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Monday, Feb 23, 2004

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IIM fee

This is with reference to "Leave the IIMs alone" (Business Line, February 11). The HRD ministry officials are at pains to explain away the directive to the IIMs to reduce the tuition fees as something which in no way will affect the academic autonomy of the institutions. It will be unwise for Indian academia to leave the definition of "autonomy" to entrenched bureaucracy.

At this time, it may be worthwhile recalling an episode relating to the world-renowned Harvard University in the US. When Harvard celebrated its centenary a few years ago, the University thought it was but appropriate to invite the then President Ronald Reagan to deliver the keynote address. The White House staff and bureaucrats, of course, wanted the University to confer an honorary doctorate on the President. Harvard declined and invited someone else.

Kangayam R. Rangaswamy

Madison (US)

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