oppn parties Mediocre Politicians and Bureaucrats Cannot Digest Independent Excellence

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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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.