The 19 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) would now get full autonomy combined with adequate accountability with the Union Cabinet granting approval to the Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017.
Under the provisions of the Bill that received Cabinet clearance on January 24, 2017, IIMs would be declared as Institutions of National Importance with the power to grant degrees instead of diplomas to their students.
The Management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of each Institution selected by the respective Board. In the next stage, the Bill is expected to be tabled in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.
The Bill provides for a greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board. Women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes would also be included in it.
Under the provisions, periodic review of the performance of Institutions would be carried out by independent agencies and the results placed on public domain.
The Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) will be auditing their accounts.
There is also a provision of Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.
Indian Institutes of Management are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management.
Recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centres of Excellence, they have brought laurels to the country. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act.
However, being societies, IIMs were, till now, not authorized to award degrees. Hence, they have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.
While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a post on the micro blogging site Twitter, said the Bill “focuses on complete autonomy, effective administration, more alumni participation & many other areas.”
He also said the Bill has been “prepared with the aim of furthering excellence in these premier institutions.”
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Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the Cabinet assent as a “historical decision” and added that the Bill would ensure that IIMs are “board-driven, with the chairperson and director selected by the board.”
The IIM bill, under discussion for several years, ran into controversy during the previous UPA Government as well as the present NDA regime. as some of the provisions like having the President as a Visitor and the Government having a greater say in the appointment of Chairperson and directors being opposed by the IIMs when the first draft was put up for public feedback in June 2015.
In his initial reaction, IIM Ahmedabad Director Ashish Nanda said the Bill seems to have addressed the IIMs’ concern about autonomy while ensuring accountability.
The provision for a a Coordination Forum of IIMs also ran into opposition with concerns being expressed that it would allow the HRD ministry to control the management institutes.
However, under the revised provisions, the forum has limited powers and the HRD minister will not be its convener. It will be a 33-member advisory body with the chairman being selected by a search-cum-selection committee.
The IIM Governing Board will have 15 members including three women members and five from the alumni community.(Image source:Google.com)