The other decision to upgrade IIMs to institutions of national importance was long overdue. For, these institutes are in no way lesser than the IITs and other institutions designated as such. In their sphere of education, IIMs are renowned all over the world and graduates from the institutes have been trailblazers in many fields across the globe.
On the face of it, the Bill has granted complete autonomy to the IIMs, with the board of 15 persons, out of which 4 will be chosen from industry, academia and social service, to elect or appoint its own chairperson. The board will also decide on fee, expansion and intake, in contrast to the IITs where the government has a say.
The earlier bill, proposed by Smriti Irani, would have made bureaucratic interference kill the autonomy of the IIMs. It is good that wiser counsel has prevailed and the government has recognized that there is little need to throttle the independence of institutes that have been functioning well on their own. It would have been catastrophic if bureaucrats were made to advise IIMs on how to manage the affairs.