On December 19, 2017, the Upper House of Parliament, Rajya Sabha has passed a Bill, enhancing the autonomy offered to IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management). The Bill restricts the government’s role in the functioning of IIMs. Through this Bill, IIMs will have the power to award degrees to its graduates instead of diplomas. The Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet and then it was introduced in the Lower House of the Parliament. Lok Sabha approved the IIM Bill 2017 in July this year and the same was introduced in Rajya Sabha for its approval. The Upper House of Parliament passed the Bill unanimously.
Discussing the Bill, Union HRD Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar assured that the government would soon frame the rules, and the suggestions of the Rajya Sabha members will be taken into consideration. Adding further, Javadekar mentioned that the government would provide interest-free loans to IIM students. No poor student should be denied admission in IIMs, he highlighted.
Giving clarification on IIM boards, Javadekar stated that the existing board would continue and minor changes will take place including representation of women, SC and ST in the BoG (Board of Governors). The government will withdraw its four representatives from the BoGs, informed Javadekar.
IIMs can now appoint Chairperson independently without government’s intervention. The BoG of IIMs can appoint its Director based on the recommendations made by search-cum-selection board. Interestingly, BoG of IIMs can constitute the search committee.
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While initiating the discussion on IIM Bill, Javadekar stressed that the Bill seeks to bring a positive change in the educational system. A few members from opposition parties hoped that the legislation would bring academic freedom by ending all sorts of discrimination. They also pleaded the government to increase investment in education with a motive to improve the quality and standards.
With the approval of Bill, IIMs will emerge as ‘institutes of national importance’. IIMs are also empowered to set up campuses abroad.