IIMs initiate talks on common regulations

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on January 08, 2018

The IIM Act declares 20 IIMs as Institutes of National Importance and confers on them the power to grant degrees. - Vijay Soneji

The IIM Act gives institutes greater administrative, academic and financial autonomy

With the the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, receiving Presidential assent and becoming an Act, the IIMs have initiated the process of mutual consultation to arrive at a consensus on common regulations to adopt.

According to sources at various IIMs, discussions on common guidelines are important to ensure the regulations do not vary too much across the institutes. A senior official at one of the IIMs told BusinessLine: “The regulations that have to be put in place need to be discussed by all the institutes so that we are not too different from one another. The discussion and consultation process has started.”

The IIM Act declares 20 IIMs as Institutes of National Importance and confers on them the power to grant degrees. It will also give the institutes greater administrative, academic and financial autonomy.

Enabling the boards

The Act seeks to entrust the board of governors with greater power. A board will have full sovereignty to appoint the Chairperson and the Director of an institute, a decision currently taken by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister. It will have to, through an independent agency or group of experts, review the performance of the institute — including the faculty — within three years from the date of incorporation, and thereafter at least once every three years, against parameters of long-term strategy and rolling plans of the institution.

To ensure uniformity across IIMs, the Act provides for a coordination forum that will allow the institutes to discuss common issues and assist one another. This will be an advisory body, headed by an “eminent person”, with limited powers; it will comprise 33 members.

According to Kulbhushan Balooni, Director (In-charge), IIM-Kozhikode, the Act will help IIMs achieve excellence on a global level. The functional autonomy will empower the institutes to compete with their international counterparts.

“The Act will enable us to provide high-quality management education and promote allied areas of knowledge as well as interdisciplinary studies,” he said.

Greater accountability

Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director, IIM-Calcutta, said the Act will make a Board more “responsible and powerful”, helping the institute strategise on its future growth path and leverage its strengths.

“This (the IIM Act) entrusts a board with greater responsibility. Individual institutes will have the last word when it comes to the kind of programmes they want to offer, the teaching and student population they would like to have, and the placements or career options they provide,” he said.

IIM-C hopes to start awarding post-graduate degrees (instead of diplomas) and doctorates (instead of fellowships) from April 2018. “Once the rules are framed under the Act, and we adopt them, we hope to start awarding degrees from April 2018,” said Chattopadhyay.

Published on January 01, 2018

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