Saturday, November 27, 2010

Offer open till degrees last reports: In raids that stretched for almost 48 hours, the Income Tax (IT) authorities over the November 20 weekend searched the residences and office of Dr Uday Salunkhe, Director of Welingkar Institute of Management, Matunga, Mumbai. While it is learnt not a lot of cash was found, documentary evidence has been seized to help with further investigation.

The raids that started on Saturday were apparently spurred by a lone complaint filed by a student last year, that of being charged illegal capitation fee for a seat in the institute’s MBA-equivalent program. However, this complaint was made a year ago during the 2009-10 admission season but for want of time and other pressing matters, no action was taken then. “This student was persistent over the months and so the decision to raid was finally taken,” said an IT official on the condition of anonymity.

There have been rumours, over the years, that Welingkar practices 'backdoor entry'. And that the 'rate' is anything between Rs 10-20 lakhs. We don't know yet if there is firm evidence but certainly there seems to be firm belief on this matter.

Ki haan, yeh Welingkar main to hai hi, aur colleges mein bhi ho raha hai.

And well, if 'management quota' is officially allowed, then what is the issue? Well, from what I understand the backdoor entry is over and above the seats allotted for the management quota. That is, they are from the general pool.

The second point is that these are institutes of some repute. The kind who want to be rated and ranked, 'throw a challenge to IIMs, ISB' etc.

Unfortunately for them, in India, we have a distinct line between 'institutes of merit' and 'institutes of money'. Harvard can take in the dud whose great-grandfather donated money for a frat house but India mein any institute who takes in too many students - through backdoor or front door - only on the basis of money, suffers.

The bright, meritorious, hard-working and hungry students stay away. Which means the institute wil never attract quality faculty or top recruiters. Which means the rating/ ranking of that institute will never rise (at least by legitimate means).

Yet, greed gets the better of many institutions. They operate as Dr Jekyll ("we accept donations") and yet appear to be Mr Hyde ("ranked blah blah blah").

Now many of you might be wondering, why would anyone pay Rs 10 or 20 lakhs for this MBA? Well, the answer is simple. These people are not motivated by the job at the end of the course, they simply need the degree as a status symbol.

Let's say you are a dufus with a lot of money. Yet, you need a calling card. "Where have you studied" is a basic question, an indication of who you are and what you are capable of.

You need this calling card to be able to hold your place in society.

To be taken seriously by business associates.

To get married. (Which family is going to give their (highly educated) daughter to a BCom or MCom?)

Of course, you have the option of studying abroad - there are enough colleges out there waiting for you with open arms. But if for some reason, some compulsion, you wish to study in India. Well, there are 'options'.

Mind you, such activity is always conducted in whispers, often through silken strings of influence. One well known institute insists on 'reference' letter. Preferably from top bureaucrats or even the CM.

This is the adarsh of institutes of management. And yet, I have seen no coverage in the mainstream print/ electronic media (the raid was conducted last weekend, and reported by PG two days ago!).

You have to wonder, is it scam fatigue? Or other, commercial motives.

The education sector is, today, the backbone of the print media. So expect no sharp reporting, no hard questions.

Aakhir bread and butter ka sawaal hai, and going by the old adage it's best not to talk, while eating...


  1. i love the pun intended in 'adarsh of institutes of mgmt' but i beg to differ when you say only the rich pay these 20lacs type of money to get in b-school.I know so many ppl who're not not rich at all..very middle class..who r wiling 2pay such kind of money. Thats bcoz with so many bschools toady the value of an MBA is at an all time low unless u do it from the top 10clgs. Unless u do that, the jobs that u get offered are equivalent to those offered to graduates! This of coarse is my opinion (being an MBA myself).

  2. I might be wrong, but I have heard similar rumors of Symbi doing the same thing...

  3. I wonder how degrees from such colleges become "status symbols" if everyone knows how corrupt they are!

  4. hey i am from Welingkars 1st year ..n i m proud of my insti !
    Students in 1st year of WE : 350
    I dont know hw many r from bk door entry but majority of us arent n for the money which we gave ..we are getting awesome faculties n awesome facilities !!!!

    N afterall MBA is @ how much we make out of these two years isnt only about the insti..its @ how much we evolve in these two years as opportunists persons!

    I am proud to say that i feel no less than an IIMian today.

    Thanks to Welingkar!!!

    -- a proud Welingkarite

  5. It's really surprising how the media did not cover these reports in the mainstream.

    Obviously, these kind of institutes are proliferating only because of advertisements..


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