HRD ministry denies more autonomy to IIM-B

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Development (HRD) has turned down key amendments to its fundamental statute book that had been proposed by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Bangalore. The amendments had been aimed at loosening the control by the government over the premier management institute. The seven proposed amendments to the memorandum of agreement (MoA) that had been signed between the HRD ministry and IIM-B have been called unacceptable by the ministry as the IIMs are public institutions. The proposed amendments to the MoA had been submitted by the IIM to the HRD ministry in January. The rejection by the ministry to the amendments may come as a let down for other IIMs in the country as they too were seeking amendments to their MoAs with the ministry. HRM Minister Kapil Sibal has encouraged the IIMs to seek greater autonomy, which is unlike his predecessors Arjun Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi. An IIM Director said that they too had similar amendment proposals and hoped that the government would reconsider the matter. The government has expressed its reservations against some of the amendments that have been proposed as they could change the “fundamental character” of the Indian Institutes of Management. The points in IIM-B's proposal that have been struck down by the HRD ministry include ending the government's power to take over the assets and administration of the institute if it is dissatisfied with its functioning and making it mandatory for the government to seek approval from the Board for investigating irregularities. The HRD ministry had also rejected a proposal that had sought to remove a clause from the MoA that allows the government to having a role in deciding the IIM's mandate. The ministry had also pointed out in its response to the IIM that the institute, contrary to it's proposal, cannot award degrees as it is neither a deemed university nor established under a legislation. The ministry has also rejected a proposal that would end the role of the government in deciding the fate of property and assets that have been purchased with government money as well as another that sought to end the responsibility of the IIM in improving the management education in the south. The IIM has been asked by the HRD ministry to put on hold a proposal that would allow the IIM Board to choose a Director for the institute without the government playing any role in the decision.

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