New Delhi: The retirement age of directors at Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) is set to be raised by five years with a ceiling set to be imposed on the superannuation age of the chairpersons.
The retirement age of directors at these elite business schools is likely go up to 70, while chairpersons of the board of governors, for whom there is no limit at present, will now have an age limit of 74 for superannuation, at least two government officials said requesting anonymity.
The Union government’s decision to increase the retirement age of directors will help these elite B-schools expand the search for people to fill the top post beyond India. The restriction on the superannuation age of the chairpersons is aimed at ensuring that the position is held by active academics or industry leaders.
“There is also a school of thought which believes that increasing the retirement age of IIM directors will help them serve the institutions longer instead of going out and working with the private sector," said one of the two officials mentioned above.
The IIMs have been demanding parity with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and even central universities, where the directors and vice chancellors can work until the age of 70 years, said the official.
The increase in the retirement age of IIM directors will also help the board look beyond India and get good talent, said the official.
The issue gained prominence in 2015 when former IIM-Bangalore director Sushil Vachani left the B-school without completing his full five-year term because of age constraints, said the second official mentioned above.
Vachani and Ashish Nanda were two foreign professors who were roped in to head IIM-B and IIM-Ahmedabad respectively in 2013-14. They were the first set of foreign professors to head IIMs. While Vachani had come from Boston University, Nanda had come from Harvard University. While Vachani left for age constraints, Nanda left mid-term for “personal reasons".
India is home to 20 IIMs, considered the country’s best B-Schools. However, they are facing a double-digit faculty crunch.
“I think the government is looking to give parity with other top schools...the benefit is if they get good candidates who are, lets say 62 or even 65, then he or she can be selected to head the institutions...its a good option," said Devi Singh, a former director of IIM-Lucknow.
Capping the age for chairpersons at 74 will help active academics and industry leaders contribute to IIMs, the second official said.
“As the IIM Act has come into force, and rules to implement the act are being framed, it is better to think broader in terms of IIMs’ development," said the second official.
The official said the government may notify the changes in the retirement age in the next few weeks.