Distance and online programs in management are very popular these days due to the flexibility and affordability they offer. But some universities claim to offer MBA while others offer PGDM. Students get confused since they are not sure if these two programs are equivalent and if they will be treated at par by future employers.
The MBA degree programs offered through distance mode are as valid
and accepted as those offered through regular courses as long as they are
approved by the Distance Education Bureau (DEB) of the University Grants
Commission (UGC). A degree can be offered only by a university or an institute
affiliated to a university. The university designs the syllabus for the program
and institutes need to follow the syllabus.
On the other hand, post graduate diplomas are not awarded by
universities and therefore their approval is granted by AICTE (All India Council
for Technical Education). These courses are offered by autonomous educational
institutions not affiliated to any universities. Thus, they are at liberty to
regularly change and upgrade their course content keeping pace with latest
developments in the field. Diploma programs were created to fast track the
process of curriculum revision and teach students latest skills and make them
Whether a student should choose a distance MBA or a distance PGDM
depends on their specific goals. A student who wishes to focus on real business
skills can choose the PGDM course as these courses have a very practical
approach to teaching and focus mainly on tackling real problems related to
On the other hand, those who wish to study further in this field,
whether in India or abroad can select the distance MBA. MBA degree programs are
more theoretical in approach and are more accepted in the case a student wants
to pursue doctorate.
There are a large number of UGC approved distance MBA and AICTE
approved PGDM courses in India some of which are offered by IGNOU, Sikkim
Manipal University and Amity University, Symbiosis Institute of Management among
The following is an outline of some of the top distance mode MBA
courses available in India
Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
Graduate 3 year degree in any discipline from any recognized
university with minimum 50% (general category) or 45% (SC/ST).Candidates must qualify in IGNOU’S OPENMAT Entrance test.
– 5 years
in any discipline
Completion of 12 years of formal schoolingGraduates in any discipline from a recognized university with
in any discipline or an equivalent degree.
need to clear the SMU-DDE Management
Aptitude Test or SMAT.D DDE Management Aptitude Test – (SMAT
DE Management Aptitude Test – (SMAT
in any discipline from a recognized university having studied in the (10+2+3)
course fee depends upon the MBA specialization selected.
The following is an outline of some of the top distance mode PGDM
courses available in India
Graduate in any discipline from a recognised
Final year degree students may also apply provided
they ultimately pass the degree.
International / SAARC students with degrees
from recognized and accredited institutes can apply.
Graduates in any discipline (10+2+3) or equivalent degree
recognized by AIU with minimum 50% at the graduate level.
OR Graduates in any discipline (10+2+3) or equivalent degree
recognized by AIU with less than 50% at the graduate level and minimum 2
years’ work experience.
of Management Technology – IMT Ghaziabad
Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline from any
recognized University or equivalent degree recognized by the Association of
Indian Universities (AIU).
School of Distance Education
In conclusion it can be said that ultimately both offer the same
quality of education and future work prospects. A student can opt for either,
provided that the courses are recognized by the concerned authorities. As
stated above, the choice finally is contingent upon the individual goals of