The Indian Institute Of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), has initiated a full-fledged elective (optional) course on mental and emotional wellbeing.
Highlighting the broad structure of the course, Professor Pradyumana Khokle, Dean (Programme) of IIT- Ahmedabad, says that though positive thinking, mindfulness, happiness, emotional wellbeing, values and ethics amongst others, were always part of the curriculum in full time and executive MBA courses, it is for the first time that a complete well-rounded course has been curated by the institute.
Prof Khokle, who earlier worked at Tata Motors' Pune plant in the prototype testing department, explains that the realization of its importance has grown significantly during the pandemic.
The course, offered to second-year MBA students and in its first iteration involves a combination of conceptual studies and practical exploration in an 80:20 ratio. The practicals which involve workshops and off-site sessions are conducted using well-established tools and methods. Students can later take up further studies in the subject's Masters courses in specialized fields of Organizational Development or Psychology. Also, it also offers the opportunity to undertake long-term research in the field.
As per IIM-Ahmedabad management, the student response has been good with 45 choosing it. A class size of 40-60 students is considered a good number for elective subjects, says Professor Khokle.
The management points out that while there was no explicit request from India Inc or other stakeholders, the faculty who worked from across industries picked up cues about demand trends. Likewise, an online leadership course ‘Understanding Bhagavad Gita’, which has been offered since 2016, has 48 students.Values and ethics, behavioural orientation, role conflicts, purpose, leadership and resolving conflicts stand out as some of the key elements of this course. While courses on social sciences are seeing a spike in demand, upskilling subjects such as business analytics are gaining importance too.
Professor Anindya Chakrabarti, Co-Chairperson, e-Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Business Analytics (ePGD ABA) program, reveals that business analytics is currently one of the most-sought-after courses for upskilling. "The programme offers a carefully thought-out mix of courses on tools and techniques for data visualization, modelling and analysis of varieties of data of different sizes, machine learning algorithms, and cloud computing. And finally, domain specific applications of data analytics in marketing, HR, finance, operations and public policy and, skills required to package analysis output into business implications that can support decision making," says Prof. Chakrabarti