Govt reworks IIM council proposal after opposition

With Indian Institutes of Management again opposing the Centre’s attempt to set up an overarching pan-IIM council on the ground

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | New Delhi | Published: April 1, 2013 12:22:00 am

With Indian Institutes of Management again opposing the Centre’s attempt to set up an overarching pan-IIM council on the ground that it would undermine their autonomy,the HRD ministry has come up with a more palatable proposal.

The proposal for the council was revived in the draft Indian Institutes of Management Bill,which promises degree-granting powers to IIMs. The council was first mooted by R C Bhargava Committee in 2008 and IIMs had promptly shot it down.

The council,to be chaired by the HRD minister,was envisaged to “coordinate activities of” all 13 IIMs,“deliberate on matters of common interest,review achievement of policy objectives and make reports on each institute and recommend appropriate action that will be acted on by the government”. It was to have over 50 members,all of them government officials except three persons of eminence. The institutes,however,saw the council as an attempt to curtail their autonomy and opposed it.

Now,the ministry has factored in their concerns over the unwieldiness of a 50-member council and proposed,in a consensus document,that technical secretaries from the 13 states that host IIMs need not be part of the council since they are on their respective IIM’s Board of Governors.

It has clarified that the council would have no powers that could threaten autonomy of IIMs and would only serve as a mechanism for coordination and exchange of ideas.

The ministry has agreed to accommodate IIM-Ahmedabad and IIM-Bangalore’s concerns on dissolution of IIM Societies as proposed in the draft Bill. IIMs often accommodate their prominent donors in these societies. The ministry has agreed to insert a clause to ensure some members of the societies could be accommodated in the IIM Boards.

Centre plans new body for NET,GATE

The HRD ministry plans to set up a National Testing Agency to conduct NET and GATE from 2014. The proposal would be discussed by the Central Advisory Board of Education next month. HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju last week had announced that eligibility norms would be relaxed in 13 states to meet the huge shortfall of teachers required for implementation of the Right to Education Act. States are expected to implement RTE by March 31. ENS

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