Rejects Bhargava committee’s pan-IIM board recommendation
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) today said it was open "in principle" to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) setting up campuses abroad.
This marks a reversal of an earlier stand when the HRD ministry had rejected IIM-Bangalore's proposal to set up a Singapore campus on grounds that the memorandum of association (MoA) and rules did not permit it. Former HRD minister, Arjun Singh had also disapproved of the idea.
"The IIMs are global brands and need to have global presence.Their prime responsibility, however, is national. The government is also ready to amend the MoAs. But let them come up with a model that is workable," Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here today after meeting IIM directors to discuss autonomy issues.
Sibal also announced that he has rejected the concept of a pan-IIM board to govern the premier institutes as suggested by the R C Bhargava committee. Instead, the ministry had decided to set up an independent 13-member collegium, comprising academics and industry representatives, for the appointment of directors and board members.
At present, the IIM directors and board members are appointed by the government on the recommendation of the board of each IIM. The Bhargava committee had submitted its report to the government last September, suggesting a pan-IIM board to ensure excellence but the IIMs (primarily IIM-Ahmedabad) had strongly opposed the move.
The pan-IIM board, as recommended by the Bhargava Committee, was to have comprised 15 members of which five would be government nominees, and the rest eminent individuals living in India or abroad. The Chairman would be nominated by the Prime Minister and Secretary of the Board would be one of the five government nominees. The Board, as recommended, was to be empowered to review performance of each IIM once in two years, and advise the government on all matters relating to the IIMs. The government should act only on the advice of this Board.
The collegium, instead, will comprise 13 members, the composition of which will be left to the discretion of the IIMs.
Sibal said an independent collegium would make the process "broad-based" because the collegium will suggest names for appointment of the board members and the directors. MHRD will select one name from the panel, a procedure that would ensure the government did not interfere in the selection.
Both announcements are being perceived as efforts to placate the IIMs. They were unhappy with the Bhargava committee recommendations and the recent modified MHRD notification which did not structure their salary increases as recommended by the IIMs. They are also being viewed as a move by the government to grant gradual autonomy to the premier institutes.
The IIMs, on their part, have accepted the government's salary structure for the faculty and the ministry will come out with a performance-related incentive scheme to provide special incentives to teachers in IIMs. “The IIM directors have been asked to submit their vision document on expansion plans for next five years keeping in mind quality and inclusiveness by January 2010,” Sibal said