IIMs up in arms against draft bill curtailing autonomy

The IIMs have rallied to act against the draft bill that curtails the autonomy of the academic institutions and submitted letters to the HRD ministry asking it to re-draft the bill in consultation with the IIMs.
By Brajesh Kumar | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 24, 2015 03:39 AM IST

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have rallied together against the draft IIM bill, which proposes to curtail the academic and financial autonomy of the business schools including its freedom to decide on fee structure, and remunerations of the faculty.

A number of IIMs — Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Bangalore — have registered their concerns on the bill with the human resource development ministry asking it to re-draft it in consultations with the IIMs.

The board of governors (BoG) of IIM-Lucknow met on Monday and shot off a letter to the ministry asking to make changes in the draft bill.

“While the main body of the bill allows autonomy, the board strongly feels that section 35 and section 36 of the bill interferes with the basis spirit of autonomy and the functioning of the IIMs. Therefore, these sections should be completely removed from the bill,” JJ Irani, IIM-Lucknow BoG chairman, wrote to the ministry on Tuesday.

IIM-Bangalore chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw told HT all IIMs are very concerned over the provisions of the draft bill.

“The bill in its current format compromises on the autonomy of the IIMs. We have requested the ministry to not only extend the time for public consultations by a month but also re-draft the bill,” she said.

While IIM-Lucknow and IIM-Banglaore have already written to the ministry, IIM-Ahmedabad will submit its concerns on Wednesday.

“The draft bill has several provisions which centralise powers; there is a risk that these provisions will curtail the drive for excellence and innovations because these flourish when institutions are autonomous,” Ashish Nanda, director of IIM-Ahmedabad, said.

The draft bill proposes that the IIMs will need the approval of the HRD ministry before notifying any change in the fee structure, salary and remuneration paid to its employees, admission criteria, scholarship and fellowships to the students and even construction of new building blocks.

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