29 June 2016 13:16:53 IST

IIM-A to announce 12 more research chairs

Institute gets commitments worth ₹35 crore for a total of 15 research chairs

With the aim of integrating focused research with course development —enhancing policy with practice — the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has identified 15 chairs with specialisation in areas such as leadership, strategic management, societal development. While three of them have already been announced the institute plans to announce 12 more in course of time, said Ashish Nanda, Director, IIM-A.

The list of Chairs committed at IIM-A are:

Infosys Chair in Social Innovation

Chandrika Tandon Chair in Leadership

CRISIL Chair in Financial Markets

ICICI Bank Chair in Strategic Management

Kasturbhai Lalbhai Chair in Management

Prof MN Vora Chair in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

SAP Chair in Social Innovation

PwC Chair in Financial Reporting and Corporate Governance

Infosys Foundation Chair in Societal Development

The three chairs already in place at the premier institute are the Nabard Chair in Agri-business, RBI Chair in Finance and Economics and the JSW Chair in Innovation and Public Policy.

Targeted research

The institute has received commitments from top-notch institutions and donors to set up such chairs to promote targeted research, which will go along with practice.

"We had announced the first chair in October last year. We hope to announce a few more chairs in the coming days as we have received commitments from several leading institutions and donors," Nanda told BusinessLine.

A total amount of around ₹35 crore has been committed by Infosys, ICICI Bank, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Edleweiss, among others.

"The chairs are meant to honour our faculty who are doing cutting-edge work. The cutting-edge work at practice-oriented institutions such as IIMA is different from what is narrowly defined as cutting edge research — found in most non practice-oriented universities," said Nanda.

"We have asked people from outside and inside (within IIM-A) to apply to head these chairs. For the 15 chairs, we have received overall commitments of about 35 crore. However, the money is not that important for these chairs; what is important is the quality of work and the outcome for practice and policy," Nanda said.

According to Nanda, the assignment of these chairs is considered based on three aspects. "The first is research, second teaching and course development, and the third is engagement with practice (industry) and policy," he added.

Nomination process

Explaining the process for nominations and commissioning of the Chairs, Nanda said the institute invites nominations both internally and externally.

“There is an external selection committee, which looks at all the nominations and suggests some names. Then we have an internal selection committee that further assesses these names. At the end of the process, we identify a Chair. Each chair has to go through this practice,” he said.

“If we don't get the right person for the Chair, we might go back to the donor and tell them to revise the purpose for something else, like visiting lectures or scholarships,” he added.

Currently, the Nabard chair in agri-business is assigned to IIM-A faculty, Vasant Gandhi, the RBI Chair in Finance and Economics is occupied by Abhiman Das and the JSW Chair in Innovation and Public Policy is assigned to Rakesh Basant.