oppn parties Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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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.