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IIM Bill prepared by panel headed by ex-IIM chairman: Irani

Amid a raging controversy over the draft IIM bill, government today said it was prepared by a committee headed by former chairman of IIM Trichy’s board of governors M Damodaran and finalised after considering the observations and suggestions of the IIMs.

“The committee also included representatives of the IIMs. The draft prepared on the basis of the proposal of the committee was again circulated to the IIMs for consideration in August 2014.

“The observations and suggestions of the IIMs were considered and the draft was modified on that basis after going through inter-ministerial consulations process,” HRD Ministry Smriti Irani said.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, she added that the draft that evolved through the process was put up for public comments.

The opinions and suggestions of the stakeholders including the IIMs have been received and these “suggestions are being considered by the Ministry”, she said.

Her reply came against the backdrop of vociferous opposition from IIM directors to the bill, contending it will compromise with the “autonomy” of the institutes.

“We are deeply concerned that some provisions of the bill would seriously compromise the autonomy of the institute. We believe that this is an important bill for the future of management education and therefore requires critical review to ensure an optimal balance between autonomy and accountability of the institution,” IIM-Ahmedabad chairperson A M Naik had said in a letter to Irani last month.

“If the bill turns out to be that a lot of decisions by the boards are subject to government approval, and the government has uniform norms, then that may or may not be best thing for certain IIMs,” said IIM Bangalore Director Sushil Vachani.

According to IIM-A Director Ashish Nanda, the government, through the bill, has proposed some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.

“The draft bill proposes control of government in almost every matter such as selection of Chairman of board of Governors, fee structure, expenses, etc. They have covered almost everything from strategic to operational decisions,” Nanda said.