IIMs (Indian Institute Of Management) can now offer degrees to the students, according to the IIM Bill,2017. As President of India Ram Nath Kovind signed on the bill, it became the law giving authority to all the IIMs.
They are the institutions of national importance. Providing them greater autonomy in the functioning will create more opportunity for their multidimensional growth, which is a much-needed element if it has to be in the top performing universities of the world. The institution of national importance is a group created under the law for special institutions, which have greater autonomy than rest of the institutions.
They are able to follow their own set of guidelines. The IIM Bill, 2017 aims to create Board of governors for each of the 20 IIMs of the country, which will be executive body comprising of 19 members. Board is independent to appoint its own chairperson. There will be eminent members and faculties, while two members will be from state and central government.
The Board is the supreme authority to appoint the director of the IIM and decide its pay while a committee can recommend names for the post. These steps will bring in more transparency in the working of the board and appointments of the Director. The current system of functioning where everything was decided by the government, such as the appointment of the director, his pay etc will be changed under the new bill of 2017.
We can see more transparency and diverse group of members included on the Board of Governors. The autonomy given to the institutions of national importance, particularly IIMs is more compared to the other Institutions of national importance, such as IITs and the AIIMS. It remains to be seen that in future if ever government decides to include the other institutions of national importance under the same umbrella as the IIMs.
IIM Autonomy and The Institutions
To create an institution of future, greater autonomy in the matter of academics and management has to be given. In India, this becomes a little complex because of government funding and rampant corruption involved in the higher education. To create a balance between the power shared between the university management and the government, an optimal path of equal saying in the important decisions is required.
The key issues which were left behind in the Bill were the authority to the board for determining faculty pay, and creation of an apex body for management education. The Bill as envisioned by the members is having a few noteworthy points too, such as the auditing of IIM accounts by the comptroller and auditor general of India and Board will have the power to remove director etc.
There are still a few key holds which government has kept to check the full autonomy of the IIMs, such as all the rules and regulations framed by Board or the government has to tabled in the parliament. Autonomy with the accountability is a key theme of the bill as evident from the points proposed in the bill.