PM Modi's post claims IIM-B study on Mann Ki Baat, institute has no record

Why would the State Bank of India and the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore undertake a study of PM Narendra Modi’s monthly radio talk ‘Mann Ki Baat'?

Controversy surrounds PMO's SBI-IIMB study claim as IIM-B denies knowledge, raising debate (photo: IANS)
Controversy surrounds PMO's SBI-IIMB study claim as IIM-B denies knowledge, raising debate (photo: IANS)

AJ Prabal

On 3 October 2023, PM Narendra Modi’s official handle on X claimed that a study had been conducted jointly by State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) on his regular radio talk Mann Ki Baat. The study, his handle claimed, highlighted some of the themes discussed in the talk and their societal impact.

The post did not say when the study was conducted or completed, but the PM’s post marked the occasion of the radio talk having completed nine years without interruption.

The PM’s post garnered 950,000 (9.5 lakh) views, three thousand reposts and 351 comments, not all of them complimentary, with some even saying that they had never heard the talk.

Evidently intrigued by a public sector bank joining hands with IIM-B to conduct such a study, IIM-B faculty member Deepak Malghan, a chemical engineer, filed an RTI application to gather more information. In its reply to the RTI, IIM-B informed the applicant that it had no information about the study.

Here are the questions he asked and the replies that he received:

  • Please provide the full title of the study and the date on which the study commenced

    No information on record

  • What is the total amount of money spent by IIMB on the study

    Not applicable

  • Was the study authorised by IIMB and if so, please provide copy of the said authorisation or sanction

    No information on record

  • Was it an official study of the IIMB or research conducted by an individual faculty member or was it a student research project?

    No information on record

  • Please provide a copy of the official collaboration agreement or MOU, if any, signed by IIMB and SBI

    Not applicable

  • If the study was by individual faculty members or student, does IIMB policy allow such studies to be described by study by IIM, Bangalore as the honourable Prime Minister has done

    No information on record

  • Did the authors of the study apply to IIMB to present the study as an IIMB study?


The prime minister’s official X handle on 3 October had shared a hyperlink to an article published on the website titled “Transformational Impact of Mann Ki Baat: An Analysis by SBI and IIM Bengaluru”. The article can be accessed here.

While it is not yet known if the study was undertaken by SBI and the name of IIMB was inadvertently added, it appears far-fetched for a bank to undertake a study on the societal impact of a radio talk or policies, for which the NITI Ayog is already in place.

In any case, the denial by IIM-B of any knowledge of the study is a huge embarrassment for the PMO and the prime minister. Hopefully the PMO, which presumably is in charge of PM Modi’s official handle, will clear the air soon.

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