New Delhi: The Union government will introduce the much-anticipated Indian Institute of Management (IIM) bill 2017 in Parliament on Thursday to grant “complete autonomy” and statutory status to the elite business schools.
The Lok Sabha has listed the IIM bill for introduction on Thursday, the last day of the first phase of the budget session.
“Shri Prakash Javadekar (human resource development minister)... to introduce a bill to declare certain institutes of management to be institutions of national importance with a view to empower these institutions to attain standards of global excellence in management, management research and allied areas of knowledge and to provide for certain other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto,” the Lok Sabha said in a notice on its website.
The bill was approved by the cabinet on 24 January but the IIMs say they are yet to see a final copy of it.
Representatives of the four older IIMs (Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bangalore, and Lucknow) have said they would like to see details of the IIMs Coordination Forum that the bill talks about; the fear is that the HRD ministry could seek to control them through this forum.
Although the HRD minister is not on the forum, its head will be selected by a government committee. “We need to see the final shape of the bill to believe that the government means what it is saying on autonomy,” said a professor at one of the four IIMs on condition of anonymity.
The bill seeks to give “complete autonomy” to the IIMs in terms of administration, recruitment and daily functioning. It also gives them statutory status. Currently, the IIMs function as societies. Once the bill becomes an Act, it will also allow the IIMs to grant degrees instead of diplomas. It also provides for each IIM being managed by its board with little interference from the HRD ministry. In order to instill accountability, the bill will allow CAG to audit IIMs.
India has 20 IIMs.