New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday approved the Indian Institutes of Management Bill 2017 that promises to grant administrative, academic and financial autonomy to these B-Schools and allow them to grant degrees.
After a debate in which nearly two dozen parliamentarians participated, Lok Sabha passed the bill. Though parliament rains raised several questions over complete financial autonomy, ambiguity in reservation and even the name changing proposal of IIM Calcutta, they largely supported the bill saying it will allow these top B-Schools to perform better at the global stage.
Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar, defending the autonomy of institutions, said that government and law makers should “trust our institutions”. “It is difficult to run IIMs from here (Delhi),” Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha.
“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,” Javadekar said.
India has 20 IIMs now. The bill which was approved by the union Cabinet in January will grant greater autonomy to these schools. The management of IIMs will be board driven. The bill will ensure IIMs are “board-driven, with the chairperson and director selected by the board”.
This means 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. There will be periodic independent review of IIMs.
The bill contains a provision for a “Coordination Forum of IIMs”. But it will have 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.
During the debate, Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Roy while welcoming the bill said that the HRD ministry should give the similar “freedom to IITs” as well and asked that management schools should focus on research as well which is weak point.
Congress parliamentarian and former junior HRD minister Shashi Tharoor said that the IIM bill is “silent ion reservation” in faculty recruitment and he is worried at the IIMs having “complete control over the fee structure”.
Tharoor said that IIM-Calcutta name should not be changed to IIM-Kolkata as it will dilute the brand value of the institutions and class with the brand name of IIM-Kozhikode, Kerala. Subsequently, it was decided not to change the name of IIM-C.
On 13 February, Mint was the first to report that as part of the IIM-Bill, the HRD ministry is mulling to change name of IIM-Calcutta.
Rajya Sabha is expected to take up the bill for discussion and passage next week.