Times Of India. Education Times. ND 30/01/2012 p-2
CONFERENCE


The sixth national conference of All India Management Association (AIMA) on 'Developing Women Business Leaders-Agenda for Action' was held from January 20-21, on the need for more women in senior management roles and how this can be achieved. Naina Lai Kidwai, country head, India & director HSBC Asia Pacific; Jyoti Sharma, president, Force, and Sqn Ldr Sangita Paulraj, member, skydiving team,
Indian Air Force, among others, took part in the conference.

Mail Today ND 24/01/2012 P-22-23
By Sangeeth Sebastian


THE honeymoon period may be over for the country's management graduates. But the grim economic climate has opened up a slew of new sectors that promise to flourish in austerity.
From agri-business and micro-finance to healthcare and alternative energy to education and infrastructure, interest in programmes that cater to specialised management requirements have surged in recent years.
Yet finding the right talent, as always, continues to be an enormous challenge for companies. Simplifying the task, the All India Management Association (AIMA), an apex body of management in the country, has introduced a screening test to spot talented and job ready management graduates. The test is a product of a joint research conducted by AIMA and Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB), which showed that despite the large number of management graduates passing out annually, most of them were not placed appropriately. Titled Management Aptitude and Skills Test, (MAST), the examination has provided jobs
to over 500 graduates since it was launched In 2010.
"With MAST, we have taken up the task of bridging the gap between academic education and industry," said Rekha Sethi, director general, AIMA.
Adding credibility to the novel initiative is the support it enjoys with some of the leading companies such as J.K. Cements, ITC Lifestyle, Larsen & Toubro, Moser Baer India, Nokia, Britannia and Fabindia.
"The test caters to the specific needs of the industry and provides them with direct access to students," said Sethi. The next MAST is scheduled to be held on September 23 this year.
AIMA has also come up with Campus-MAST, a customised version of the screening test, where the test can be tailor-made to suit an organisation's requirements and can be conducted exclusively for them within the B-School campuses identified by the organisation.
Meanwhile, the overall decline in the number of students opting for careers in management, both nationally and internationally following the 2008 recession has dampened the enthusiasm of students who once viewed an MBA degree as a status symbol to flaunt.
"Students who regarded MBA as a fashion statement are now tentative," said Sethi. "Working executives too are thinking twice before pursuing an MBA and are not keen on quitting their jobs to pursue a Masters programme."
However, according to the director, despite the depressing trends, AIMA's Management Aptitude Test continues to remain popular with over 1.6 lakh students enrolling for MAT exams every year. The exam, regarded the best after CAT, is recognised by over 600 B-Schools in the country. The test, which comprises diverse subjects such as literature, social science and mathematics, is held in February, May, September and December every year. The first round of examinations this year will be held on February 5.

• AIMA Introduces screening test to spot Job ready grads
• Over 500 management grads get Jobs under MAST
• Nearly 1.6 lakh students enrol for MAT exams annually
• Demand for market relevant courses on the rise
• MBA no longer a fashion statement for aspirants