A pan-IIM council created controversy, fuelled fury in premier institutions


Even as it is promising degree-granting powers to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the government has revived its controversial plan to create a pan IIM Council that will coordinate between all the 13 IIMs, review them, and submit actionable reports on them to the government. Upset at what is being viewed as an attempt to curtail their autonomy, many IIMs have indicated their opposition to the move.

The IIMs had shot down the proposal for the creation of a pan IIM Council in 2008 after the R C Bhargava committee report had first mooted it. The revival of the Council in the draft Indian Institutes of Management Bill has surprised the IIMs.

To be chaired by the Union HRD minister, the Council is envisaged as a body with over 50 members, packed with government officials, save three persons of eminence.

It proposes to "coordinate the activities of all institutes", deliberate on matters of "common interest", "review achievements" of policy objectives and make reports on each IIM and recommend appropriate actions that will be acted on by the government.

IIM-Ahmedabad director Samir Barua warns that setting up an overarching IIM Council will end up undermining the powers of the Board of each IIM and work against encouraging innovation and diversity in the IIMs.

"If an IIM Council frames policies and rules for IIMs, the Boards will be undermined. Instead, if need is felt, the Boards should be empowered and made more accountable. That apart, an IIM Act applied across all institutes some five decades old and the other just a couple of years behind them is in the danger of attempting to make all IIMs uniform in nature. Anything extremely uniform allows neither diversity nor innovation. Each IIM, depending on its tradition, has different requirements, and uniformity is definitely not the answer," Barua told The Indian Express.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.