Sunday, December 04, 2005

B Schools are great. They fool the country's greatest minds

Priyank Bhardwaj was very happy when he received a call from Symbiosis (SCMHRD) in the month of Feb 05 and was told to deposit one lakh ten thousand rupees immediately. Prodigious as the sum was, completing management degree from a reputed college had been his dream and he was fascinated with the sheer opportunity at hand. He had worked for three years & saved for this day, and happily went on to deposited the money. But little did he know that was destined for some thing very big; for in the month of April he received an admission call from IIM Ahmedabad. His joy knew no bounds; he was going to study in the most sought after business school of Asia Pacific. He immediately wrote to SCHMRD about his selection in IIMA and the desire to withdraw his candidature from SCHMRD. SCHMRD paid him a mere ten thousand in the name of refund against the one lakh ten thousand that he had deposited. The important thing to note here is that the academic session of SCHMRD was to start only in the month of June.

This is not the story of only Priyank. Hundreds of students like Priyank every year get caught in the same act, carefully planned by a few management institutes to take advantage of the hapless students. The modus operandi of various institutes such as Symbiosis, is to finalize their admission procedure well before February end or the beginning of March. By finalizing the admission early, these institutes leave the students no other option but to deposit the hefty fees (to the tune of one lakh) in March itself. Since the results of various top B- schools (the IIMs, XLRI) are not out by this time, students generally don’t take a chance and deposit the fee in these institutes without delay. To make the plan foolproof, these institutes take an undertaking from the students that if they withdraw the admission, the amount deposited by them will be forfeited. By the time the results of the Top B schools are out, hundreds of students would have already deposited the fee for these institutes. If some students get admission in a college of their dream, like the IIMs and wish to withdraw their admission, they get a meager sum compared to what they had deposited. The institute themselves lose out on nothing, as the seats vacated by students who move out are immediately filled by others in the wait list. But the plight of the students who leave does not stop here. Now they have to arrange the fees for admission to these top B schools. Note here that academic session in all B schools starts around the month of July. Where is the logic of demanding admission fees so early then? To a rational mind, this seems to be a well knit plan by these institutes to exploit the precarious situation. Assuming that on an average, 50 people withdraw their admission, the institute pockets about half a crore rupees every year at the expense of these students. Belonging to a responsible society, should we allow this malpractice to continue?

I am going to bring a lawsuit against these institutes for carrying out such mal practices and seek your cooperation to forward this mail to all the students who wish to take admission in such management institutions. I also request those students who had deposited money with above-mentioned institutes in last four years or so to contact us. We will try our best to ensure that justice is meted out.

This mail gains added relevance as the time is about to come when the same cycle of tomfoolery is about to repeat with the new admissions commencing in a short while.

With Regards
Nilesh Gupta ( Ex India Air Force Officer)