Not necessarily that a PGDM is equal to MBA because if PGDM is to be an equivalent to MBA then the college offering the PGDM course must have accreditation from AIU (The Association of Indian Universities).
A. Post Graduate Diploma in Management is approved by AICTE since 1994. It is at par with MBA in terms of Course Design & Content. However, technically PGDM & MBA are two different programs, MBA is offered by a University and PGDM is offered by Non-University Institutes.
1) Only universities can offer MBA: In India only those management institutes which are affiliated to a university can offer an MBA degree. For this reason institutes like Department of Management Sciences (PUMBA), University of Pune, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies or Faculty of Management Studies can offer MBA degree, as they are affiliated with Pune, Mumbai and Delhi University respectively. Also IIMs, though being the best of the lot, can't offer MBAs as they are not affiliated with any university. Institutes which are not affiliated to university are autonomous and can offer PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree. However, some of these programmes are approved by regulatory bodies such as AICTE.
2) Difference in focus of curriculum: While there are huge similarities in the curriculum of both MBAand PGDM, there are finer points of difference. While MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management and is more exam-oriented, PGDM has a focus on building soft skills and is industry-oriented. It prepares you for the job market.
3) Curriculum of PGDM is flexible: Since an autonomous institute does not have to follow university standards, it is free to change its curriculum according to industry standards and change in business environment. Also a PGDM gives you an industry exposure. Whereas it will take time to change the curriculum for MBAs as it is affiliated with a university and it will essentially follow the university guidelines and changing this curriculum is a very slow process.
4) MBAs are more affordable: In compared to PGDM, generally MBAs are more affordable as the fees is almost similar to university standard. You can get a rough idea if you compared the fees of IIMand FMS.
5) Difference in focus: An MBA will help in developing technical skills and business knowledge whereas a PGDM will prepare graduates for senior level positions in industry and paves the way for a strong corporate career. Hence, if you're looking for a career in the challenging area of management, you should go for PGDM.