After a review of autonomous bodies, the government has decided to ‘corporatise’ three important institutes, namely the Delhi Public Library, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) and the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The government is also mulling the merger of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) with either Jamia Millia Islamia or Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The Centre is planning to do this as part of a review of 679 existing autonomous institutions. The review of these independent institutions, which are formed under the Societies Registration Act, began in January of this year, according to the Indian Express.
The first phase of the review has covered 114 autonomous bodies which come under seven ministries or departments. After the review, the government has decided to reduce 42, over a third of these, bodies or merge them with other entities or organise these bodies under a common organisation. The review of these bodies has been spearheaded by the Prime Minister’s Office and the NITI Aayog. Ministries with a large number of independent bodies which get a high quantum of central assistance were picked by the Centre or phase-I of the exercise.
PMO officials have told the Indian Express that after the ‘corporatisation’ of the aforementioned autonomous bodies could translate to these organisations becoming special purpose vehicle (SPV) or they may become independent companies. 24 of these 42 bodies which were reviewed will be clubbed under a common umbrella. Of the remaining 18 organisations 11 bodies will be merged with other organisations, four will be shut down and the last three will be given a corporate makeover.
Rs 72,206 was allocated to these 679 autonomous bodies, which are spread across 68 ministries or departments, in the 2017-18 budget. many of these organisations have either an overlapping function or definitional problems, reported the Indian Express.
The NITI Aayog will begin phase-II of the programme later this month, which will look into societies registration act and cover the Societies Registration Act. Phase-III of the programme will look into bodies found outside the ambit of Societies Registration Act.
Here is a list of recommendations of the committee:
Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to be merged with JNU.
National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language to be merged with Central Institute of Indian Languages.
National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language to be merged with either Maulana Azad National Urdu University or Jamia Millia Islamia.
Children’s Film Society of India to be merged with Film’s Division.