19 Jul 2019 19:55 IST

MICA introduces urban impact projects

Students will be asked to provide solutions and strategy, and also develop a business plan and implement it

As part of Urban Impact Projects, all the first-year students of the Post-graduate Diploma in Management — Communication (PGDM-C) at MICA will work on a range of issues faced by the government, social and corporate sectors in the areas of waste management, social impact, artisan and design enterprise, urban mobility, housing and slum redevelopment, education, branding and health.

Prof Taral Pathak, who leads the Urban Impact Projects, said, “This is a unique project, under which the students will not just suggest solutions and strategy but also develop the business plan and implement it. This is a pure educational and academic collaboration with organisations, and students will be given four credits for working for six months on the same. During and after the project, students will be assessed by their faculty mentor and an industry mentor.”

Industry applications

Starting September, students will meet all stakeholders to identify the key problem, understand the needs of the organisation, do research mapping, maintain a target group and client constituency database, engage with stakeholders, come up with a plan, develop the budget and implement it.

Dr Pathak said, “We will have to train our students in impact measurement for industry application. There can be no better training than working on team-building instead of working in silos.”

MICA is in talks with several organisations such as Amul, Alliance Francaise, House of MG - Mangalbag Gallery and Residency, and UNICEF Health. For Alliance Francaise, an organisation that promotes the French language and culture around the world, students will help with branding strategy and communication. For Mangalbag Gallery, students will work on creating an umbrella brand as a unique experience for the gallery and study the impact management.

Theory along with practice

Dr Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA, said, “Increasingly, placements are based on internship experiences and real-life problem-solving expertise. We are expanding classroom-based theoretical learning to enhance community and business engagement to understand problems faced by institutions. Flipped classroom learning is the norm now. Instead of saying what comes first, theory or practice — both go together at MICA. While learning how to manage corporations, start with managing your own city and bring that wisdom to the classrooms,”

The urban impact project is an added feather to MICA’s flagship rural immersion programme, where students spend some days in rural India, living with the locals, working on an issue, and understanding their perspective. Two years ago, the institute had also introduced international immersion, where students spent a few weeks working with organisations abroad.