The Ultimate Guide To Higher Studies For Mariners – Part 3

Part III: From High seas to inquisitive classrooms: India calling

The inception

India has its fair share of renowned MBA institutions. Alumni belonging to these esteemed centers have left their mark in the world, with regards to business and economy. Thus, getting an offer to study at one of these institutions would be nothing short of an honor.

Looking further into Indian B-schools we are bound to come across PGDM vs MBA point. According to the Indian governing council for technical education, i.e AITCE, only a deemed university can accord a Masters’s degree – MBA in this case.

As a lot of these B-schools are standalone institutions, neither affiliated to any university nor are a deemed university, they cannot grant degrees. So, they grant diplomas – Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM).

Unlike the huge difference between diplomas in Engg and BTech/B.E. in Engg, PGDMs and MBAs are considered at par. Thus, to clarify both PGDM and MBA are the same.

Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIMs and Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) conducted by XLRI are the two most common entrance examinations to apply for MBA/PGDM in India.

Other institutes may accept either of these two scores or conduct their own exams. For example, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) conducts its own exam for MBA(International Business), and the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) has NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test). Just getting a good percentile is not enough.

The admission process includes – Written Ability Test (WAT), Group discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI). Every institute has its own process. Generally, IIMs and XLRI shortlist via their CAT/XAT score and invite candidates for further rounds.

The final selection criteria are also varied among institutions – profile marking, work exp weightage, GD/PI performance, test score. For other institutions we need to apply beforehand, giving our CAT/XAT/ other test registration numbers in the application.

Needless to say, when the test results are announced, these institutions verify our score and evaluating it with their own minimum criteria. After this only, do we get an invitation email for further rounds?

When we talk about MBA in India IIMs and XLRI come first. Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) is the premier institution set up by the Govt of India long back. Among B-school aspirants, IIMs are divided into older IIMs and newer IIMs.

The older IIMs, in lieu of being established way back, have excellent faculties, famous alumni, competitive cohort, amazing placements – thus are the dream school.

The older IIMs are referred to as BLACKI (IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode, and IIM Indore). Within BLACKI – ABC are the bluest of the blue.

The only other institutes that match the aura of ABC are XLRI Jamshedpur and ISB Hyderabad. But ISB Hyd requires certain work experience to apply. Something that other B-schools do not have. XLRI runs two flagship programs – PGP BM and PGP HR, where BM stands for Business Management and HR for Human Resources. Its HR program is considered one of the finest in Asia.

Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) is a constituent college of Delhi University. It ranks among the top ten and is one of the most competitive colleges to get an admit – lesser seats/more applications being one of the reasons. Sharing a similar predicament to FMS is Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) – Dept of Management, University of Mumbai.

Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon established by the Industrial Finance Corporation of India is another premier institution offering business studies. Located near the commercial hub of Delhi, it too has quality students, eminent faculties, and renowned alumni.

For addressing the conundrum of foreign trade, the Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India had constructed the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) in the 1960s. Initially, set up to train civil servants of the Indian Trade Service (ITS) cadre, it has morphed into one of the finest B-schools in India.

Its flagship program MBA (International Business) concentrates on commerce, foreign trade, etc. Quite a number of senior executives at commodity trading and chartering firms such as Cargill, Olam, Kewalram Chanrai, etc have graduated from here.

IMT Ghaziabad, SP Jain Mumbai, NMIMS Mumbai, Great Lakes Chennai also count among the premier business learning centers of India. Few IITs and some NITs also offer MBA. Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSOM) IIT Kgp, Shailesh J Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM) IIT Bombay, Dept. of Management Studies (DOMS) IIT Madras to name a few are considered amongst the top tier. With regards to NITs Dept. of Management Studies NIT Trichy, School of Management NIT Rourkela are well known.

navigating officer uniform

Executive MBA/ EPGP/ PGPx

The setting up of ISB Hyderabad boosted the executive education scenario in India. One should note that there is a very different point of view with regards to executive education between Indian institutes and foreign universities.

Reputed business schools abroad accept candidates usually with 4-6 years of work experience for their general MBA program. For their executive MBA (EMBA), candidates need to have at least 10 years of managerial experience, either at mid-senior or senior level, to become eligible for applying.

In vast contrast to this, well-respected Indian institutions need a 5-year work experience, sans level, for candidates to apply. The reason for the disparity is the fact that fresh graduates without any work experience are eligible to apply for MBA programs in India which is not the case abroad.

The Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) is the flagship program offered by ISB Hyd. When it was launched around 20 years back, it kind of became a cult. During that time the other top institutions – namely BLACKI, XLRI, and FMS – did not have any minimum work experience criteria in their eligibility column (ISB had a minimum of 2 years of work experience).

Over the years they have added various programs to suit the different work experiences of candidates. PGP-MAX for senior executives with 10 years of work experience and PGP-Pro for working professionals with 5 years of work experience. ISB accepts GRE/GMAT scores for its programs.

Thus to this date, it continues to be the flagbearer for executive education in India. Since ISB Hyd has quite a lot of alumni belonging to the maritime industry, it is a hot favorite among seafarers. It should be remembered that ISB positions its One year MBA as the general MBA and its PGP-MAX as executive MBA.

Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur is the oldest business school in India. It offers a 15-month full-time residential program called EPGDM for candidates with a minimum of 5 years of work experience.

This program helps candidates to grapple with cutting-edge business notions, develop their management perspectives, and nurture them to think beyond the obvious.

The eligibility test is either XAT or GMAT/GRE. Similar to ISB, XLRI too has a lot of marine engineers as alumni to boast. On a personal front, I was taught by a retired extra-First class Chief Engineer and XLRI alumnus during MEO preparatory classes.

BLACKI too offers executive MBA programs for experienced professionals. Some offer Post Graduate Program either via a two-year path or via a one-year duration. The two-year path is meant for working professionals who wish to study as well as continue working.

The course is generally structured through interactive learning as it is a non-residential program. The one-year duration program is the flagship program with respect to executive education. It is a comprehensive full-time residential program. A valid GMAT/GRE score and a reasonable work experience of at least 5 years (some have a minimum requirement of 4 years) are the eligibility criteria. If one browses through their class profile, one can generally find quite a few sailors in the ranks.

Apart from these, MDI Gurgaon, SP Jain Mumbai, FMS Delhi, Great Lakes Chennai, IIFT Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, NMIMS Mumbai, etc along with a few of the newer IIMs and some of the IITs (Kgp, Bombay, Madras, etc) offer this.

There is always confusion between one-year MBAs offered in India and executive MBAs abroad (apart from the duration of work experience).

The thing is AICTE classifies one-year MBAs offered in India as full-time residential programs and denotes them as ‘Executive PGDM’ of Executive MBA’. While abroad, Executive MBA is usually a two-year non-residential module-based program.

Specialized Masters

This trend is slowly catching up in India. Some institutions have introduced programs not so long ago, while some institutions are attracting renewed interest to theirs. Take for example the multi-disciplinary MBA in Business Analytics offered by IIM Bangalore.

This newly launched 24 months, immersive program develops students to integrate sound management principles and deep analytics to approach a viable solution.

In this digital era, data is the bloodline of the economy. Through data mining and analyzing, one can gather past information, diagnose, and predict the future swing. In short – Analytics Value Escalator – comprising descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics.

The Planned Maintenance System (PMS) used onboard, calculating Main Engine performance to predict hull fouling, even our bunker stemming plan are examples of data analytics only – though at a rudimentary level.

The Post Graduate Program for Executives in Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing (PGPEX-VLM) offered by IIM Calcutta in collaboration with IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras was started in 2006-07.

This one-year specialty program developed under Indo-Japan Joint Cooperation Agreement nurtures leaders to become pioneers in the manufacturing sector having a strong impetus for new-age technology.

ISB Hyderabad’s Advanced Management Program in Business Analytics (AMP-BA), IIM Kozhikode’s PGP in Liberal Studies and Management, etc. are few examples of specialized masters being offered in India.

Master in Tech

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is the basic qualifying exam for pursuing higher studies in the core technical fields in IITs, NITs, CFTIs, etc. With respect to maritime, 2 years full-time M.Tech is offered in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Dredging and Harbour Engineering, and Marine Engineering and Management by IMU.

IIT Kharagpur also offers Post Graduate Program in Maritime Operations and Management (PGPMOM). The criteria for selection being MEO Class I COC followed by an interview. The commencement of this program is under the sole discretion of IIT Kgp following the sufficient availability of suitable candidates.

Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), a state government-owned university, and AMET, a deemed to be a self-funded university, also offer M.Tech in Marine Engineering. The admission process to these two is via a rank list, where work experience and MEO COCs carry heavy weightage.

The higher the COC more the weightage. Another self-funded college, Tolani Maritime Institute offers one-year post-graduate programs in M.Sc Marine Engineering and in M.Sc Technical Ship Management. These programs are offered by Glasgow-based University of Strathclyde. Candidates study for 16 weeks at the Tolani campus and then seek to admit into the second semester at Glasgow.

Work Integrated Learning Program (WILP) is offered by BITS Pilani. This UGC-approved (received approval in late 2020) program focuses on strengthening one’s technical acumen, upgrading skills, and earning a BITS branded M.Tech degree while not interrupting one’s career.

In layman’s terms, it is a part-time M.Tech program. Though Masters’s is not offered in marine engineering, it is offered in other general fields, such as Design Engineering, Manufacturing Management, Microelectronics, Quality Management, etc. whose applications are used in the shipbuilding sector.

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Note: Though an op-ed, every detail has been carefully vetted and cross-checked. Still, test patterns, admission rules, etc. are subjected to change. Aspirants are always advised to check with the concerned authorities while applying. Neither the author nor Marine Insight would be held accountable for any loss of chance to the aspirant.

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendations on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

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