Govt indicates it will go slow on IIM bill | Mint
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Business News/ Education / News/  Govt indicates it will go slow on IIM bill
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Govt indicates it will go slow on IIM bill

Initially planned for the monsoon session, the bill does not find a place on the list of items to be taken up during the ongoing session

The statement comes almost a month after the 24 June deadline for feedback on the bill. The IIMs were up in arms against the bill, calling it an attempt to interfere in their autonomy. Photo: Hemant Mishra/MintPremium
The statement comes almost a month after the 24 June deadline for feedback on the bill. The IIMs were up in arms against the bill, calling it an attempt to interfere in their autonomy. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday hinted it may go slow on the proposed Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill and take a decision on it after considering all the opinions and suggestions it has received.

Initially planned for the monsoon session, the bill does not find a place on the list of items to be taken up by Parliament for discussion and passage during the ongoing session.

“The opinions and suggestions of stakeholders, including the IIMs, on the draft IIM Bill have been received. After consideration of all the opinions and suggestions, a decision will be taken by the government," human resources development minister Smriti Irani informed Lok Sabha, without giving a time frame for the process.

The statement comes almost a month after the 24 June deadline for feedback on the bill. The IIMs were up in arms against the bill, calling it an attempt to interfere in their autonomy.

In a strongly worded letter to Irani, A.M. Naik, chairman of IIM-Ahmedabad’s board of governors and the IIM-A Society, expressed his reservations on the proposed bill. In his letter dated 24 June, Naik, who is also the group executive chairman of Larsen and Toubro Ltd, referred to two particular clauses in the bill—in sections 3(k) and 36—and said these prescriptions will lead to “sweeping centralization of authority, currently held by individual IIM boards, with the central government".

Other IIMs, including those in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Lucknow, too expressed their reservations over the proposed legislation. At least 14 clauses in the bill, according to them, take away the powers of IIMs on key issues ranging from finance to appointments.

Irani, in her written reply to Lok Sabha, said the bill tries to balance autonomy with accountability. “The bill intends to ensure greater synergy and functional autonomy, along with commensurate accountability in academic and financial matters of IIMs," Irani said on Wednesday in reply to a question raised by parliamentarians, including veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

The minister said the draft intends to grant statutory status to IIMs to enable them to grant degrees to students in the courses conducted by the institutes.

“The IIMs as premier institutions nurture world-class manpower and quality professionals in areas of consulting, finance, marketing and human resource for various industries in the manufacturing and service sectors, besides contributing to the development of an ecosystem which boosts economic growth. However, these institutions could award only certificates, diplomas and fellowships, which lacked universal acceptability in the field of academia and research," she added.

Kalpesh Banker, managing partner, EduShine Advisory, an education consultancy, said the postgraduate diploma in management was relatively unaffected by the absence of a formal degree, both in terms of recruitment of students and as suitable placements in the job market.

“For old IIMs it (the bill) will restrict their global target pool of faculty. As the decision of the ministry of human resource development will be final and binding...they can never be sure how far they can innovate and expand," Banker said.

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Published: 23 Jul 2015, 12:25 AM IST
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