NEW DELHI: IN line with the ambitious target of finding places in the top 100 world institutions, the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Indian Institute of management (IIM) Bill, 2017, which seeks to grant greater autonomy to the much sought after institutes.
Union Minister for Human Resources Development (HRD) Prakash Javdekar, while moving the bill for passage, said that the IIMs are being given enough autonomy, which include non-interference by him as well in the functioning of the premier institutions. The IIMs will get the autonomy to choose directors and faculty members without any interference from the government. Besides, the bill seeks to abolish the role of President as “Visitor” to the IIMs.
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 Minister’s role.
Javdekar said the proposed legislation will usher in a new era of freedom in the IIMs and these institutes will not require to come to the government for various permissions and clearances.
“It is a historical bill which will bring a new era in management education in the country,” he said, noting that financial transaction will be subject to CAG evaluation as the institutes run on tax payers’ money.
Javdekar said it was not an ideal situation to run the IIMs from Delhi, noting the move is aimed at allowing autonomy to institutes which have created an eco-system for excellence in higher education.
The government will have only one representative in each BoG so that the institutes can take decisions independently, the minister said.
The bill also grants the IIMs the status of institutions of national importance. They can now award degrees to students in place of diplomas. The Lok Sabha earlier this week had also passed a bill which gave the status of national importance to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). There are 20 IIMs across the country.
Within days of becoming the HRD Minister, Javdekar had promised to ensure maximum autonomy to the IIMs. He was lauded by Opposition MPs, who took part in the discussions on the Bill, with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor remarking that other ministers in the government should take inspiration from Javdekar.
At the same time, the former minister criticised the government for not enhancing financial assistance to IITs and IIMs, saying they are reeling under funds crunch.
He suggested the government should have some say in determining fee structure in the IIMs as higher fees may badly hit students from the poor families.