Reconsider the Need for an IIM ActFormer HRD minister Smriti Irani had created a huge controversy with her version of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill which sought to end the independence of the premier business schools in the country by inserting a clause that mandated for the President to appoint the top management of each of the institutes on the advice of the government. It was seen as a direct interference in the working of the centres of learning excellence. At that time, there were differences between Irani and the PMO and the draft bill was put on hold.
By Sunil Garodia
Her successor in the ministry, Prakash Javadekar, has dropped the contentious clause and the said top appointments will now be made by the board of governors of the individual institutes. Javadekars draft also provides for a coordination council for all existing (13) and proposed (5) IIMs which will include government representatives. But he has diluted the power of the council by making their suggestions non-binding as opposed to Iranis draft which made the suggestions binding. This is excellent news for the IIMs.
But the very need for the IIM Act should be reconsidered by Javadekar and the PMO. For, the act will mean that the IIMs will have to set aside seats for reservation quotas, both for student admissions and faculty. As centres of learning excellence that have been running without controversy and have been producing excellent business leaders, the IIMs should be allowed to function on the basis of meritocracy.