The Lok Sabha passed IIM Bill 2017 on July 28, paving way for more autonomy and freedom to India’s premium chain of B-schools – Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). The bill makes provisions for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to grant degrees and award PhD. Currently, IIMs can only offer certificates, diplomas and fellowships like any other PGDM Institute.
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Earlier, while presenting the IIM Bill 2017 in the Lok Sabha Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said that it was necessary to remove government control over the institutions like IIMs which already command respect and best brains to run the institution. “There would not be any governmental control. We have to trust the best brains and the best institutions,” the HRD Minister said.
Javadekar also added, “We want to remove the tremendous government interference and control over these institutions,” emphasising on empowerment of IIMs towards attaining standards of global excellence in management-related areas.
The IIM Bill 2017 provides for giving statutory powers to the IIMs including appointments of directors and faculty members besides awarding degrees. The bill also has provisions for appointment of members of the board of governors (BoG) in each of the 20 IIMs through a transparent process, while limiting even the HRD Ministry’s role in the process. Currently, the President is the Visitor of the IIMs.
Further, the IIM Bill 2017 seeks to declare the institutions as ‘institutes of national importance’.
Prakash Javadekar referring the performance of foreign universities advocated that they are doing so well because they are independent. “They (Foreign Universities) are strong and they flourish. Same reform is hoped for IIM,” he marked.
Bill welcomed by Lok Sabha
The HRD Minister received rare praise from the opposition in the Lok Sabha for bringing up the bill while a few members also raised their concern on selected areas of the bill. M B Rajesh (CPI-M) raised the issue of high fees in IIMs. “The autonomous status should not lead to money-making by these institutions,” said the CPI-M minister even as he questioned the government on the appointment of directors on the Boards of 10 IIMs in February when the Bill was first tabled in the Parliament.
Shashi Tharoor (Congress) criticised the government for not enhancing financial assistance to IITs and IIMs, saying they are reeling under funds crunch. He said, “The government should have some say in determining fee structure in the IIMs as higher fees may badly hit students from the poor families.”
However, the Congress minister remarked that it was a historic moment. “It was a remarkable moment when a minister surrenders (his) powers,” he said.
Question of Reservation and Fees
Javadekar responding to two major queries— Reservation and fees said that no student will be left out because he/she is unable to pursue education due to lack of funds. “We have arranged for scholarships,” he said.
On Reservation, he said that the law of land stands in case of reservation. He said, “We have already issued direction that positive and affirmative action in including the faculty from marginal communities.”
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