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HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar received a massive round of applause from the Opposition in Lok Sabha recently for introducing a historical bill that encourages functional autonomy in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) by restricting the government role. On July 28th, 2017, the Lok Sabha passed the much-awaited IIM Bill – 2017, which granted the 20 Indian Institutes of Management more autonomy than they currently enjoy.

Key highlights of the Bill

1. All the 20 IIMs would now be called the “institutes of national importance.”
2. IIMs can directly grant degrees to students.
3. The Board of Governors of each Institute will act as the principal executive body of that Institute
4. The Boards will enjoy full autonomy; they can appoint Chairperson of the Board, change/remove the Director for the Institute, and also review the Institute’s performance.
5. The moment the IIM Bill becomes an Act, the Board will no more be liable to get the HRD Ministry’s approval for appointment of Directors.
6. The IIMs’ accounts will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
7. The Central Government will create an independent IIM Coordination Forum having 33 members, which will be act as an advisory body for all the Institutes.
8. Though the institutes will get more autonomy, all the rules and regulations, created either by the Central Government or the IIM Boards, will have to be tabled in the parliament. 9. More management experts and IIM alumni will be able to participate in the board meetings and discussions.

How does this bill affect the IIM autonomy?

The Bill bestows more autonomy than what the IIMs currently have. Once the government gets political support for this new move in the House, then the IIMs will be the first set of ‘Institutions of National Importance’ wherein the President will have no direct role. Currently, in other institutions such as the IITs and NITs, the President has the authority to appoint the directors and chairpersons on the advice of the HRD Ministry. But now, IIMs, as per the new Bill, are empowered to choose their own directors and chairpersons.

Apart from the Board of Governors (BoG), which each IIM will continue to have even under the law, the Bill will set up a ‘Coordination Forum’ to help all IIMs share their experiences and concerns to enhance the performance of the institutes. The good news? The forum of the IIMs will not be managed by the HRD Minister. Instead, “a distinguished and credible person” shortlisted by a search-cum-selection committee, will be appointed as the Forum’s chairperson for a term of two years.

But for accountability sakes, a regular review of the performance of the IIMs will be done by independent agencies and the results will be put up in the public domain.

When will the IIM Bill be implemented?

The IIM bill will be implemented once it gets passed in the Rajya Sabha and gets signed by the President of India later. For now, it has been approved in the lower house i.e. Lok Sabha. So, to sum it up, the proposed bill still has to clear two stages before it becomes a reality.

“After the bill is passed, there will be no government role in the appointment of Board of Directors in IIMs. Let the government come out of it. It will be for the betterment of our higher institutions,” Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said while summing up the discussion in the house.

For more updates on the IIM bill, keep following Toppr, your on-stop destination for all education-related information.

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