India Today - - STATES - —Kaushik Deka


The story of IIM Ahmedabad be­gan five years be­fore it was ac­tu­ally set up in 1961. In 1956, Ford Foun­da­tion got Har­vard Busi­ness School (HBS) to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of a B-school in In­dia. It pro­posed set­ting up one in Bom­bay, but Bom­bay Univer­sity did not seem ex­cited. Three years later, Ge­orge Rob­bins, as­so­ciate dean of UCLA, which had re­placed HBS as the Ford Foun­da­tion col­lab­o­ra­tor, came to In­dia and drew up a plan to set up two au­ton­o­mous in­sti­tu­tions in Bom­bay and Cal­cutta. The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ac­cepted Rob­bins’ re­port but Bom­bay Univer­sity had some reser­va­tions. When sci­en­tist Vikram Sarab­hai came to know of it, he pro­posed Ahmedabad as a site. Along with Ahmedabad-based busi­ness­man Kas­turb­hai Lalb­hai, they fa­cil­i­tated the set­ting up of IIM.

Sarab­hai, who was hon­orary di­rec­tor for the first three-and-a-half years, cre­ated the au­ton­o­mous struc­ture of IIMs, which are run by a board that is ac­count­able to a So­ci­ety and not the gov­ern­ment. The IIMA board also de­cided not to get it ap­proved by an Act of Par­lia­ment—com­pul­sory if IIMA was to award de­grees. That is how the IIMs award diplo­mas, not de­grees. Sarab­hai also got Louis Kahn, lead­ing ar­chi­tect of the last cen­tury, to design the build­ings on the cam­pus, which has been home to cel­e­brated alumni from sports com­men­ta­tor Harsha Bhogle to best­selling au­thor Chetan Bha­gat and former RBI gover­nor Raghu­ram Ra­jan.


TOP CLASS IIMA stu­dents on the cam­pus

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