Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies’ (KIAMS) Professor T. Viswanathan has a philosophy in life – ‘No Pain, No Gain.’
When it comes to academic rigour at KIAMS, he says, “The Faculty Council of KIAMS, our visiting faculty and our partners from the industry conducted a three-day workshop to design and develop the framework for academic rigour.”
Prof. Viswanathan said that KIAMS teaches management education in a holistic manner and that the sole purpose of academic rigour is to identify the expectations of industry and make students ready for industry through a robust process.
“Today in our country the problem of employability is more critical than unemployment,” he said. “Industry feels there is a wide gap between the required competencies versus the actual competencies available. In order to bridge this gap, a few companies have started their own finishing schools at a huge investment. KIAMS aspires to develop the appropriate competencies in its students through academic rigour.”
In order to maintain a high level of academic stringency, Prof. Viswanathan said that the curriculum is revised every three years with input from industry experts and visiting faculty. It is further adapted by getting feedback from recruiters, alumni and faculty who been involved in consulting assignments, conferences and corporate training programmes. Following all that input, a draft proposal is made and sent to an expert panel for vetting and approval.
He pointed out that the KIAMS curriculum includes real life examples, contemporary topics in every discipline, case studies and simulation exercises.
“Academic rigour is a compendium of hard and smart work with a flavour of fun,” said Prof. Viswanathan. “It facilitates the students in their bid to excel in multi-skills and multi-tasking. It is a way of life at KIAMS.”
Students in every course must do intensive reading and have strong knowledge of basic concepts, guiding principles and the application of concepts in real life scenarios.
KIAMS indeed puts the ‘rigour’ in academic rigour.
“In a span of ten weeks, the students must complete at least 16 assignments, about eight to 10 tests, projects, presentations and a case study,” said Prof. Viswanathan.
Regarding the need for maintaining high standards of academic rigour, Prof. Viswanathan said, “India is going to have a larger work-force population in the future. While it is expected to increase the productivity level, industry feels there is a huge gap between the expected skills and the actual skills, which the students must energise through academics. The students must then equip themselves to acquire the skills expected by industry.”