In order to revitalise the organisational structure and devolve authority, top engineering institute IIT Kharagpur has started a major organisational revamp to be in league among global peers.
IIT-Kgp director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said that they were working on a major organisational restructuring where more autonomy would be given to heads of different departments.
Industrialist Arjun Malhotra, chairperson of the institute’s ‘Vision 2020’ initiative, said structural changes were needed in the way the IIT functioned.
Under its ‘Vision 2020’, the IIT has set up an ambitious vision to be among the top 20 international science and technology-focused institutes with a culture of research excellence.
While it has consistently been at the top among Indian institutes, IIT-Kgp lags behind its global and Asian peers in rankings.
Governance and administration has been identified as one of the thematic areas for leading the transformation.
“The organisational structure needs to be re-vitalised to reduce the administrative pressure on the director and devolve authority to the deputy/assistant director and deans. More than half of the director’s time should be focused on external linkages (collaborations, brand building, alumni, fund raising, etc),” recommends the Vision 2020 report.
Under the present structure, over 50 personnel report directly to the director.
“This burdens the directors in the IIT system with a lot of internal administrative load, while in leading institutes world-wide, the head of the institute spends most of his time on external linkages,” the report says.
To sanction any money above Rs 50,000 it needs the approval of the director at present.
“Most of my time is spent in doing things like this,” Chakrabarti said adding that they need changes for faster and effective decision making and reducing the stress on the director for day-to-day running of the institute.
He said they are preparing guidelines for effecting new changes.
For the first time in the last 20 years, they have started a promotional policy for Group B, C and D employees.
“For the first time we have recruited a chartered accountant. We need to modernise our accounting system as we have been following the single entry system of accounting,” the director said.
The Vision 2020 also recommends introduction of specialised roles for purely administrative functions, will also help improve efficiency. A CFO, for example, can take care of resource planning, management and accounting.
The IIT Act of 1961 lays down some key governance and organisational principles with regard to the key academic and administrative positions of IITs.
Publicly-funded institutions, IITs offer their own degrees in engineering, technology, applied sciences and management at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate levels.