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Q: How does MICA match the ever changing professional as well as educational scenario? A: MICA is always ready to inculcate changes in its academic as well as administrative frontiers. The biggest example of this is the development which took place last year. After the CAT fiasco, MICA took a major step in giving students calls for interview on the basis of MICAT. The CAT scores were not considered at all. This was a major step because for so many years the admission procedure hadn't changed. It was thought to be an experiment, which now will be a permanent step. From now on, the admission interview calls will be purely on the basis of MICAT. This step has been taken to match the fast moving communication industry and has been welcomed by all.
Q: Any other major experiments lined up?
A: You won't call it an experiment but it is something which will take MICA to new heights. It's the TEDx conference being held in MICA on 26th February, 2011. This is first time such an event will take place in any B school in India.
Q: What can you comment on the proactive nature of the institute? Is it really proactive on various grounds?
A: Yes, I would say MICA is very proactive. The class curriculum, schedule and the study material is given to the students prior to the beginning of the term. Any change in the schedule is also communicated to the students well before time.
Q: What about the proactive presence in matters other than academics?
A: The students are well informed about the Do's and Don'ts in the campus. The ATM visits the campus on particular days in the week which is also communicated to the students well in advance. During the climate change like monsoons when chances of catching malaria were high, the students were provided with anti- malaria tablets.
Q: Is the administration also on par with the information they share with the batch?
A: Yes, the information is conveyed to the batch only after the approval from the Dean, the Director and the Registrar. The authenticity of the information always remains to be a top priority.
Q: What are your views on the admission intake being increased to 180 students for the coming year?
A: I can't really comment on that because it is a step that has been taken by the higher authorities.
Q: Is there any action taken on the feedback received from the students?
A: Yes, the feedback is looked into by the College authorities. In case of extremely negative feedback for a particular faculty by the majority of the batch, we consider change of the faculty. If the concerns are for the teaching pedagogy, it is discussed with the the dedicated faculty and then, appropriate steps are taken.
INTERVIEW 2 with a PGP-2 student:
Q: How strong is the MICA Alumni Network?
A: I think MICA Alumni team is doing wonders. Every year the meet is organized in various metros and the turn up is really good. Also, the Great Alumni Meet which was recently held in the campus had a huge participation. The speakers this year at the conference were really appreciated by all the students.
Q: Do they also contribute monetarily?
A: I have no idea regarding the same but they do pay for the stay here in the campus.
Q: What about helping in placements?
A: The Alumni Network helps in placement procedures by providing references as well as the contacts to the Placement Committee. These contacts come in handy when the committee goes for pitching to various Companies.
Q: Any students run body which looks into the course curriculum?
A: There is an Academic Review Committee called the ARC which looks into the course curriculum. They keep themselves updated with the courses being taught in other B-schools which can be of advantage for the students here. They also coordinate with the Placement Committee and Alumni in order to get some insight about what the companies in the communication industry these days look for in the students.
Q: Are there any open house sessions or interactive sessions where students can give feedbacks or discuss about courses and faculty to higher authorities like the Dean or the Director etc.?
A: Yes, there are regular feedback sessions where the students can raise their concerns and discuss the matter with the Director and the Dean. But more importantly, there are feedbacks taken for each and every course once the course gets finished. This is done via feedback surveys which are circulated online, so it is convenient too.
Q: Are the students happy with the food in the mess?
A: Yes, but whenever we feel that the food is not up to the standards, the message is conveyed to the Mess Committee and the mess staff and that is then taken care of for future. The Mess Committee is open to the suggestions and recently, to make the breakfast more nutritious, they included porridge and whole grain bread.
Q: How is the voting carried out during the committee selection?
A: The voting for the MCSA elections as well as other committees is done through a secret ballot which ensures trust as well as transparency.
INTERVIEW 3 with a PGP-1 student:
Q: How much freedom the students in the batch have in approaching the Director?
A: There is a committee called the MICA Committee for Student Affairs (MCSA). This committee handles all the issues faced by the students. The issues which require the intervention by the Director are forwarded by them. They act as a channel between the Administration and Students.
Q: What about other committees?
A: There are two types of committees: Formal and Informal. The formal ones like MICANVAS, ALUMNI, etc get a bit of funding by the administration while the informal ones like SANKALP are purely students run.
Q: What about the selection of the committee members?
A: The selection of the committee members is purely in the hands of batch. There is voting followed by the interviews which are taken by the senior members. All in all the process and the selection is all handled by the students.
Q: What about the transparency in the appraisal system?
A: The appraisal system is very transparent because the students are informed well in advance about the distribution of the marks corresponding to assignments and end term exam. Also, like it happened recently, students requested and were told their marks in each and every assignment as well as the class test.
Q: Is the batch at par with the information about the happenings in the college, be it academic or extracurricular?
A: Yes, there are regular batch meets to ensure that any information is shared with the whole batch.
Q: Do students confront any developments in the institute that they don't like?
A: Yes, it happens. The recent debate on whether MICA should be positioned as a B-school or a C-school can be taken as an example.
Q: What happened to the debate then?
A: It was discussed with the Admissions Head, Dr. Shubhra P. Gaur.
Q: What about the security in the campus and the hostels?
A: The campus is very secure and safe and there have been no incidents of thefts from the hostels too. This can be seen because most of the students don't even lock their rooms when going to the classes.
From the interviews, we could analyse that the culture of MICA falls under the Constructive Cluster. It includes cultural norms that reflect expectations for members to interact with others and approach tasks in ways that will help them meet their higher order satisfaction needs for affiliation, esteem and self-actualization.
The four cultural norms in this cluster are:
MICA encourages its members to work to their full potential, resulting in high levels of motivation, satisfaction, teamwork, service quality and personal growth. Constructive norms are evident in MICA where quality is valued over quantity, creativity is valued over conformity, cooperation is believed to lead to better results than competition and effectiveness is judged at the system level rather than the component level.
The main elements of the MICA culture can be summed up by the OCTAPACE:
Openness- High degree of openness as can be seen in the terms of:
Students giving ideas
Teachers' as well as students' appraisal system
Productive meetings such as batchmeets
Confrontation- MICA believes in facing problems and working jointly towards solutions, as is evident in the B-school/C-school confusion
Trust- There is a high level of trust that people have in each other as is evident from:
The confidentiality of information maintained in the feedback to teachers, secret ballot, voting
MCSA and how students help each other out when the need arises
Authenticity- There is congruence between what one feels, says and does. The system is open and transparency is maintained between the administration, the faculty and the students.
Proactivity- MICA believes in being proactive and steps are taken before the problem strikes as can be seen in:
Initiatives taken such as ARC and preventive actions like malaria tablets
Preplanning as the schedule for the term is fixed beforehand and circulated to the students
Autonomy- As an institute, MICA uses and gives freedom to the students to:
Organise themselves into committees
Organize fests on their own
The batch as a whole chooses its representatives
Collaboration- Supreme importance is given to the development of team spirit in the students by:
Making them work together in class assignments
Teams in the form of committees
Maintenance of Alumni network
Experimentation- MICA is known as the "school of ideas" as it encouraging new and innovative approaches as is evident in the following cases:
TEDx happening for the first time in an Indian B-school
Uses feedback to improve by incorporating changes in the teaching methodology, courses or even the faculty in extreme cases.
Identify functional and dysfunctional aspects of MICA's culture/organization's culture in the light of the mission of MICA/organization-' "To develop innovative professionals in the practice, development, and management of communications to serve the needs of industry and society through education, research and advocacy".
MICA's organisational culture is a composition of dual elements. Some are conducive to the growth of the institution and facilitate in fulfilling its mission objective. These are the functional factors of MICA's organisation culture. On the other hand some elements act as a hindrance in the smooth running and goal attainment of the organisation. These are the dysfunctional aspects.
Students and faculty of Mica are encouraged to think 'out of the box'. Being different from the herd is not seen with sceptically. We openly experiment, be it in student endeavours or pedagogy. For instance, the method of teaching for Culture and Communications is not the conventional classroom lecture only. Students are shown international films which touch upon various culture specific issues. Adoption of such methods has lead to an environment of innovativeness where students are moulded in such a manner that when they are out in the industry, they are able to bring in new dimensions and spur fresh ideas.
Team spirit is a vital element in the MICA organizational culture and its presence has lead to students evolving as team players who can work in collaboration with various departments and sectors in their work sphere. The numerous events organised at MICA by students is a testament to this. Students work jointly with peers, faculty and outside sponsors to successfully put up events such as Micanvas, Sankalp theatre festival and the Grand Alumni Meet.
At MICA the mantra is to me a step ahead and not wait for the moment to come to you. Be it in terms of infrastructure handled on part of the administration or student endeavours, proactivity is practiced. The students of MICA step out into the professional world as people who expand their role functions through a proactive attitude and do not limit it by being only reactive.
The spirit of experimentation also has flip side to it. It has lead to a lack in the clarity of objectives at MICA. Recently MICA has decided to do away with its Cat score requirement for admissions. The sole criteria of selection shall now be Micat which is a MICA administered exam focusing less on quantitative aptitude. With this step MICA seeks to create its own standing by administering its own exam. Though of a bold and visionary step, it has created confusion in the minds of prospective students and also recruiters. Cat has traditionally been seen as the benchmark for Business Management students. With its omission from the MICA selection process, there are concerns about whether MICA has shifted focus from management entirely and focussing only on communications.
Sometimes in a bid to maintain confidentiality the processes become bureaucratic and long drawn. A lot of processes are not clear to the students. Moreover, as a lot of processes are not exclusive inter departmentally, a lot of checks at various administrative touch points take place before any decision or grant is made. This is to ensure fairness of practices. However this makes administrative procedures a lengthy process. Moreover , between students and administration, few facts are kept undisclosed in order to maintain confidentiality within the administration. Though this promotes trust and confidence in the organizational culture at the administrative level, it creates apprehensions among students. There is lack of clarity. This has been observed in the case of attendance, committee budget approvals and many other issues. All this creates lack of confidence in the institution's practices among the students on some occasions, and it hampers the positive flows in the organisation culture of MICA.
We have devised the action plan keeping in mind the dysfunctional aspects of MICA stated in the second answer.
The system at MICA is very bureaucratic at times---
The system at MICA can get very bureaucratic at times like a student has to fight for attendance when he/she goes for any competition outside college even when the mails of those competitions come from the admin. A student has to submit endless documents and has to meet a lot of people number of times for seeking permission to take part in a competition outside college. After going through all this even then the student is not assured that he would get attendance or not. In some of the other cases people from the Placement Committee, Sankalp Committee and even Micanvas Committee don't get attendance due to bureaucratic system at Mica when they have to miss classes for committee's work. Besides attendance the instance of Micare of not being given to students till the mid of second term also says about the bureaucratic and rigid system at Mica.
The system should be flexible and student friendly rather than being so rigid and bureaucratic. For solving the attendance issue, the admin should send and forward the mails of only those competitions for which they are comfortable in sending their students. The process of seeking permission for participation in a certain competition outside college should be made simpler and less troublesome. A student should be granted permission and full attendance when he/she shows the registration certificate. The system of separate applications should be changed, it is too complex and time consuming. Also the students who miss classes on account of Committee work should also be given attendance so that their grades don't get affected. Academically also students should be given the liberty to choose the course which they want to study and also to choose the faculty from whom they want to study rather than imposing a list of courses and teachers upon them.
Processes are slow-
The second dysfunctional aspect stated in the second answer is that some of the processes at Mica are slow. To start with PGP1 was promised a foreign language course right from term one but they only got started with their foreign language classes in term2. Students were promised a permanent mode of transport to the club for their golf sessions which they didn't get till term 2 and don't have it even now. They were also promised the facility of a swimming pool which still isn't fulfilled. Also the schedule for a week or for a month keeps on changing. Its very erratic and we keep on receiving mails every two three days of a new schedule. Its very disturbing as one cant decide and plan about anything. Even when there is biometric system of attendance, the attendance doesn't get updated regularly.
The system should be robust and fast. Attendance should be updated as and when it is recorded so that people can take a note of what, which and how many classes they have missed. The schedule for a week or a month should not change so often so that peole can plan their routine and schedule accordingly. The promises should be kept and the students should be delivered what they are promised.
Lack in clarity of objectives-
Mica is in a dilemma whether its a B-school or a C-school. The advertising says its a management school which classifies it as a b-school but when we came here during our orientation week we were told that Mica is not a management school but a C-school. The confusion aggravates with the removal of Cat scores as a mandatory requirement for admissions.This confusion even reflects in the curriculum where we neither have adequate courses of management nor of communication. This also affects the placement scenario adversely. Some of the biggest FMCGs don't come to Mica for placements because of this dilemma.
There should be clarity about the objective in the minds of the aspirants and the industry people.
For this the communication about Mica's objective should and clear. All the ambiguity about Mica should be cleared. The website of Mica should be refurbished and revamped sending clear message across to all. The curriculum should be redesigned so that people, both aspirants and industry people can understand and comprehend the uniqueness of communication management being a niche course it is.