Cabinet okays full autonomy for IIMs

The Cabinet cleared a bill to grant the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management complete autonomy to run their affairs and award degrees to their graduates. Once the bill is passed by Parliament, all 20 IIMs will be declared `institutions of national importance'.

The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017, does away with the government's role in running the premier business schools. All powers will be vested in 15-member boards at every IIM. Also, the bill has no provision of reservation in faculty jobs except stating that the recruitment policy should be inclusive. However, reservation in admission for SCs/STs/OBCs will be as per existing norms. The move comes after months of wrangling between the HRD ministry and the Prime Minister's Office on the bill's autonomy provisions.

The Cabinet cleared the bill in the absence of HRD minister Prakash Javadekar. Shortly after the decision, Modi tweeted, “The IIM Bill focuses on complete autonomy , effective administration, more alumni participation and many other areas.“

Javadekar hailed the decision as a “historic one“ which would give IIMs real autonomy and power to grant degrees. “We trust excellence and quality . This reflects vision of Modi government for higher education,“ he tweeted.

According to the bill, the responsibility of running each IIM will be vested in its board headed by a chairperson who will be an eminent person from the field of education/ industry/ science or technology . Apart from the chairperson, each board will have a representative of the HRD ministry , one of the state government, four eminent persons, four alumni, one member of the IIM society , two faculty members and a director who will be ex-officio member. At least one member of the board should be either from the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes and three members should be women.The board will have the power to select the director.

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