oppn parties Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

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  • Centre asks states to give shelter and food to migrant workers to stop them from taking to the streets
  • RBI cuts repo rate by 75 bps, the steepest in 10 years
  • Centre writes to states regarding laxity in monitoring people who had arrived from abroad between January and March
  • Kerala reports a spurt in new cases
  • With 124 fresh cases on Friday, the number of reported cases in India stand at 854
  • Five of a family, including a 9-month-old-baby test positive for Covid-19 in Nadia district in West Bengal on Friday
  • The Pakistani army is reportedly forcibly moving all Covid-19 patients to PoK and Gilgit
  • Untimely azaans in J&K mosques spark panic gathering
  • Stocks rise - Sensex up by 1400 points and Nifty goes above the 8600 mark
  • Rahul Gandhi says the economic package is "the first step in the right direction"
  • The government announces wide-ranging measures to help the poor overcome the economic hardship caused by Covid-19
  • G20 leaders to hold a virtual meeting today to explore ways of fighting Covid-19 in a coordinated manner
  • The Delhi government orders testing of all medical staff after the positive test on a Delhi mohalla clinic doctor
  • As a fallout of a Delhi mohalla clinic doctor testing positive for Covid-19, 900 people in the chain quarantined
  • China offers help to India in the fight against Covid-19 and says India will win the battle at an early date
Death toll reaches 27 as Covid-19 cases across India reach 974 on Saturday
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Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-24 17:55:29

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.