The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) can offer an MBA degree only for their two-year programme, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is learnt to have clarified at a meeting of IIM chairmen held on Wednesday.
The ministry’s position on the duration of the degree programme now rules out the possibility of IIMs awarding a management degree even for the one-year postgraduate course for executives.
Javadekar’s clarification comes within days of the HRD Ministry reminding the 20 premier business schools that even though IIM Act empowers them with more autonomy, the institutes are not exempt from following the law on awarding academic degrees.
As first reported by The Indian Express this week, preempting a conflict with UGC Act, the HRD Ministry’s March 8 order states that IIMs will have to seek government’s permission for awarding a degree that is “not in accordance with the UGC notification”.
As per the UGC Act, a master’s degree in management has to be of two years and can be called either an MBA or MMS (Masters in Management Studies).
Wednesday’s meeting was called by the ministry to seek inputs of all IIM chairmen for drafting rules under the new IIM Act. The meeting was attended by 15 chairmen — 11 in person and four over video-conferencing. IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Lucknow chairmen were among those absent.
According to sources, IIM Calcutta chairman Shrikrishna Kulkarni expressed concern over whether the government-appointed board members and chairpersons will be allowed to complete their term, given that under the new Act the board is the appointing authority. To this, Javadekar is learnt to have urged the institutes to allow the existing chairmen and board members to complete their terms.
At the meeting, the chairmen were informed that under the IIM Act retirement age of IIM director will be increased from 65 to 70 years.