Union Cabinet Approves IIM Bill 2017 Granting IIMs Autonomy To Confer Degrees

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In a major move aimed at granting autonomy to Indian Institutes of Management, the country’s premier management institutes, the Union Cabinet has cleared the IIM 2017 bill. The bill will grant“complete autonomy” to the elite B-schools and, significantly, will also allow them to issue degrees instead of diplomas which are the norm now. The IIMs will also be declared as Institutions of National Importance from now on.

The IIM bill has been under review for the past fours years. The bill will empower these institutions with autonomy combined with accountability in the most important areas of administration, recruitment and daily functioning. Frank Noronha,Principal Spokesperson, Government of India & Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau, tweeted the information today morning.

File picture of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Noronha also clarified that the management of the B-schools will be board-driven, with the Chairperson and the Director of an institution set to be selected by the board. Till now, the 20 IIMs in India had been awarding post-graduate diplomas to their students.From now on, they will be able to confer degrees equivalent to MBAs.The Human Resources Development ministry will table the proposed draft of the IIM Bill 2017 in the upcoming budget session of the Parliament. However, this is subject to the law ministry’s approval. From now on, the HRD ministry will not have any say in the functioning and administration of these institutions.

One major provision of the Indian Institute of Management Bill 2017 is that it grants legal powers to the IIM Board of Governors to run any inquiry it may deem necessary by someone who is not below the rank of a High Court judge against a Director of an IIM in case it is felt that he or she has underperformed and the institution has suffered as a result. The enquiry’s findings may also enable the board to remove theDirector of the institute or order any other action which it feels is appropriate. The Director will have a chance to defend himself or herself in front of the board, however.

Sources suggest that the union government is keen ongranting more autonomy to the existing IIMs and also add additional powers to their governing boards. Earlier, the HRD ministry decided to remove the first citizen of India, the President, from the post of IIM visitor. Current laws dictate that the President isthe visitor to all major government-funded institutes which includes the IITs, the IIMs and other central universities.

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