a significant opportunity to do contextually-relevant rigorous research, that can address India’s myriad managerial, economic, societal and environmental challenges.
* Engaged digital learning by blending MOOCs with synchronous learning as a way of reaching out to thousands of new learners.
* Our new campus near Anekal provides the opportunity to nurture innovative leaders and entrepreneurs through new academic programmes in the most picturesque surroundings in keeping with IIMB’s mission.
Do you intend to start a UG programme in IIMB, like the one you did in IIM-Indore?
Our new campus provides an opportunity to offer innovative and impactful new academic programmes. We are considering several alternatives, including specialised MBA programmes (like the MBA Analytics programme we just launched) and undergraduate programmes. We will take a call on our future portfolio of programmes in the next few months.
What are the plans for the Anekal campus?


The new campus near Anekal will be built in phases. Construction of the first phase (a new Management Development Centre for Executive Education) is expected to be completed in early 2021. We hope to start one or more academic programmes there in the next phase. Since commuting between the campuses takes time, we will probably start an independent set of programmes at the new campus. However, this will take at least 2-3 years.
With NEP having kicked in, what will be IIMB’s role in it? Are you looking at implementing any suggestion?
The focus of NEP 2020 is on quality, which is what IIM-B stands for. We are already in tune with NEP on many dimensions, including research, innovation and internationalisation. Our faculty have always had the freedom to design new courses. The one area where I see a challenge is that NEP has a distinct preference for multi-disciplinary universities. We would have to seriously consider aligning our new programme offerings with this preference.
Any plans to take IIM-B abroad?
IIMB is already highly internationalised in terms of students, faculty, exchange programmes and MOOCs (we have participants from across the world). We offer an executive programme in Dubai. We have partnerships with many global business schools. Our students do international immersion courses in several countries. Today, a physical presence overseas is not required to be global as there are digital alternatives.

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Sagar Biswas

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