The Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the IIM Bill granting them “complete autonomy”. Under the Bill, the IIMs will be declared as Institutions of National Importance enabling them to grant degrees to their students.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development [ MHRD ], the bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister and will now be presented in the Parliament during the upcoming Budget session.
At present, IIMs functions as autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act. Their current status does not allow them to award degrees. They have been awarding postgraduate diplomas and fellow programmes in management. While these are treated as equivalent to MBAs and PhDs, respectively in India, they are universally acceptable, especially for the fellow programme in foreign universities.
The Bill grants complete autonomy to the institutes with greater accountability and responsibilty on their part.
After the Bill comes into effect, the IIMs will be managed by a board which will select its chairperson and director, which means government will have no interference in the selection of top executives in the institutes, from now on. More management experts and IIM alumni will be able to participate in the board meetings and discussions, which is very healthy in trems of imparting quality education.
Welcoming the move, Ashish Nanda, director of IIM-Ahmedabad, said,
“Although we have not yet seen a copy of the IIM Bill approved by the Cabinet, Press Information Bureau release of January 24 and newspaper reports, as well as earlier assurances from the minister suggest the Bill approved by the Cabinet adequately addresses IIMs’ concern about maintaining autonomy while ensuring accountability. We look forward to studying the Bill in detail, when it is available.”
The IIM Council has been replaced by a Coordination Forum, which will act more as an advisory body. It will facilitate the sharing of experiences and ideas to enhance the performance of all institutes.
The Hon'ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in his tweet described the IIM Bill approval by the cabinet as a step towards 'complete autonomy, effective administration, more alumni participation' at IIMs.