Centre declares IIM expansion plans

Seats for students double, more PhD scholarship to increase faculty

By Rining Lyngdoh
  • Published 21.09.16

Shillong, Sept. 20: The seats at Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the country will be doubled from 10,000 to 20,000, Union minister for human resource development Prakash Javadekar announced here today.

The decision was taken at a meeting of all chairmen and directors of IIMs, chaired by Javadekar, at the Rajiv Gandhi IIM here.

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in Shillong on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos 

"We had a very good, successful and productive meeting of all IIMs directors and chairmen. We met after two years and will now be meeting frequently to discuss specific issues," the minister told reporters after the meeting.

"More students will now get the opportunity to study in the best institutes. The IIM directors will submit their action plans on the expansion of student intake capacity," he added.

The decision comes a few months after the parliamentary standing committee on HRD ministry, in its 274th report, recommended expansion of seats at the IIMs and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for the development of these institutions, besides a periodical expansion of faculty.

Javadekar also announced expansion of doctoral (PhD) programme to address the shortage of faculty in IIMs. "We discussed expansion of PhD programme by offering more fellowships to students of IIMs. To students in IITs, we have decided to give Prime Minister's Research Fellowship. We will also take the government's approval to give PM scholarship to the best of PhD scholars in IIMs but the final decision will be taken by the cabinet."

The meeting also discussed the need for IIMs to participate in the government's new initiative to develop 20 world class universities/institutes. "We want to create 10 (world class institutes) from the government sector and 10 from the private sector. The IIMs should prepare themselves because world class institutes will be decided by a challenge mode," the HRD minister said.

The IIMs will also participate in the implementation of Swayam, a massive platform for open online courses proposed to be launched soon by the government, Javadekar said. The IIMs will be required to create the content for Swayam which will offer 2,000 courses from Class IX to the post-graduate level.

"The courses will be offered to students free of cost, online and through TV channels. They will comprise lecture materials, mid-exam, final exams and certificates," the minister said.

On universities from India not figuring in international ranking and educational institutes becoming a hotbed of politics, Javadekar said the focus of the institutes and students was academic.

"We have started the national ranking framework and it is evaluating the institutes correctly. We have brought our own national ranking framework and, more importantly, we have found that even in international ranking, there is perception about these institutes. So many times, real quality does not reflect in ranking. To address that, we have decided to implement outreach programmes with the alumni Indian diaspora for their active participation and have more foreign students, foreign faculty and exchanges with foreign countries. All these will help in creating the right perception about the Indian institutes and then we will get the right place in international ranking too," he said.

Replying to a question on reservation for scheduled tribe teachers in IIMs, he said reservation already exists. "I do not know who started all this. It's already in the Constitution and no one can bypass the Constitution," he said.

On frequent disturbances on campuses, he said institutes which used to be disturbed were more disciplined now. "I think collective wisdom has ultimately prevailed," he added.?

On implementation of Aadhaar which has created hurdles for Northeast students applying for scholarship, as Aadhaar is yet to be implemented in the region, Javadekar said the government was promoting Aadhaar card, which is a unique identity card and is not related to citizenship, for the benefit of students but those who do not have it "will not have any problem".