The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry clarified on Friday that senior corporate executives applying for the post of director at an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) should have a PhD degree.
As reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, future directors of IIMs no longer need to have anything to do with academia. According to rules notified under the IIM Act this week, corporate executives, who have been in senior management roles for at least 15 years, are now eligible to be appointed as directors.
The new rules, which have codified the terms and conditions of service of directors at all 20 IIMs, state: “The applicant shall be a distinguished academic with PhD or equivalent having at least fifteen years teaching or research experience and shall have worked as a full Professor at a reputed institution for at least seven years; or shall have industry experience at a higher level for at least fifteen years.”
The government, however, clarified that the above provision should be interpreted as PhD degree being a must for even the corporate executives applying for the post. Teaching experience and full professorship for people with 15 years of industry experience “at a higher level” is not mandatory.
The premier business schools, in the past, have been headed by corporate executives, but such instances are few and far between. Rajiv J Matthai, the first full-time director of IIM-Ahmedabad in 1965, and Subir Chowdhury, who headed IIM-Calcutta in the 1990s, are two such examples.
Before the IIM Act kicked in this January, there were no fixed recruitment rules for the post of director. But with the new IIM rules, there is now a uniform criterion for director appointment and hence more opportunities for executives to head IIMs.
The IIM Act, which came into effect on January 31, grants statutory powers to all 20 IIMs, including for appointment of directors and chairpersons and members of the Board of Governors. With this law, the institutes can also award degrees, instead of diplomas, for their postgraduate programmes.
The rules, under the Act, define finer details such as the procedure for appointment and removal of an institute’s chairperson and director, their powers, and the functions of the Board of Governors.