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  • Govt backs off from IIM Council plan

    Fearing a backlash from the Indian Institutes of Management ( IIMs), the human resource development ( HRD) ministry has backed off from its proposal to bring all IIMs under an overarching body on the lines of IIT Council.

    The proposed IIM Council will not have power to impose its decisions on Indian Institutes Management, the human resource development ministry has said, allaying fears that a new law will erode the autonomy of the country's premier B-schools.

    "The IIM Council will be a co-coordinating body. It will serve as a forum for discussions. It will not have teeth like the IIT Council, which has real powers," education secretary Ashok Thakur said. "It will not be a body that will thrust their decisions down each of the institutes. Each IIM will continue to be autonomous," he said on Wednesday.

    There had been considerable concern about the nature of the proposed overarching body, IIM Council, proposed in the draft IIM Bill. The Bill will be finalised after Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju meets with the chairmen and directors of the IIMs in Kozhikode in March during the recess of the Budget session of Parliament. The education secretary also said there was consensus among the IIMs on the nature of the proposed council.

    "Only the IIM Ahmedabad director and some faculty had reservations," he said. AM Naik, governing council chairman at IIM Ahmedabad, had earlier said that the proposed legislation to bring IIMs under an umbrella body would curtail its autonomy and slow down the institute's effort to take it to the next level.

    Thakur on Wednesday said a committee comprising IIM directors and chairman, and ministry officials has been working on drafting a legislation that would allow the IIMs to become degree-granting institutions. He said the committee has met three or four times, and is likely to meet with the minister once again before the meeting in Kozhikode.

    "What we have now is a consensus draft. A final decision will be taken after the minister meets with the IIMs in March," he said. As envisioned, the proposal will formalise the existing arrangement by which chairmen and directors of IIMs meet with the HRD minister at regular intervals.

    An early draft of the IIM Bill had suggested setting up a council on the lines of the IIT Council.

    Source: TOI