New Delhi, Jan 24: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, under which IIMs would be able to grant degrees to their students and be declared as Institutions of National Importance. With the Cabinet giving its nod to the Bill, it is likely to be presented before the Parliament in the upcoming budget session.
According to an official statement released today, the highlights of the Bill are that IIMs would be able to grant degrees to their students. Being societies, the prestigious IIMs are presently not authorised to award degrees and have been awarding Postgraduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management. While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and PhD, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.
The Bill provides for complete autonomy to the institutions, combined with adequate accountability, it said. The Bill proposes a structure where the management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution selected by the Board. A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is among other important features of the Bill, the statement said.
Shortly after the Cabinet decision was announced, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted that it was a "historic decision to give IIMs real autonomy and grant degrees". This reflects the vision of the Narendra Modi government for higher education, the minister added. The Bill also has a provision for inclusion of women and members from Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the Board.
The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies and placing the results of the same on public domain. The annual report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts, the statement said. The Bill also proposes a Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.
Initially, the HRD Ministry had considered including a clause as per which the President would be the Visitor to these institutions, but it was dropped and was not a part of the draft which was presented before the Cabinet today, it is learnt.