Dr. Vijay Shankar Vyas was born on August 21, 1931 in Bikaner, Rajasthan. He was an economist with a doctorate in Economics from the University of Bombay. He joined IIMA in 1974. Dr. Vyas’s tenure was marked by a steady consolidation of the teaching, research, consulting work and executive development agenda that had been established by then. The PGP was expanded to 180 students and distributed across three sections in 1979. More significant was the expansion of the Institute’s role in the development of management faculty. A long-term programme—its duration varied over the years from nine months to almost a year—called Programme for Management Faculty was initiated in 1979; the name was changed to “Faculty Development Programme” a couple of years later. The year 1978-79 saw the Institute faculty helping institutions in six countries (Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea and Tanzania) strengthen their management training capabilities, and training faculty members of Tribhuvan University in Nepal.
Most of the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Management Development Centre had been completed by 1979. This was significant because the Institute could now think of conducting its executive education programmes on campus. Till that time all the programmes were held off-campus, usually in hotels in other cities. The lighting and roads on campus were improved significantly in the early 1980s. Construction of some additional faculty and staff housing was initiated.
Dr. Vyas’s tenure was also marked by a strengthening of the research and society seminars; a fairly significant initiative was a new workshop on Public Policy Analysis in 1981 with the support of one of IIMA’s oldest partners, the Ford Foundation.
Concern about the need to maintain better relations with the alumni had emerged by the late 1970s. The IIMA Alumni Association had been set up in 1967 as an unregistered body headquartered at the Institute; it had three functionaries of the Institute including its director as ex-officio members, and all graduates and executive education participants automatically became members of the association. The Association regulated the Chapters in different cities. By 1979-80, the number of alumni had reached about 10,000, but only about 4,000 were accessible, and hence the concern for strengthening alumni relations. However, it must be noted that by this time alumni had started instituting scholarships for students; the annual Alumni Conference series—the first had been held in 1967—had also come to symbolize the Institute-Alumni relationship.
Initial steps were also taken to internationalize student exchange with an arrangement with Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris, France; in 1981-82, three students came to IIMA for two terms in the second year, but two left without completing their terms. These initial attempts to internationalize would become much stronger post-liberalization.
After he left the Institute, Dr. Vyas led an active public life, working with Prime Ministers Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh as a member of their Economic Advisory Councils, participating in a number of social movements, and associating himself closely with the Institute of Development Studies at Jaipur. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2006. Dr. Vyas passed away on September 12, 2018.