MBA or MIM - What will the degrees awarded by IIMs be called?

IIMs – the premier B-schools of India, who were recently granted complete autonomy and the power to award degrees backed by the IIM Act, are now debating over the name of the degree which they will award. Even the government has joined the debate with the HRD ministry issuing notification regarding it. Find out what is the govt’s take on the MBA vs. MIM debate.

Created On: Apr 13, 2018 14:41 IST

IIMs – India’s premier B-schools have been engaged in a heated debate regarding the name of the degree that they would award to the students. Currently, top MBA colleges in India which include the 20 IIMs award Post Graduate Diploma Degrees. However, the IIM Act 2017, passed in December last year, has recognized these B-schools as ‘Institution of National Importance’ which puts their status at par with IITs, NITs and AIIMS. Simply put, the IIM Act has empowered IIMs to grant degrees to their students, as opposed to the diplomas that they were awarding earlier. However, now the discussion has moved on to name of the degree that IIMs would award. Let’s look at this issue in detail.

IIMs split over the degree name

As of now, the IIMs are yet to arrive at a consensus with regards to the name of the degree. However, the two names which are doing the rounds include MIM i.e. Master in Management and the traditional MBA i.e. Master of Business Administration. As per media reports, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow are Master in Management or MIM, while others prefer the more common nomenclature MBA. The split has led to a debate among the directors of premier B-schools regarding the nomenclature of the degree.

Issue came up at IIM Directors Meet

The issue regarding the name of degree awarded by IIMs first came to light during the meeting of all 20 IIM directors last month. The directors were meeting to discuss whether the 20 business schools should grant a postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM) or award a degree to the batch graduating this year. During this meeting the issue regarding the name of the degree came up.

Also Read: IIMs will now offer degrees instead of diplomas as per IIM Bill 2017

MIM vs.  MBA - The Debate

The main debate regarding the nomenclature of the IIMs degree is between the two names i.e. MIM or Master in Management or MBA i.e. Master of Business Administration. MIM is a relatively common name in the European countries and is followed by top B-schools of the world like London School of Economics. On the contrary, MBA is a more traditional nomenclature which has common usage in India as well as South East Asia.

Also, in order to protect the brand equity of the IIMs, it is very necessary for India’s top B-schools to come to a consensus regarding the name of the degree. If different IIMs term their degrees independently, the worth of the degree, especially in the international market would be under scrutiny.

Also Read: Top 5 MBA Colleges in North India

MHRD’s Take on the issue

Even the government has joined the on-going debate about the name of degrees that will be awarded by IIMs. As per the latest report MHRD has issued a order to all the IIMs on 8th March stating that autonomy does not exempt them from following the law on awarding academic degrees. Simply put, IIMs will have to follow the rules and norms set by the ministry and existing rules before settling on a name for their postgraduate degree. For instance, the Master in Management / MIM doesn’t feature in the list of of approved degrees under Section 22 of University Grants Commission Act, 1956’. As far as postgraduate level MBA degrees are concerned, UGC has only approved two names i.e. MBA and Masters in Management Studies or MMS.

The Way Ahead

As things stand now, there is no simple or direct solution that can be implemented to break the deadlock among the IIMs regarding the name of the degree. The recent order from MHRD has also intensified the debate of MIM vs. MBA further. Therefore, now the ball is in the court of IIMs directors who will have to either stick to MBA or MMS which are part of the UGC’s list of academic degrees or approach the UGC and MHRD with a proposal to add MIM to the list. No matter in which direction the debate moves, it is quite interesting to see that management education in India is undergoing transformation in which such minor details also being looking into.For more interesting news and updates related to MBA degree and MBA world, log on to

Also Read: MBA vs. PGDM: Should you opt for an MBA degree or a diploma?

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