Mumbai: Participants of SPJIMR’s two year Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) now carry lighter backpacks. Each participant has been provided with a Kindle e-reader preloaded with e-copies of books and other reading material that in the print form would weigh over 10 kilograms. The change to a 200 gram e-reader is part of a larger move towards going digital at SPJIMR, one of India’s top ranked schools of management.
Over 50 per cent of the textbooks for the incoming PGDM Class of 2017-19 are Kindle editions. Additionally, all cases from Harvard Business Publishing and other reading material for the Class will be available on the Kindle.
The change reflects the needs and aspirations of students who want to not only reduce the weight of a typical MBA backpack but also cut down on the use of paper and become more environment-friendly. Reading material and references are now accessible to students almost instantaneously, cutting down on wait time, physical distribution, and lost or misplaced copies. The e-readers also make notes taking and references easier and searchable.
“We are doing this for the student community and wanted a solution that would encourage reading and at the same time be cost effective and sustainable,” said Prof. Rajiv Agarwal, who led the project and worked with Amazon to deliver the e-readers and textbooks especially for SPJIMR.
Prof. Bindu Kulkarni, Associate Programme Head for PGDM and Head- Admissions for PGDM, said, “The idea of giving each and every PGDM participant a Kindle reader was to align their need and comfort with digital media. We have observed a generational shift in reading habits and we wanted to keep pace with the changing needs of this generation.”
The Kindle comes with a special two year warranty and will remain the property of students. Thus, MBA participants can load other reading material on the same device, and refer to the MBA related literature and textbooks even after they graduate. This is a big change from earlier, when all books were usually disposed by participants at the end of the programme. The Kindle offers students exciting features that include:
• Notes: Students can add or edit notes within the eBook. These notes can also be exported and shared over email for future reference.
• Highlight: Important sections can be highlighted, just like physical books.
• ‘PageFlip’: Allows students to skim page by page or scan by chapter.
• Collections: Students can organise their eBooks into custom categories using collections.
• Pick up where you left off: Read across devices while you are on the move.
“Digitisation of academic content is a big milestone and we are excited to partner with SPJIMR. Kindle devices enable students to access these eBooks any time and achieve their academic goals. The Kindle Starter Pack provides access to a wide range of supplementary academic content on the Kindle Book Store,” said Rajiv Mehta, Country Manager, Kindle Content.
The project saw an enthusiastic faculty team at SPJIMR ready to move to e-Books and even change some textbooks so that the maximum possible material could go digital this year. Pearson India Education Services Pvt. Ltd., the world’s learning company, worked with SPJIMR to convert to kindle format all books which were earlier not available.
Commenting on the development, Mr. Vikas Singh, Business Head and Vice President, Pearson India said, “We’re committed to creating personalised, meaningful experiences for all learners that ultimately help them achieve their education and professional goals. This collaboration is a testimony of personalised learning experience created through a highly efficacious framework. Pearson’s global expertise in digital learning solutions ensured that students get access to global & Indian editions from world-renowned authors in the desired format, as per latest technology.”
Separately, Harvard Business School Publishing permitted SPJIMR to deliver all teaching cases electronically directly to the Kindles.
Vivek Chachra, Country Manager, HBP India, said, “Harvard Business Publishing is delighted to support SPJIMR in this path-breaking initiative by enabling digital distribution of content for the incoming PGDM students. Enhancing ease of access helps unleash the real power of our globally relevant and application oriented academic content. We are thrilled to see SPJIMR continuing to take the lead amongst B-Schools in India.”