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Business Standard

IIM Bill goes in the cold storage

Sources say the Bill is not likely to be passed anytime soon and its fate rests with the next govt

Kalpana Pathak & Manu Balachandran  |  Mumbai/New Delhi 

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will have to wait a tad longer for an over arching body, the Council.

Months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the proposed Indian Institutes of Management Bill has gone into the cold storage.

MHRD sources said the Bill is not likely to be passed anytime soon and its fate rests with the next government.

"The IIM's have not come to consensus between themselves. The IIM's want greater autonomy and they do not want to compromise on it. We are still working on it, but the bill is not likely to be passed anytime soon and we expect the next government to make any decision", a senior official in the ministry told Business standard.

The Bill would bring in place an council to oversee the functioning of IIMs, albeit without any threat to their autonomy.

As of now the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have a council - the governing body responsible for all the IITs.

Supporting the idea of the Bill, IIMs said they are functioning like islands and a council could help them network, connect and compete together globally.

The bill will also give the 13 premier B-schools the power to grant degrees. But the IIMs said, other than IIM-A, all other IIMs are in consensus on the Bill. IIM-A has maintained that it does not want any such power.

"We have fully supported the bill but we have not heard anything from the MHRD on the bill so far," said the Chairman of an Indian Institute of Management who did not wish to be quoted.

IIMs said the idea behind an council was to turn the institutes into statutory bodies to offer masters' degrees and doctorates, instead of diplomas and fellowships. Currently, the IIMs cannot award degrees, as they have been set up as societies, under the Societies Registration Act. Degrees can only be awarded by universities and institutes such as IITs, set up by Parliament or legislatures, and those declared deemed-to-be-universities under the UGC Act.

The IITs have an Council, which is the governing body responsible for all of the IITs. The minister-in-charge of technical education is the council's chairman. Other members include three Members of Parliament, the chairmen and the directors of all the IITs, the chairman of the University Grants Commission, the director-general of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), the chairman and the director of IISc, the joint secretary in the ministry, and three appointees each of the Union government and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Three years ago, the Union ministry of human resource development had granted greater autonomy to IIMs.

These institutes, however, remain under the Right to Information Act, and have to get their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The changes were based on the recommendations of three committees (on governance, faculty and funding), constituted by then minister Kapil Sibal.

The IIMs have said they want the council to have low representation of bureaucrats and greater representation of industry and officials.

"I think having a council is a progressive move. A certain degree of coordination is required in what the IIMs are doing. And, as IIMs provide managers, I think periodically, some outside inputs are required for IIMs to ensure they are up-to-date with the environment changes in India, so that education in IIMs is consistent with what is required for our national goals," R C Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Udyog and chairman, board of governors, IIM-Ranchi had earlier told Business Standard.

The idea of an overarching council was first proposed by Bhargava, who led the review committee in 2009.

First Published: Fri, January 10 2014. 10:26 IST