Arjuns Arrow Plucks Out IIM Notification

New Delhi, June 29 | Updated: Jul 1 2004, 04:28am hrs
The government on Tuesday ordered withdrawal of NDA governments notification, on February 5, unilaterally reducing the fees of six Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to Rs 30,000 per annum.

Human resource development (HRD) minister Arjun Singh, after a meeting with the IIM directors and chairmen, said with the boards of all IIMs resolving to revert to their earlier fees for the new session and strengthening provisions for need-based scholarships to meet the financial needs of the economically weaker sections, the issue has been resolved amicably in the interests of both the institutes and the students.

The decision of the former government to slash fees had snowballed into a major confrontation between the IIMs and the HRD ministry, headed by Murli Manohar Joshi.

Mr Singh said while IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta have made provisions from their internal resources for need-based scholarships, the other three IIMs (Lucknow, Indore and Kozhikode) will be assisted by the ministry to cover the additional burden. However, there would be no fixed number of scholarships. Students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 2 lakh would be entitled to these scholarships, which would range from tuition fee waiver to 100 per cent waiver.

Besides resolving the fee issue, Tuesdays decision also restores the autonomy of the institutes. IIMs were given autonomy through a Cabinet decision in 1994, which allowed them to take decisions on fees. The government is fully committed to respecting the autonomy of all institutes of learning and those which have attained excellence will be increasingly empowered to take all relevant decisions which enhance their economy and allow them to develop further, Mr Singh added.

Tuesdays decision is also expected to bring down the curtain on PIL filed in the SC.

The IIM directors will now hold meetings to discuss ways to reduce the gap in the fees of the various IIMs by December.