From School to Management: The rising popularity of IPM programmes

Bypassing CAT Exam: Many students are choosing integrated programmes in management (IPM) after Class 12 school instead of a postgrad MBA.

From School to Management: The rising popularity of IPM programmes Students prefer integrated programmes in management to MBA ( Image courtesy - Shutterstock)
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Nov 15, 2022 - 2:39 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Many feel an integrated management programme allows them to get top-quality training without the hassle of writing multiple entrance tests at a later stage.

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Graduating Class 12 with a score of 99.8%, Gaurika Nigam could have had a seat in any of the top colleges in the country she wanted. Instead, she chose Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Jammu.

Five IIMs – India’s premier, public business schools – offer a five-year integrated programme in management (IPM), combining both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in management. The IIMs aren’t alone in offering such a combination. There are over a dozen more management institutions, public and private, offering it. Students can take admission right after school and continue till they have earned their MBA.

Nigam appeared for the Joint Integrated Programme in Management Admission Test (JIPMAT), conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), and cleared it.

Now she is in the fourth semester at IIM Jammu. “I wanted to be a manager and for that, I wanted to join one of the IIMs. When I came to know about JIPMAT, I took the leap,” Nigam said. “I could have secured admission in one of the Delhi colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce, I had secured 99.8 percent in Class 12, but IIM counts,” she added. Nigam is originally from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Shivi Handa, in second year of IPM at IIM Jammu, said she preferred writing JIPMAT to CAT – the punishingly competitive Common Admission Test for the postgraduate programme at IIMs and a host of other B-schools. She wanted to join an IIM thinking the IIMs focus solely on the acquisition of managerial skills and the curriculum emphasises the development of the student.

“This appeared to be the ideal opportunity for me to obtain the skills necessary to enter the corporate world,” she said.

The first IIM to introduce a five-year integrated programme in management was IIM Indore in 2011 followed by IIM Rohtak in 2019. IIMs at Jammu, Bodh Gaya and Ranchi launched
it in 2021.

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Admission, structure, exit

The admission process varies even within the IIM system. IIM Indore and IIM Rohtak select through the IPM Aptitude Test (IPMAT); IIM Ranchi accepts a valid Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) score or IPMAT. IIMs Jammu and Bodh Gaya accept JIPMAT scores.

The course structure, similarly, differs from institute to institute. IIM Bodh Gaya follows the semester pattern for the first three years of the programme and the trimester system for the last two years. At the end of the second year, students will undertake either rural and social immersion projects or a research-based project or a business internship. In their sixth semester, students will have to select a sector-specific specialisation.

The course curriculum at IIM Ranchi covers management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, information systems, data science, and strategic management. The programme also offers life skill courses.

At IIM Jammu, after completing the first year, students undertake a boot camp in Ladakh, and second-year students complete the social and corporate internship. And in the third year, they will enrol in an international exchange programme with a partner institution. The course structure of the sixth semester is merged with the MBA programme of the institute.

IIM Bodh Gaya, too, offers an international exchange programme with partner institutions in the fifth semester. The last two years will follow the prevailing MBA course structure of the institute. They will also have the option of selecting a sector-specific specialisation.

“The students will be able to go for the international student exchange programme only in the fifth semester and sixth semester. They go to the USA, UK or Fiji – there are nine countries with whom we have tied up. They need to complete part of the course there and come back to IIM Jammu for the rest. We have collaborated with several universities in these nine countries,” said Rambalak Yadav, chairperson, international relations, IIM Jammu.

The IIMs offer multiple exit options. After the first year, a student can exit and will be awarded a ‘Certificate in Basics of Management’, after the second year, they will be awarded an ‘Advanced Certificate in Management and after three years, the student will be awarded a BBA degree. However, transition into the highly-competitive MBA programme is neither automatic nor guaranteed. A student needs a minimum CGPA of six to continue with the MBA programme.

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Given below are the institutions that offer the IPM programme.

Institutions offering integrated management programmes

IIM Indore

IIM Rohtak

IIM Ranchi

IIM Jammu

IIM Bodh Gaya

XIM University, Bhubaneswar

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies

Institute of Management, Nirma University

SRM Institute of Science and Technology

Mumbai University

Lucknow University

Institute of Management Studies, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya

Institute of Management Studies, Kurukhreshtra University

Jindal Global Business School

Andhra University School of International Business

Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Mumbai

VIT University, Vellore

Institute of Management Studies and Research, Maharshi Dayanand University


Early admission

NIIT University, Rajasthan launched its four-year integrated management programme in July 2018. The students can customise their programme. “They [students] have a lot of choices and based on the projects and the kind of electives they choose they can specialise in one or more subjects,” said Rajesh Khanna, professor and president, NIIT University.

NIIT University stands out because it allows a student to secure admission after they clear the Class 10 exam. The Class 10 marks are recorded and if good, they are awarded a scholarship. The student goes on to study Class 11 and 12. If they perform better in Class 12 and the student is found to be a “good fit” during the academic interaction, the scholarship is upgraded.

Students seeking admission after Class 12 are also eligible for scholarship but are required to appear for an aptitude test conducted by the university. However, those who have written the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for engineering, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medicine, or the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) are exempt from writing the aptitude test.

Before appearing for the Class 12 exam, applicants go through the academic interaction process with faculty members at the university. This “early admission” can happen even before the student has written the Class 12 examination.

“In that interaction, the student typically writes an essay and sometimes has to speak on a topic and [there is] a general interaction with the faculty members during which we decide. This is the most critical part of the admission process,” explained Khanna. “In the past, we have had students with very good marks in the boards and the aptitude test but if they fail to clear the interaction process, the admission does not happen.”

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Placement and exit options

The students of NIIT university are introduced to industry practice in the eighth semester. The students work on live projects with industry supervisors and faculty from the university.

Most of the time, these opportunities get converted into a placement offer. “I will be joining a UK-based start-up in January 2023. I had done my internship with them,” said Anil Bishnoi, final-year student, NIIT University.

The students also have the option of appearing in the placement drive if they do not accept the company’s offer from where they had completed the industry practice.


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