In the first such article of its kind, India Today, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and unbiased magazines in the country, has showcased IMT-CDL in its 12th December, 2011.

In the first such article of its kind, India Today, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and unbiased magazines in the country, has showcased IMT-CDL in its 12th December, 2011 edition as "leading the way in providing quality distance education to working professionals." Observing that "Distance education has opened doors to a flexible, cost-efficient and competitive learning system", the cover story - 'GO THE DISTANCE' - for the weekly edition of India Today highlighted three other institutions alongside IMT-CDL.

Dedicating two full pages to IMT-CDL, the magazine titled the IMT-CDL section 'MILES AHEAD'. Dr. Arun Mohan Sherry, Director, IMT-CDL, was quoted as saying that "there is no tangible difference between distance education and regular courses. The only difference is that of pedagogy. It may be better in some respects (as in the case of IMT-CDL) where so much material is available online, especially through a digital library which can easily be accessed by working professionals who cannot devote their time in physical libraries."

The article lists the number of students enrolling in the IMT-CDL distance learning programme in management as 15,369 for the 2011 session. India Today also carries a one-on-one interview of Dr. Sherry in its 12th December 2011 edition, in which he is quoted as saying, "Many IMT-CDL alumni have risen to very high positions in esteemed organisations within the country and abroad. Technological advancement is a boon to distance education. However, we must ensure that the quality of education improves, without making costs prohibitive, with the use of technology."

The article conceded that institutes such as IMT-CDL are providing a platform for learning to those professionals who cannot afford full-time programmes due to constraints of finance, time and energy. It is noteworthy that whereas the cost of an MBA from IIM-A is more than Rs.18 Lakhs, and about Rs.14.5 Lakhs from IMT Ghaziabad, an IMT-CDL distance learning management course costs about Rs.1 Lakh.

Whatever the causes, the fact remains that while the regular in-class MBA programmes have seen a continuous dip in applicants for the past three years, distance learning programmes are on a roll. "There are more than 200 universities and private institutions providing distance education in the country and the numbers of enrolments in these institutions are increasing at a faster pace year after year as compared to those in the regular course," pointed out Dr. Sherry.

The cover story in India Today ended with the observation that distance learning is very likely the new wave of education for working professionals.