Thu. May 23rd, 2024

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Last year, the education ministry had informed all the IIMs about a new procedure being worked out to form search-cum-selection committees for the appointment of chairpersons. (Representational image: AFP)

Last year, the education ministry had informed all the IIMs about a new procedure being worked out to form search-cum-selection committees for the appointment of chairpersons. (Representational image: AFP)

The Visitor to all the IIMs will have powers to conduct audit of their functioning, order inquiries as well as appoint or remove its directors

The so-far completely autonomous IIMs are likely to have their autonomy diluted as the President is set to be the “visitor” to all the institutes with powers to conduct an audit of their functioning, order inquiries as well as appoint or remove its directors, as per a bill to amend the Indian Institutes of Management Act, 2017, introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday.

The bill being introduced in parliament met with disruptions made by the opposition over the Manipur situation. According to the new bill, the President of India shall be the Visitor of every IIM.

“The Visitor may appoint one or more persons to review the work and progress of any institute and to hold inquiries into the affairs thereof and to report thereon in such manner as the Visitor may direct,” the draft bill stated.

So far, the premier IIMs under the existing Act allowed these business schools greater autonomy to be run by its board of governors, with each institute having 19 members including only one representative each from central and state governments.

The board had the power to make decisions on policy questions related to administration and working of the institutes. Here are some of the powers held by the board of governors of the IIMs:

  • Examining and approval of annual budget estimates; establishing departments, faculties or school of studies
  • Setting up centres of management studies and allied areas within the country under intimation to the central government
  • Granting degrees, diplomas and other academic distinctions or titles
  • Creating academic, administrative, technical and other posts
  • Making appointments provided that the cadre, pay scales, allowances and terms of employment shall be as per rules laid down by the Centre
  • Nominating its remaining members from among eminent personalities, faculty and alumni
  • Forming panels for the appointment of new directors and chairpersons, and finalising those appointments.

The draft amendment bill, however, proposes that the search-cum-selection panel for the director’s appointment will have a Visitor’s nominee. “…the services of the director may be terminated by the Visitor, in such a manner as may be prescribed…” the draft stated.

Last year, the ministry of education (MoE) had informed the institutes about a new procedure being worked out to form search-cum-selection committees for the appointment of chairpersons. The board of governors of the institutes were asked to extend the tenure of the existing chairpersons till the new procedure comes into place.

This, however, did not go down well with the administration of the institutes with several board members describing it as “interference in their matters”. Concerns were raised on the possible dilution of the autonomy of the IIMs.

Amid disruptions in the House, the bill will now come up for consideration and passage next week, said minister of state for parliamentary affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal while listing out government business for next week.

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