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Centre overrules IIM on super monitor
- HRD ministry retains provision for forum with powers to review B-schools

New Delhi, Nov. 28: The human resource development ministry has overruled a top IIM’s reservations about a proposed co-ordination forum with powers to review the functioning of the premier business schools as part of a plan to turn them into statutory bodies.

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, had objected to the provision for such a forum in the proposed IIM Bill, saying too much “micro-monitoring” would affect the growth of the institutions.

The HRD ministry has redrafted the bill but has retained the provision for the forum, which can at regular intervals ask for presentations from the B-schools on how they have progressed and what they have achieved.

Insiders fear the forum would undermine the powers of the boards of governors of the institutes, their supreme council made up of eminent people who monitor and review the progress of each institute.

The HRD ministry wants to make the IIMs statutory bodies like the Indian Institutes of Technology or central universities so that they can award MBA and doctoral degrees instead of the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and Fellow programmes that they offer now.

Each IIM will be considered Institutions of National Importance.

According to the draft bill, the HRD minister will head the co-ordination forum in the same way the minister heads the IIT council, the apex body to decide on common matters related to the premier tech schools.

The proposed forum will include technical education ministers of states where the IIMs are located and other experts. The forum will deliberate on matters of common interest and review the achievements of the IIMs on policy objectives like creating professional managers, contribution to national development goals and research.

Former IIM Ahmedabad director Samir Barua, who had objected to the idea of a co-ordination forum, said the B-schools were excelling in their domain under the leadership of their board of governors (BoG).

“The co-ordination forum is going to be a super BoG for all the IIMs. It can ask for presentations from the director and the BoG chairman on the progress of an institute periodically. Our point was that the BoG is the appropriate body to review progress and conduct external review if required. Too much micro-monitoring by the proposed co-ordination forum will undermine the power of the BoGs and affect the growth of the institutions,” Barua told The Telegraph.

Another IIM director suggested that the proposed forum be given limited powers like co-ordinating with all the B-schools on matters of common interest such as conduct of entrance tests and counselling for admission. But it should not review the functioning of the institutions, the director said.

The HRD ministry has, however, accepted another objection raised by IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore. Both had opposed a proposal to dissolve the Society, a body of individual donors, former students and eminent persons that each IIM has.

The Society has no direct role in the functioning of an institute but advises it on matters related to growth. The ministry has decided that the Societies will continue to play an advisory role.