New Delhi: A day after it tabled the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill 2017 in Lok Sabha for granting “autonomy” to the elite B-schools in all matters including the appointment of directors, the Union government on Friday appointed directors to 10 IIMs.
The bill, once passed, will empower the boards of IIMs, and not the government, to appoint directors and chairmen.
However, Friday’s decision by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, in effect, means the 10 directors will serve for the next five years or till they reach the age of 65, whichever is earlier.
The IIM Bill, which the cabinet cleared on 24 January, will grant “real autonomy” to the B-schools, human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday, adding that the government would prefer to stay away from their functioning.
Though an human resource development ministry official said the process had been underway for some time, a professor at an older IIM said that since these positions have been vacant for years, the government should have refrained from appointing new directors a day after tabling the IIM Bill in Parliament.
“The minister (Javadekar) said the bill will be passed in the second leg of the budget session. Then why hurry now? It could have waited for another month or so when Indian Institutes of Management would have taken care of the appointments themselves. This would have been a better situation,” the professor said, requesting anonymity.
After tabling the Indian Institute of Management Bill, Javadekar said all political parties supported the bill and he expected it to be passed in the second leg of the budget session, beginning 9 March.
To be sure, at least 14 of the 20 IIMs have been functioning without full-time directors for varying periods of time. IIM-Bangalore has been without a full-time director for more than a year-and-a-half now. IIM-Rohtak hasn’t had one for two years. IIM-Kozhikode hasn’t had a director for over two years. And, in IIM-Ranchi, the position has been vacant for nearly three-and-a-half years.
Six new IIMs in Amritsar, Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh), Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sambalpur (Odisha), Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), too, started operations in 2016 without a director.
As per the appointment order, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint, G. Raghuram will be the new director of IIM-Bangalore. Raghuram is currently a professor at IIM-Ahmedabad and heads the Public Systems Group.
Ganesan Kannabiran and Neelu Rohmetra will be directors at Bodh Gaya and Sirmaur, respectively.