MICA-The School of Ideas: Frontrunner of Pedagogical Innovations
MICA-The School of Ideas

The year 1991 saw the economic liberalization in India to make the economy more market and service-oriented and expand the role of private and foreign investment. It was also in 1991 that Mr A G Krishnamurthy, founder of Mudra Communications Pvt. Ltd., felt the increasing need to set up a School that would help produce and nurture talent primarily to serve the growing needs of the advertising industry, which was booming with the coming of liberalization. That is when MICA, or the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad as it was called earlier, was born.

While Advertising and Brand Management was the foremost specialization offered, over the years, MICA has added new specializations such as Media and Entertainment Management, Digital Communication Management, Data Science and Business Analytics and Sales and Customer Relationship Management.

During the past 32 years since its inception, MICA has embraced change and evolved from a single-programme management school to a multi-programme school. Today, it runs four residential programmes besides various Online Programmes and Learning and Management Development Programmes (LMDPs) from its campus.

It is the only Management School in India focusing on Marketing and Creative Thinking, as it trains students to creatively solve marketing problems by juxtaposing the right and left brains.

MICA is also exploring ways in which the latest technological innovations, such as ChatGPT, can be used as an effective tool for learning.

Today, it figures among the Top 50 management schools in India as per the latest NIRF Rankings. In terms of its high quality and globally recognized research output by its faculty, MICA is today counted among the Top 20 management institutes in the country.

Amalgamating Ethical Values with Skillset

MICA’s unique Rural Immersion sees its students visit villages and undertake studies on rural ethnography and rural market analysis, while under its MI-IMPACT Immersion, students study real-world Problem-Solving Projects (PSPs) from organizations across diverse sectors and geographies, thereby leaving an impact on the ecosystem by engaging with corporates, government organizations, and non-profit organizations.

Thirty-two years after its inception, MICA remains committed as ever to ensuring that its students are equipped not only with various skillsets and knowledge to serve the industry but also with the necessary ideals and ethics to serve society at large. Just like the founder Mr A G Krishnamurthy, had envisioned while setting up MICA in 1991 – “We don’t simply make good leaders; we also make good citizens.”

Dean’s Pursuit of Excellence

Dr Githa Heggde is the Dean of MICA. She has over 30 years of experience in academics, consulting and industry. Her contribution to MICA has been immense.

She provides academic leadership to the institution by overseeing the development and implementation of curricula, ensuring the quality of teaching and learning, promoting innovation and creativity, and fostering an environment of academic excellence. The key idea is to facilitate the brilliant faculty members in implementing their ideas and spearheading the innovations at MICA.

The Dean is responsible for the management and administration of the institution, including faculty management, academic collaborations, and strategic planning. The Dean ensures that the institution is financially stable and sustainable and that its resources are used effectively and efficiently.

The Dean fosters a sense of community and engagement among faculty, staff, students, and alums and works to promote a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and diversity. The Dean also establishes and maintains partnerships with other institutions, organizations, and businesses to enhance MICA’s reputation and visibility.

Leading the Race of Innovation

MICA has always been at the forefront regarding pedagogical innovations and e-learning tools. During the pandemic, ‘virtual fatigue’ and ‘peer learning’ were two major challenges.

MICA adopted flipped classroom approach in which an instructor would send a pre-recorded video of 30 minutes to the class well in advance, followed by a live interaction for 45 minutes in smaller sections of 36 students each, to enhance the learning experience and ensure peer-to-peer learning.

MICA addressed the challenges with on-field pedagogical techniques like various immersions by converting them into online experiences in collaboration with its partner organizations.

Other regular initiatives at MICA that further strengthen and facilitate e-learning include a subscription to tools such as MENTZA to assist student learning and to buy a LinkedIn learning subscription.

MICA also conducts various Online Programmes partnering with the leaders in Ed Tech firms like upGrad, Emeritus, TimesPro and Simplilearn, offering short-term Certificate programmes in Digital Marketing, Strategic Brand Management & Communication, Strategic Communication & Storytelling, and upcoming programs in Media and Entertainment Management, Digital Transformation, Marketing Analytics, Product Management etc.

Setting a Stage for Future Leaders

MICA has a vibrant student culture on campus, reflected in the over a dozen Student Committees. Students vie with one another to enrol into these Committees, and the main student body MICA Council of Student Affairs (MCSA), oversees the election and selection of Committee memberships besides ensuring that all students get representation into a minimum of one Committee. The Committees hold various events during the year, attracting huge registration from the student fraternity. These Committees include:

  • Theatre (Sankalp)
  • Community Radio (MICAVaani)
  • Community Service and Social Responsibility (Jagriti)
  • Literature (LitComm)
  • Music (Studio 7)
  • Culture (CulComm)
  • Consultancy (MICAMINDS)
  • Placements (PlaceComm)
  • Marketing and PR (Team Interface)
  • TED Talks (TEDx)
  • Sports (SCAM)
  • Entrepreneurship Development (EDC)
  • Alumni Engagement Committee

To encourage students to be future-ready and evolve into good managers, MICA encourages them to participate in national and international level case studies and corporate competitions. Its MICA Lecture Series (MLS) ensures that students regularly interact with industry experts.

In the second year, each course is taught jointly by MICA faculty and an industry expert.

The MICA faculty adopt various methods and flipped classroom pedagogies while imparting education, including case studies, field trips, presentations and assignments, creating photo novels, and writing dissertations to make the MICA student fully prepared and ready for the future. MICA also encourages its students to think and innovate by permitting their participation in management competitions, event management and undertaking consultancy projects.

Introduction to Real-life Problems

MICA’s Immersions – MIIMPACT, Rural Immersion, and International Immersion are specifically designed to provide industry experience by offering an opportunity to work on real-life problems shared by various companies. Students work with faculty members and industry experts to put their classroom learning and implementation to address the problem statements shared by different companies.

Another initiative is ‘Connect the Dots,’ which evaluates students based on analytical and critical thinking skills. The MICA Comprehensive Assessment Mapping, a year-end assessment, assesses students through a written exam and a multiple-choice questionnaire. The Magic of MICA is always the interconnections – across creativity and management, experiential and analytical learning, emotional and academic intelligence, local and global, and above all, male and female consciousness.

Souvenir of Success

  • MICA was ranked 8th among the top 120 private management schools in India as per the rankings released by the Indian Institutional Ranking Framework (IIRF) 2023.
  • MICA was placed at 42 among the top hundred management schools in the country in the National Institutional Ranking Framework list. Incidentally, this was the first time MICA participated in the NIRF rankings.
  • MICA’s PGP and FPM Programmes have been recognized by the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) since their inception.
  • Further, MICA PGP Programme is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), which gives its diplomas the equivalent of a university degree.
  • MICA’s PGP Programme is accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
  • MICA has also begun the process of seeking international accreditation.

MICA students emerged victorious at prestigious pan-India management competitions such as Tata Steel-a-Thon, L’oreal Sustainability Challenge, TVS Credit Analytics EPIC Season 4 Challenge, Flipkart Wired 6.0 Nationals, Dabur, to name a few.

A film made by a team of CCC students made it to the Top 40 nominee list in the 50-hour filmmaking challenge put up by the India Film Project (IFP) out of 1,680 teams and over 31,000 filmmakers from 19 countries.

Praiseworthy Moments

  • Setting up a first-of-its-kind Metaverse Lab equipped with production tools and virtual reality (VR) glasses for consumer research.
  • MICA is also exploring ways in which the latest technological innovations, such as ChatGPT, can be used as an effective tool for learning.
  • Launched a new module on ‘Business of Emerging Technology Landscape’ to provide an overview of Metaverse, Blockchain, NFTs, and Coins & Tokens that will help students understand these new technologies and their business implications.
  • Revamped existing courses with a thrust on Digital Transformation Management, OTT and its effects, and ‘Global Governance, Change, and Transformation (GCT).’
  • Introduced Capstone projects to provide integrated learning.
  • MICA has piloted Connect the Dots, an end-term assessment for PGP students where they work to provide solutions for a live problem given by an industry expert and receive guidance from the industry mentor.
  • Further, MICA has introduced a Dissertation Study module for Industry Research – where over two years, students will select an industry-relevant research theme over a year and carry out in-depth academic and industry research with the help of assigned mentors.

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