Institute of Risk Management (IRM) India Regional Group and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) report uncovers gaps in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) knowledge in the Indian higher education system


DELHI, INDIA: Enterprise risk management intelligence is a critical requirement for both organizational and individual success. A key finding of a survey conducted by the IRM India Regional Group in collaboration with AICTE found that education institutions in India still have a long way to go when it comes to delivering Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) education.  

The publication ‘Enterprise Risk Management and the Indian Higher Education System’ drew responses from over one thousand Indian institutions. This initiative is engaging with higher educational bodies to help them to improve risk management education while focusing on embedding ERM education across the country. 

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The research was led by Dr. Shashank Shah, SAI Fellow’17, Harvard University, Board Research Chair, IRM India Affiliate; and Dr. Sapna Malya, Associate Professor – Finance, SPJIMR, Project Co-Chair, IRM India Affiliate. 

Nearly 96% of the responding institutions considered risk literacy as critical for both organizational and personal success. Yet, only 27% of institutions believe ERM courses should be offered at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Not surprisingly, only 19% of these institutes thought that their students had high-risk literacy.

Given that 60% of the respondent institutions were affiliated with universities that exercised control over their course framework, there was a general consensus on the need for regulations that emphasize better risk education, for improving risk literacy among students. This was evident as 82% of the study participants believed that academic regulators mandating a formal ERM framework would help the teaching-learning process. The lack of risk preparedness extends to the institutional level, with only 37% employing a dedicated risk officer or faculty to advise the school’s leadership team on institutional risks.

Commenting on the survey, Hersh Shah, Chairman, IRM India Regional Group, said:

“Our survey reveals a worrying gap between the need for ERM and the risk literacy of India’s graduate and post-graduate students. 

Global events leading to business collapse to risk-related events demonstrate the consequences of ignoring organizational-wide risk management issues ranging from cyber-attacks – supply chain – reputational damage.

This lack of risk preparedness among India’s emerging workforce is a matter of grave concern. To build a robust and resilient economy, we must urgently address the gap in the system by strengthening the curriculum framework to promote ERM education across our higher educational institutions. In addition, there must be a sustained and systematic process to ensure the inclusion of new and emerging courses on the subject”. 

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Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, added:

 “Although the corporate world is now taking a proactive approach towards strengthening their risk management frameworks, academia is still, unfortunately, lagging behind. AICTE partnered with IRM with the view of raising awareness about risk management in our higher educational institutions.

The findings of the survey should motivate all the stakeholders, including academic institutions, students, instructors, the government, and organizations who depend on these schools for their workforce, towards greater introspection. We hope that this survey will help induce greater impetus towards strengthening risk management, both at the institutional level and in building higher education curriculums across the country. With an increasing regulatory focus on risk management, there is a rising demand for qualified ERM and risk-intelligent professionals across every sector. Now, the onus lies with us, in academia, to ensure that our students are ready to take on the challenges of Industry 4.0. 

We recognize IRM’s global leadership in ERM qualifications and examinations across 140+ countries and are confident of the support that they can provide to educational institutions in creating qualified risk-ready professionals.”

Key findings:

45% of responding institutions do not have industry experts to deliver courses in the risk management subjects. Among the institutions that offered courses in risk management, 72% said that their full-time faculty were engaged in teaching these programs. Of these, 11% of the respondents said that their risk-teaching faculty held IRM qualifications.  

However, there is a severe paucity of academia-industry collaborations, with only 12% of the respondents being able to provide industry-linked risk management internships to their students. Not surprisingly, almost half the respondents believed that the current educational framework was insufficient to equip their students to meet the emerging demand for risk-intelligent professionals across different sectors.

Given the importance of risk management, 88% of the respondents expressed a willingness to work with professional bodies such as IRM to integrate ERM qualifications into the curriculum.

IRM’s qualifications can be key in developing both organizational risk management and risk education in higher education institutions. At the organizational management level, IRM-qualified professionals have been appointed risk leaders or chief risk officers in colleges and universities. 

In terms of faculty training, IRM Certified Members and Certified Fellows are employed full-time or part-time in ERM teaching roles in academic institutions, ensuring academic rigor in the delivery of ERM education. In terms of developing the curriculum, IRM can help in developing a clear study pathway that combines both the theory and practice of ERM. Institutional collaborations with IRM can open up career prospects through the latter’s robust industry network. IRM qualifications can be integrated with the ERM programs of higher education institutions to help undergraduate and postgraduate students to build risk literacy, and facilitate practical exposure and industry recognition.

The report can be downloaded here 

Report contributors

Many senior industry and academic leaders shared their views on the current status of ERM education for the survey, including Mr. Shailesh Haribhakti, Prof. Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore; Mr. Santosh Kumar, Partner, Deloitte India; Dr. Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities; Mr. Nirav Doshi, Head – Enterprise Risk Management, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI); Mr. Sivaram Subramoniam, Head – Internal Audit, Titan Company Limited; Mr. Vijay Chawla, Head – Risk Advisory, KPMG India; Mr. Mohan Tanskale, Former CMD, Central Bank of India and Former CEO, Indian Banks’ Association, Mr. Nandan Pendsey, Partner, AZB & Partners, Dr. Arnab Kumar Laha, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; and Prof. Abhijit Chattoraj, Programme Chairperson, PGDM (Insurance Business Management), Birla Institute of Management Technology (Greater Noida), among others.

Institute of Risk Management, India Affiliate

IRM is the world’s leading professional body for enterprise risk management qualifications (Level 1 to 5) and training.  IRM publishes research and guidance, and also professional standards across the world. Our members (including members of the Institute of Operational Risk) work in all industries, in all risk disciplines, and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in more than 140 countries. With 360 exam centers in India, candidates can earn the IRM designations by pursuing the global examinations through IRM India Affiliate. IRM in India has been working with apex bodies and organizations like the AICTE, Invest India, Cipla, ICICI Lombard, Deloitte, JB Boda Group, NIMSME, Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society including academic institutions like BIMTECH, National Insurance Academy, Jai Hind College, Hansraj College, EDII, DCBS and others.

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All India Council for Technical Education

The AICTE is a statutory body, and a national-level council for technical education, under the Department of Higher Education. Established in November 1945 first as an advisory body and later on in 1987 given statutory status by an Act of Parliament, AICTE is responsible for proper planning and coordinated development of the technical education and management education system in India. It is assisted by eleven Statutory Boards of Studies, namely, UG Studies in Engineering and Technology, PG and Research in Engineering and Technology, Management Studies, Vocational Education, Technical Education, Pharmaceutical Education, Architecture, Hotel Management, Catering Technology, Information Technology, Town and Country Planning, and Applied Art, Craft and Design. AICTE has 8,957 approved education institutions with an intake capacity of 2,959,296 in all technical programs.

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