Ahead of the director’s meeting at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore on Monday, a doctoral student Deepak Malghan and a faculty Siddharth Joshi in IIM-B have shot off an open letter highlighting the issue of lack of inclusiveness in country’s premier business schools.
The letter addressing the leadership of the 20 IIMs across India states that only two out of over 500 IIM faculty members are from dalit communities and asked the authorities to “introspect.”
“We want to bring to your attention years of willful circumvention of constitutional mandates and statutory provisions governing admissions at public institutions such as IIMs. Fellow Program in Management (FPM) admissions have, for a number of years, turned a blind eye to questions of diversity and social inclusion. One direct consequence of the IIM FPM programmes not making a concerted effort to recruit a socially diverse doctoral student body is the utter lack of diversity on the faculty bodies at various IIMs,” the open letter reads.
Of the over 500 faculty members at IIMs where data is available, only two are from the SC (Scheduled Castes) group, and reportedly IIMs currently do not have any representation from the STs (scheduled Tribes) group on its facultyThe open letter
Joshi is a fellow at the IIMB and Malgha is a faculty at the elite management school. According to them, one of the reasons for the dismal representation of the faculty from the reserved categories is the IIMs policy for admissions to their Fellow Program in Management (FPM).
“The FPM admissions have for a number of years turned a blind eye to the questions of diversity and social inclusion. One direct consequence of the IIM-FPM programmes not making a concerted effort to recruit a socially diverse doctoral student body is the utter lack of diversity on the faculty bodies at various IIMs,” the duo was quoted saying.
“In order to break the decades of deafening silence on diversity and inclusion within the IIM FPM programmes, the collective leadership at IIMs must initiate a serious introspective dialogue. While such dialogues can serve as the basis for a long-term programme that takes inclusion and diversity seriously, we urge you to initiate immediate ameliorative, if not corrective actions,” the letter concludes.
Studies have earlier also found that the Dalit students who managed to secure admission in IIMs have been facing sheer negligence and discrimination, even in sitting for placements.