SC Commission blames IIM-I for student’s poor performance
SETBACK Orders refund of full year’s fee to Scheduled Caste student who did not perform well in three semesters as she was ‘not provided conducive atmosphere’ at Indian Institute of Management-Indore WHY IIM-INDORE’S 5-YEAR COURSE IS IN THE DOCK
The Indian Institute of Management, Indore ( IIM- I) has been blamed by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) for failing to provide a ‘conducive atmosphere’ to its Scheduled Caste (SC) student, Sakshika Raghav.
Raghav had joined a five-year integrated programme in management (IPM) course of IIM-I in 2012. Her first-year CGPA (scores of all three semesters) had fallen short of the required CGPA as she had done badly in nonmanagement subjects such as swimming, Bhagwad Gita etc. She was asked to reappear or leave IIM-I and opted to quit.
Later, filing a complaint with NCSC, Raghav blamed the institute for her poor performance in three semesters of the first year. She had also alleged that the IIM-I programme did not have the requisite approvals as IIM- I didn’t have degreegranting status. The institute, however, she alleged, had not given her this information when admitting her.
Agreeing with Raghav, Raju Parmar, NCSC member, in an order on June 23, 2015, after hearing both the parties, said the fee for the full year paid by Raghav during admission had to be refunded. The “reason was that Sakshika was not provided conducive atmosphere in the institute resulting (in) bad performance by her in 1st semester. I, therefore, recommend for refund of full fees,” Parmar said.
Sakshika’s f a t h e r, T D Raghav, a retired scientist, alleges that despite the NCSC order i ssued almost eight months ago, IIM-I did not refund what he claimed was ₹ 3.8 lakh for the first year ( all three semesters). Money for the fourth semester was taken in advance. According to the course structure, a student is supposed to pass three semesters in the first year (first, second and third), three semesters in the second (fourth, fifth and sixth) and the remaining three semesters in the third year (seventh, eighth and ninth) to get a diploma. The other two years are for completing a postgraduate diploma pro- gramme in management and the full fee then was ₹ 23 lakh.
IIM- Indore claims to have refunded about ₹ 1,83,453 to Raghav ( i ncluding caution money) for the fourth semester which she had not attended. When c ontacted, Prof Rishikesh T Krishnan, director, IIM-I, said that the NCSC recommendation had been placed before the B- school’s board of governors (BoG). As per the board’s advice ‘proportionate refund’ of charges paid by Raghav had to be refunded for the duration (of course) not attended.
“Accordingly, the institute has refunded to her the entire tuition fees of the fourth term along with the pro-rata hostel charges, mess fee and caution money amounting to ₹ 1,83,453 on October 30, 2015. She has acknowledged receipt of the same. This has been informed to the NCSC as well immediately after the payment was made,” says Krishnan.
Responding to NCSC’s order that says a “conducive atmosphere” for studies was not provided to Raghav, Krishnan said a committee had been formed to ascertain whether she had been subjected to mental stress, trauma and harassment during her stay at IIM-I.
“I n spite of t he committee’s best efforts, there was no response received from Ms Sakshika. The committee went through the available records and in the absence of any other inputs, it was of the view that there were no instances which indicated that Ms Sakshika was subjected to mental stress, trauma and harassment during the period of her stay in the institute. The committee recommended that the matter be treated as closed,” he added.
Krishnan also said that the institute was fully committed to providing a conducive work environment to all its students and would not tolerate any instances of harassment on any grounds whatsoever.”
Determined to fight back, TD Raghav alleges his daughter had been mentally harassed and that he would take the fight to the Delhi High Court. He also alleged that the institute had written to Miranda House where Ra ghav had been studying before leaving the programme mid- way to join IIM-I.
IIM- I had asked Raghav’s former institute why she was pursuing two degree courses at one time (against rules) “Isn’t this harassment? When IIM-I’s own programme is not a degree course, how can an institute write about this to another college? What’s the intent behind doing so?” he asked. Aspirants aiming for a qualification in chartered accountancy from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) may soon have to gear up for changes in the CA curriculum. Currently, the different levels of the CA course are Common Proficiency Test (CPT), Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course (IIPCC) and the final course.
The entry-level test is named CPT and is currently designed in the pattern of entry-level tests for engineering, medical and other professional courses. Students who are in the final year of their graduation can also register for the IIPCC on provisional basis. The last leg of the CA course is the final course, designed to impart expert knowledge in financial reporting, auditing and professional ethics, taxation, corporate laws, system control, strategic finance and advanced management accountancy.
As per the proposed changes, the three levels would be called foundation, intermediate and final. The weightage given to some of the level 1 subjects will be changed. The paper on fundamentals of accounting, which is already there at the CPT level carrying 60 marks, will be renamed as principles and practices of accounting and will carry 100 marks as it is the core subject for the CA profession.
General English and business and commercial knowledge will also be added at the first level as new subjects, given their importance in the modern business world and preparing the CAs for tomorrow.
“This is to ensure that entry level becomes somewhat difficult. Also, the foundation examination will be partly descriptive and partly objective. The present MCQbased system encourages students to do a lot of guesswork. As a result, even undeserving students reach the next level. It affects the quality of the profession,” says M Devaraja Reddy, president, ICAI. Since the foundation exam is likely to be partly descriptive in nature, the pass percentage has been proposed at 50% aggregate and 40% subject-wise, just like for other courses (intermediate and final). The foundation exam is likely to be conducted along with intermediate and final in May and November.
In another expected change, students will have to appear for eight papers in level 2 (intermediate) under the new scheme. At present, the second stage is the IIPCC which requires a student to clear seven papers. The papers on business laws (60 marks), communication (20 marks) and ethics (20 marks) in level 2 may be changed to corporate laws and other laws (100 marks). Cost accounting may carry 100 marks (instead of 50). A new paper on business economic environment (40 marks) may be added.
“A new subject called financial and capital market services has been proposed in the final level to make professionals more competitive in finance-related areas. International taxation for 30 marks may also be added in view of increasing importance of the subject in the present globalised world,” adds Reddy.
ICAI is now in the process of preparing a syllabus for each subject. Once syllabi are prepared, the new study material based on this syllabi will be prepared. The government-approved scheme will be notified in the Gazette of India for inviting comments for 45 days. The modified scheme will be sent to the ministry of corporate affairs for final approval. The institute is expecting the changes to be implemented by November 2016.
HT Education had reported on IIM-I’s unapproved course and students’ problems on April 29, 2015