Highlights of the Bill
- The Bill declares 20 existing Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as institutions of national importance and confers on them the power to grant degrees.
- The Board of Governors will be the executive body of each IIM, comprising upto 19 members. It will nominate 17 board members including eminent persons, faculty members and alumni. The remaining two members will be nominees from the central and state governments, respectively. The Board appoints its own Chairperson.
- The Board of Governors will appoint the Director of each IIM. A search committee will recommend names for the post of the Director. The Director is eligible for variable pay, to be determined by the Board.
- The Academic Council of each IIM will determine the: (i) academic content; (ii) criteria and process for admission to courses; and (iii) guidelines for conduct of examinations.
- A coordination forum will be set up, which will include representation from the 20 IIMs. It will discuss matters of common interest to all IIMs.
Key Issues and Analysis
- Currently, the central government has a role in the functioning of IIMs which includes appointment of the Chairperson of their Boards, their Directors and pay to the Director. In contrast, the Bill extends greater autonomy to the Board in the performance of these functions.
- Under the Bill, the autonomy envisaged for IIMs exceeds the autonomy granted to other institutions of higher education such as IITs and AIIMS. For example, Directors of IITs and AIIMS are appointed by the central government. Introduction of new courses of study at AIIMS requires approval of the Medical Council of India.
- It is unclear if there is a plan to extend the enhanced autonomy proposed for IIMs to other higher educational institutions of national importance as well.
- Certain recommendations of expert committees have not been addressed in the Bill. These relate to: (i) the Board having the autonomy to determine faculty pay; and (ii) creation of an autonomous Standing Committee for management education under an apex regulatory body for higher education.
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