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Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Web black out in India

A notorious private business school in India has succeeded in getting an Indian court to censure on-line stories about it, resulting in several dozen blocked websites.

The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) operates in and around the margins of India’s post-secondary education system. As a private institution it can always offer teaching and students get an education. The question is not just an education of what quality, but in India’s highly status conscience and regulated society, IIPM’s lack of accreditation creates a lot of suspicion and stories as to whether it is credible.

You can read press clippings which say IIPM is one of the top business schools in India, and also that IIPM is a fraud. Which is it ? So when India’s powerful University Grants Commission (UGC), loudly and publicly proclaimed for many years that IIPM has no rights to operate as a university in India, it fuels the naysayers on IIPM. IIPM knows a lot about publicity, and hence its move to muzzle negative press.

Googling IIPM will bring up several links such as:
Court asks IIPM, UGC to clarify on affiliation – The Indian Express
http://www.indianexpress.com/comments/court-asks-iipm-ugc-to-clarify-on-affiliation/676123/
“This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court orders or on the Directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications”

Today, blocked web pages include those from prominent news sites such as The Wall Street Journal, The Economic Times, Outlook Magazine and The Times of India.

For anyone looking at education advertisements which is commonplace in Indian newspapers, you can’t miss IIPM. Its flamboyant director, Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri’s face is featured in most promotions. He’s well known for dashing around Indian streets in fancy cars and with body guards in tow. Everything is big hype with IIPM. They were the first Indian institutions to make the move to give all its students a free laptop. IIPM does all it can to link world class universities and professors to it, to co-brand it as a leading insitution, when that is stretching the reality.

Truth is, IIPM is a destination for mostly mediocre students with few options to enter the better business schools in India. It openly admits that it has never sought membership in the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which is the standard bearer for technical and management schools in India.

Mel Broitman is the Managing Director of the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC) and Editor of “Overseas, Overwhelmed”. Mel has made more than 100 trips to India and manages the CUAC’s five offices in that country.

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