oppn parties Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

News Snippets

  • MS Dhoni decides to take a two-month break, will skip West Indies tour but will not retire
  • Phagu Chauhan is the new Governor of Bihar while Ramesh Bais has been appointed as that of Tripura
  • Governors: Anandiben Patel shifted from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh and Lalji Tandon from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh
  • Naga talks interlocutor RN Ravi appointed as Governor of Nagaland
  • Noted lawyer Jagdeep Dhankhar appointed as new Governor of West Bengal
  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
Former Delhi CM and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies following a cardiac arrest. She was 81
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Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Since the government and its departments wallow in mediocrity, politicians and bureaucrats are unable to digest anything that becomes a centre of excellence in India. There can be no other reason for the last minute insertion of the ill-advised sections 35 and 36(1) in the draft IIM Bill, 2015. There had been a wide agreement between the HRD ministry and top executives from the IIM’s before the Bill was drafted. But unable to digest total lack of control over institutions that were proving day in and day out that it was possible to achieve world class excellence in India independently, the government stealthily inserted the two sections before putting up the bill for wider consultation.

The IIM’s are a few remaining centres of excellence in the field of education in India that are functioning with clockwork efficiency. Past experience has shown that whenever the government tries to interfere in the working of such institutions, under any guise like providing funds for expansion or otherwise, it brings them down to the level of its own mediocre departments. Hence, it should be no one’s case to disturb the status quo, at least in the case of IIM’s.

However, there is also a pressing need to provide world class management education to our youngsters. More than 1.7 lakh students appeared for the Common Admission Test (CAT), conducted by the IIM’s, for the 3700 seats on offer. The demand-supply mismatch, even after so many years, is disheartening for the students. Their next best alternative is either foreign education (not possible for a majority) or mediocre education in dubious institutes that have come up in every by lane in every Indian city. But it is wrong to expand capacity by gaining control and it is to be resisted by all right thinking individuals. The government should work on a four-pronged strategy â€" ask existing IIM’s to increase their intake of students (which is meagre compared to international business schools of equal or better standards) , allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India, set up new IIM’s (without government control, of course) and encourage quality private institutes, with support of industry and merchant chambers, by reducing red tape for the same.

Government control over admissions, fee structure and appointment of faculty is a sure recipe for disaster. No institution can focus on providing quality education and research if its top management has to face political and bureaucratic meddling in its affairs. Instead of learning about emerging administrative structures from the IIM’s and implementing them in its moribund departments, the government, ill-advised by a jealous bureaucracy, seeks to impose outdated structures on the IIM’s.

There has however been a rethink by the government and it has now agreed to dilute the Bill to remove these sections. While this is welcome, the IIM’s will have to be vigilant against any backdoor attempts to gain control. In the whole episode, the government’s tactic to divide the IIM’s â€" the upcoming one’s supported the controversial sections because they were dependent on government funds â€" shows the HRD ministry in very poor light.