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Managment Study in Public System


Quality management education in India has remained confined to the study of subjects like Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, Production & Operations management. The importance of these subjects in an entrepreneurial organization cannot be exaggerated. These subjects deal with some core functions in all organisations and it is expected that a management trainee should possess high acumen to look through one of these windows.

Different companies deal with the production of different goods or service. Intimate knowledge of the product, the production process, logistics, marketing and sales, laws and rules governing the business constitute the core of a particular business.  But the special features of many types of business are not captured adequately under the generalized nomenclatures. Unlike Finance and Human Resource, the branch of Operations cannot effectively cover operations of different nature under one umbrella on the basis of their superficial commonalities. Imparting business-type-specific knowledge helps the candidates to be more focused and oriented.

When we talk of business administration at Master level, the study does not confine itself to private sector business - but covers the entire gamut of business that includes the operations of public sector and the public systems like the management of transportation, logistics, health, energy, environment etc. Business in these service areas needs to be professionally managed to be financially viable and sustainable. These areas provide necessary infrastructural support to other businesses. Hence their efficient management is extremely important to the national economy.  Subjects like energy and environment, transportation and logistics, health care and hospital management have expanding job market and the candidates taking up these subjects for study deserve the same footing as other students of management.

The logistics industry embraces transportation, warehousing and supply chain of diverse nature. The National Transportation Policy development Committee of the Planning Commission has assessed the growth rate of transport sector as 9.7 percent by the end of the 15th Plan. As it is, expenditure on logistics constitutes 13 percent of the GDP and its current growth rate is estimated to be about 15 percent or double the GDP growth rate.  This indicates expansion of activities as well as investments in this sector.

Energy sector is coming up with many innovative unconventional solutions to our energy needs. Apart from increase in the number of thermal power generating and distributing companies, the investments in wind and solar sector will be impressive in the near future. According to a report by the Climate Group, the wind sector in India is predicted to be worth Rs 60 thousand crore  by 2020, and could create between 1.5 lakh to 2.5 lakh jobs. Similarly, the solar industry, predicted to be worth Rs 32 thousand crore, could generate between 1.17 to 2.35 lakh jobs by 2020 and small hydro and biomass sectors are expected to be worth Rs 27 thousand crore and Rs 32 thousand crore  respectively . Most of these will be in Government and private sector and start-ups will play an important role.

Management of natural resources in a sustainable manner has occupied public attention in recent times, and preservation of forests and bio-diversity is also an important theme in modern planning. An important part of business management is to meet not only the requirements of the environmental legislation but also to be seen as such by the stakeholders. Therefore, areas like Environmental Impact Assessment for upcoming projects, air and water pollution measurement and control, preservation of natural resources are the areas where new generation jobs are likely to come up. 

Healthcare has also become an important sector generating employment. Hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, laboratories health insurance, medical equipments, health tourism comprise a large business segment needing sound managerial skills. The overall Indian healthcare market today is worth US$ 100 billion and is expected to grow to US$ 280 billion by 2020, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.9 per cent. It is needless to say that employment opportunity for health care and hospital managers will only multiply.

Teaching of these subjects not only requires regular post-graduate teachers  to teach common subjects like management principles, business economics, managerial statistics, accounting and finance, operations research, and material management but also experts from the industry, having suitable academic background and experience to be inducted in the faculty of business administration to support  courses on these subjects. Business schools should work out their mechanism for attracting such industry professionals into the campus to develop a sustaining bond between the academics and the industry experts.

 As the private sector companies come forward to induct candidates with specialized knowledge in the hierarchy of managerial cadre, the Public sector undertakings should also accord preference to holders of the degree in Public Systems in the required field, when they recruit officers from open market through advertisements. This will help the employers to reduce the on-the-job training period.

 The University of Calcutta has been the pioneer to begin the MBA-PS course in Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, the first business school of India.  The student community as well as the related industry will welcome this step and make the endeavour a big success. 


(The author teaches at IISWBM Kolkata)