The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have agreed to admit more students to their post-graduate programmes (PGP) over the next few years, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar announced on Tuesday after his first meeting with the B-School directors in Shillong.
Although he had suggested that the IIMs double their student intake, the directors haven’t agreed either on a number or a deadline for the proposed expansion.
“Each institute is expected to go back to the government with an expansion plan specifying the number seats they can afford to increase and the timeline to achieve the same,” said an IIM director, who did not wish to be identified. Currently, there are close to 10,000 students studying across 19 IIMs.
“In this context, we also raised the issue of whether the government will fund the expansion of infrastructure in order to admit more students. The ministry’s stand on this is not clear and the discussion was inconclusive,” the above director added. The older IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Indore are financially independent and haven’t taken a penny from the government in the current financial year.
According to the press statement issued by the government, the minister also discussed “the possibility of expansion of doctoral programmes” at the IIMs to address the problem of vacant faculty positions.
“His focus was faculty recruitment. In fact, his started the meeting with this issue. The IIMs pointed out that teacher shortage was also due to lack of good applicants. This is when the minister proposed that the institutes should expand their doctoral programmes to build a pipeline of quality applicants for future. He also encouraged the IIM Shillong students to consider teaching as a career option during his interaction with them in the morning,” said another IIM head.
There was no discussion on reservation in faculty positions on Tuesday as it wasn’t on the agenda. However, Javadekar is learnt to have made a fleeting reference to ensuring “social equity” in teacher recruitment.
While speaking to journalists on this issue after his meeting with the directors, the minister was evasive in his response. “The Constitution provides for reservation and we have no plans to change that,” he said.
During the meeting, the minister is learnt to have reviewed the progress of setting up the second generation IIMs announced by the UPA government as well as those established last year. He encouraged the older IIMs to apply for the world-class institution status once the UGC regulations are rolled out. He also informed the directors that the IIM Bill will soon get the Cabinet’s approval and that it give them more autonomy that they enjoy currently.