IIM Bill 2017: Indian Institutes of Management Bill 2017 was approved by the Lok Sabha that ensures to grant administrative, academic and financial autonomy to the elite B-Schools and even allows them to award degrees to their graduates.
Although questions over complete financial autonomy, ambiguity in faculty reservations and even a proposal to change the name of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta (IIM-C) to IIM, Kolkata (IIM-K) were raised members of the Lok Sabha raised but they were approved considering that these changes will improve the institutions’ global stature.
In this regard, Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, said the government and lawmakers should “trust our institutions.” Javadekar also said that “There is tremendous government interference and control (in these institutions)... We want to remove that. There would not be any government control... We have to trust the best brains, the best institutions.”
What needs to be done?
Finally the lower house passed the bill after a debate in which nearly two dozen parliamentarians participated. At present, the bill is required to be passed by the Rajya Sabha and signed by the President to become law.
There are various issues that need to be addressed to streamline the functioning of IIMs. The management institutes are looking forward to less of government interference and efficient management practises to come in place.
Why autonomy matters?
At present there are 20 IIMs in India. The bill will grant greater autonomy to these schools and ensure they are “board-driven, with the chairperson and director selected by the board”.
This would mean that neither the human resource development (HRD) ministry nor the president of India will have a say in the selection of top executives at these B-schools. The government will have no say on the appointments or fees at these institutes.
An additional point to be noted here is, after the Bill gains approval, the accounts of the IIMs will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
Degree or Diploma?
Rather, there will be a periodic, independent review of the IIMs, which will allow the premium institutes to award degrees once the law is in place. Until now, since IIMs are not been governed by an act of Parliament nor overseen by the University Grants Commission (UGC), they have been awarding students post-graduate diplomas.
Selection of Chairman
The IIM bill also contains a provision for a “Coordination Forum of IIMs.” But it specifies limited power and work as an advisory body, consisting of 33 members, and its chairman will be selected by a search-cum-selection committee. The HRD minister will not head it.
The bill says the central government may frame rules to give additional powers and duties to IIM boards and decide on the terms and condition of service of directors although the appointment will be made by the board. It will notify the IIM coordination forum to be headed by an eminent person.
Although Lok Sabha has given the approval but the bill is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha and needs Presidential accent.
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