Friday’s decision by the IIM directors to abide by the government’s order to delay admissions, rather than proceed with their earlier sensible and fair solution, is unfortunate.
It makes them party to what seems to be a deliberate ploy by the government to reject the middle path on the reservations issue and seems tantamount to strengthening the latter’s case in its face-off with the Supreme Court. The only silver lining is the AICTE’s directive to institutions to refund fees if a student withdraws, addressing a problem pointed out by the IIMs.
The attitude that the government need not have facts to support its policy is a relic of a less transparent era. Such misgovernance can only damage institutions, many of which built the basis of our competitive service sector. Sadly, the same institutions now seem to be complicit in eroding their own autonomy from an increasingly extremist government.