HRD ministry may tweak contentious clauses in draft IIM bill

New Delhi(PTI): Facing open criticism over the draft IIM bill that gives sweeping powers to the government in policy matters governing the prestigious B-schools, the HRD Ministry is considering doing away with some contentious clauses that may infringe on their autonomy.

The Ministry is in the midst of a consultation process to explore dropping these clauses but a final view would be taken after discussing the issue with HRD Minister Smriti Irani, official sources said.
Sources also said a meeting with the heads of IIMs could also be called for consultations.

The Ministry may delete subsection (1) of section 36 of the draft bill which says the IIM “Board may, with the approval of the central government, by notification, make regulations not inconsistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the provisions of this Act”.

The IIMs also want section 35 to be removed as it was not discussed with them. Section 35 empowers the Union government, among other things, to “make rules, for carrying out the provisions of this (IIM) Act”.

Several IIMs, especially the older ones led by IIM Ahmedabad, had come down heavily on the government over the draft bill, saying it will not only curtail their autonomy but reduce the IIMs to a mere “operating centre”, while arming the government with sweeping powers.

“We are deeply concerned that some provisions of the bill would seriously compromise the autonomy of the institute. We believe that this is an important bill for the future of management education and therefore requires critical review to ensure an optimal balance between autonomy and accountability of the institution,” IIM-Ahmadabad chairperson A M Naik said in a letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

“If the bill turns out to be that a lot of decisions by the boards are subject to government approval, and the government has uniform norms, then that may or may not be best thing for certain IIMs,” said IIM Bangalore Director Sushil Vachani.

An IIM faculty member who was involved in drafting the bill, which was said to have undergone changes later, had expressed surprise seeing the final draft, saying some of the provisions were incorporated later without consultations.

According to IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda, the government, through the bill, has proposed some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.

“The draft bill proposes control of government in almost every matter such as selection of Chairman of board of Governors, fee structure, expenses, etc. They have covered almost everything from strategic to operational decisions,” said Nanda.

Directors of IIMs Kolkata, Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode and Indore have also opposed the bill, while chiefs of some of the new IIMs have supported it.

Posted by on June 29, 2015. Filed under World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.