The government has appointed IIM Raipur’s Professor Vinita Sahay as the first director of IIM Bodhgaya in Bihar. Her selection is the HRD Ministry’s second attempt at appointing a head to the institute.
Last year, the government’s first choice for the job, Ganesan Kannabiran from NIT Trichy, had turned down the offer to head IIM Bodhgaya, forcing the ministry to refer names of the remaining two finalists back to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister.
Sahay was among the finalists and the ACC approved her name this month. She is currently a professor at IIM Raipur specialising in marketing management. Sahay is only the second women director the IIMs have ever had. Last year, Neelu Rohmetra broke a 56-year-old glass ceiling and was appointed as director of IIM Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh.
Sahay’s appointment comes just a few days before the IIM Act comes into effect. Apart from permitting them to grant degrees instead of diplomas, the new law also empowers the premier B-schools to appoint their own directors and chairpersons. No other centrally-funded institute has this level of autonomy.
However, till the Act comes into effect, that is from January 31, the existing rules will continue to be implemented. In other words, if the government wants it can appoint directors and chairpersons to institutes, where the posts are vacant before, January 31. At present, four IIMs — Ahmedabad, Jammu, Kozhikode, Amritsar and Kashipur — do not have full-time directors.