The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are autonomous institutes of management education and research in India and are registered as societies under the Indian Societies Registration Act. Each IIM is autonomous and exercises independent control over its daily operations. According to Prof Pritam Singh, former director, IIM Lucknow, the IIM Bill seeks to give degree-granting powers to these institutes and greater autonomy.
“The IIMs must be given full autonomy otherwise they will not flourish. They need to nurture creativity and innovation and have to be empowered through decentralisation. This will remove any possibilities of political appointments of directors and allow their appointment for longer duration,” he says.
The founders of the IIMs had thought that establishing them under the Societies Act will give them autonomy. As Ashok Thakur, former secretary to the government of India, department of higher education, HRD ministry, says, “If they IIMs are able to stand on their feet, then they will be autonomous. IIMs such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta practically don’t need government funding. They are independent to that extent. If they are able to maintain their economic independence it is fine.”
Prof TV Mohandas Pai, senior vice president, All India Management Association, says the bill is a way to give these institutes greater autonomy and “on a more firm footing.”
Another positive impact of autonomy for IIMs will be that a number of things will be set right and institutions will start giving valid degrees with other B-schools also falling in line to match the IIM standards, says Thakur.