The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are autonomous institutes of management education and research registered as societies under the Indian Societies Registration Act. Each IIM is autonomous and exercises independent control over its daily operations.
The government, however, wants to bring in changes in the way the institutions work, for which the draft of IIM Bill 2015 was introduced. While the bill has many enabling clauses, some clauses, according to the older IIMs posed a threat to their autonomy. They approached the central government and after one year of discussion and deliberation, the institute heads finally feel that “they will get complete autonomy by the year 2017”.
The proposal to give complete autonomy to Indian Institutes of Management has been revised many times, caught between Ministry of HRD and Prime Minister’s Office. The latest draft of the bill, which has been vetted by the Ministry of Law agrees to most of the suggestions by PMO on the bill, which includes not having President as the Visitor of the institutions, according to sources in the ministry.
The draft of the bill, which was sent back to PMO after Law Ministry, will be produced before Cabinet in the year 2017, before being tabled in the next Parliament session.
“We are hopeful that government has addressed our concerns on the issues raised on IIM Bill,” says IIM Ahmedabad Director Ashish Nanda.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had met the Directors of all IIMs in the month of September this year and assured them that their demands regarding the autonomy of institutions in the bill will be met. The proposals that were made in the tenure of his predecessor Smirit Irani were revised during his tenure after PMO’s intervention.
“The revised bill seeks to give more autonomy by giving more power to IIM board of governors to appoint Directors,” said a source in HRD Ministry.
IIM Bill also seeks to give the degree granting power and greater autonomy to these institutions in terms of appointment of Directors, a point, the IIMs feel is very crucial in their functioning.
“IIMs must be given full autonomy otherwise they will not flourish. These are institutes that need to nurture creativity and innovation. If they are empowered through decentralisation, it will remove any possibilities of political appointments of directors and allow their appointment for longer duration,” says a faculty member from IIM Calcutta.
IIM Alumnus also feel that the institute should get complete autonomy and should run without any government interference.
“This government is trying to control all the educational institutions ideologically. If IIMs are given complete autonomy, they can function in a better manner. I feel that the autonomy that they have right now is not enough,” says Sharib Hassan alumni from IIM Kozhikode.
While 2016 went in discussions and deliberations about making IIMs fully autonomous, the faculty and institute heads feel that the coming year will see them getting full autonomy.