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When is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

The abbreviation MBA expands as Master of Business Administration, and PGDM spells-out as Post Graduate Diploma in Management. Although the two management courses look different, but actually both of them are almost the same. The biggest reason why postgraduate courses are termed as PGDM is because when an Institute is an autonomous body (and, therefore, is not affiliated to any universities) and conducts management courses, then such Institutes cannot offer an MBA degree. Such degrees can only be offered by universities. And yet, there is a way in which PGDM is equivalent to MBA! Let us explore this way now.

Here, it may be noted that top premier Indian Institutes like IIM, XLRI offer PGDM, and not MBA. When an Institute acquires autonomy they design their own syllabus to be taught instead of following standard, and at times, outdated University syllabus. As a matter of fact, the change of university syllabus is a complex process and it will happen only once in 4 or 5 years because many colleges will be affiliated to a particular university. Moreover, if they change the syllabus time and again, it will take time so as to revise the books and also for the faculties to raise themselves up to the new academic expectations.

As far as PGDM is concerned, since the colleges are autonomous, the syllabus can be updated regularly depending on the need in Industry without approval from any University. Thus a PGDM programme becomes more industry-ready and up-to-date when compared to a MBA degree. Again, a majority of PGDM courses are based on trimester system (i.e., 4 months make a trimester and there will be 6 trimester), whereas MBA course follow the standard semester system (i.e., 6 months make a semester and there will be 4 semesters). One more important difference is that PGDM will give a student double specialization. This means that while most MBA’s offer just a single specialization, PGDM students gets the opportunity to select two electives like Marketing & HR, HR & Finance, Marketing & Business Intelligence, etc.

But, one needs to be cautious while opting for PGDM courses. Even though AICTE have regulations for institutes offering PGDM, an aspirant should check whether the course offered by the institute is actually approved by AICTE. In contrast, for imparting MBA programme, the institute will be normally affiliated to some university – and the universities are, as a rule, controlled by University Grants Commission (UGC). Additionally, these colleges may also get accredited by AICTE. So, there is not much to worry about that.

One important thing to remember here is that if you are planning for further studies after PGDM, then you have to see whether the PGDM offered by the institute is equivalent to MBA, which means that the college offering the PGDM course must have accreditation from AIU (The Association of Indian Universities). In other words, if the college is AIU accredited, only then its PGDM is equivalent to MBA.

That said, if you are a management aspirant looking to pursue a PGDM course in Delhi NCR, you may explore Asian Business School (ABS), Noida which is not only ranked as one of the top PGDM colleges in Delhi NCR, but its highly rated flagship PGDM programme is also AIU accredited!