Thursday, March 1, 2012

Institute of Rural Management, Anand

A-Z campus life, from exams to canteen rules


IRMA lush green campus
Fiercely proud of its ‘autonomy’, the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), which is neither affiliated to any university nor to the University Grants Commission (UGC), was established in 1979. Funded by the government of India, Gujarat state government, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the erstwhile India Dairy Corporation (IDC), the institute aims to promote sustainable, eco-friendly and equitable socio-economic development of rural people through the “professional management” of their institutions. 


Institute of Rural Management, Post Box No. 60, Anand 388001, Gujarat, India
Contact: 02692-260391, 260181 Fax: 02692-260188


It is at the heart of Anand, so locating the campus is not a tough task. It is renowned and almost everyone knows about it. Moreover, it stands out as much for its tranquillity and perfectly manicured lawns as for its beautiful architecture. The 60 acres campus has clean roads and squeaky wind noise is the only audible thing you will listen to. Any noise beyond the acceptable decibel level leads to raise eyebrows and pointed looks.

If you think the campus life is dazzling and very happening like other MBA institutes, you are probably looking at the wrong place. The ambiance is low profile and tranquil, as it seems students are prepared them for the hard life ahead. It is truly ‘a management institute with a difference.’ And the whole ambiance is created by students themselves, here most of the people are those who want to change the way the things are. That’s a big difference between other MBA premier institutes with IRMA, a professor said.

Vital Statistics

Campus life in IRMA
This institute is aimed at a different objective, creating rural managers with appropriate ethics, help rural organisations professionalise their management, empower villagers through self-sustaining processes and build rural management theories through action oriented and problem solving research.  The institute stresses on public policies that cover a major section of academic study.

IRMA offers a two-year residential programme in rural management (PRM). There are two options for students to complete the course; either in one go or complete it within two stages. There is another short term certificate course in rural management (CRM) at the end of the first year and rejoin the PRM within three years and complete the second year. 

After successful completion of the second year, students earn the post graduate diploma in rural management (PGDRM), which is recognised as a master equivalent by the Association of Indian University (AIU) and approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The programme also gives flexibility to working executives sponsored by IRMA’s client organisation. 

The course is divided into three sections – classroom, fieldwork and management traineeship. The first one exposes students to various theories of rural management, the remaining two are hand on experience in villages and rural organisations. 

Another course offered by the institution is Fellow Programme in Rural Management (FPRM), which is of minimum of 3 years and stretch up to 6 years, aiming to lure students and professionals who want to pursue careers in research, teaching and specialised position in academic institutions.  

The course is designed in a way to understand the real India, and if you want to change a bit of it, courses will take you there and gives an opportunity to change it for the better.

Easy To Get There?

IRMA students
You need a graduate degree with minimum of 15 years of education (10+2+3) with 50% or an equivalent GPA from a recognised Indian or foreign university. Only Indian citizens are allowed to appear for the test.
The institute conducts an autonomous exam for its 2 years Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM). The duration of exam is 2 hours and consists of multiple choices questions. There are also subjective questions. Additional qualifications like extra-curricular, certificates in social work, etc. will definitely give you an edge.  

IRMA also encourages their clients’ organisations (those support rural development) to sponsor their working executives to do the course. The sponsored individual must have bachelor degree and at least 2 year of experience in rural development. They have two options to opt for; one is the full time PGDRM and another Certificate in Rural Management (CRM) at the end of the first year. 

The fellowship programme (FPRM) admission consists of three stages. The screening of the applications is followed by a written test and then personal interviews. 

Every fellow is eligible for a fellowship of Rs. 10,000 per month and Rs.20,000 per year as a contingency grant. it is For maximum of 3 years, however in special cases, the grant can be stretched beyond 3 years. The participants are not only research on rural subjects but also expected to give assistance in teaching and research.

Who Is The Boss

Professor Jeemol Unni , director.

Glittering Alumni

Vidyanand Jha, professor at the Indian Institute of Management Kolkata, Gautam Roy of Mother Dairy, Ashvini Hiran of Hindustan Lever Ltd., Shankar Narayanan, senior specialist at the World Bank among many others.

Cheap to live in?

IRMA library
Not exactly. The two years programme fee is Rs. 4,17,700 inclusive of boarding, lodging, and field expenditure, tuition and computer fees, room rent and electricity. The institute mess is run by and managed by students and they frame the rules and regulations of the mess. A partial aid is available to a few candidates from low income families under a merit-cum-means scholarship scheme.

Campus News

IRMA has a high demand in state administration, micro-finance institutions, educational institutions and high profile NGOs. The year 2012 witnessed an illustrated placement which took place a week long and all 105 students of current batch were absorbed in just 3 days. 

IRMA is not just a serious students sphere but recreational activities have also been encouraged. It has a Student Activity Centre where people are engaged in debate, skit and other cultural and creative pursuit. Sports like football, cricket, badminton and table tennis are equally taken seriously.


Shankar Narayanan, a senior specialist at the World Bank said his reminiscence on his alma mater.
Shankar Narayan - A senior specialist at the World Bank
“I assumed I had not been selected and was ready to accept a pending job offer. But a senior IRMA student ran into my father and told him that rejected candidates always received a letter of regret. He followed it up and I soon received a telegram asking me to join the course. It turned out that the earlier call letter was lost in the post. “

A senior specialist at the World Bank, Mr. Shankar Narayanan accepted that it was a sheer stroke of luck that made his entry into this institution. Then 20 year old naïve didn’t know the future because people considered it as a second rate management college. He said that the classroom atmosphere was a total informal and people were encouraged to play in field rather than classes. 

After the completion of the course, Mr. Narayanan was selected for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme and put in charge of Bharuch district. Naryanan feels while his theoretical grounding at IRMA was invaluable, the field experience gained during his first job was equally crucial. After for some long time he kept coming back to IRMA every weekend to tell the faculty what he was doing and looks for encouragement.


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