The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) would soon award degrees to their students instead of diplomas. The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has set up a committee to draft an IIM Act that would make these institutes recognised by Parliament and enable them to award degrees.
The IIMs can, at present, only award post-graduate diplomas in management (PGDM) as they are registered as societies. The proposed IIM Act is on similar lines as the Institutes of Technology Act under which the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) function.
The draft has been refined over the years. However, the context and technology will be different for the IIMs as they are solely post-graduate institutes while the IITs are post-graduate and post-graduate level institutes. This step will convert the IIMs into institutes of national importance, said a ministry official.
There are 13 IIMs in the country of which six are old and the rest were recently established. Each of them function under their respective Memorandum of Associations (MoAs) and rules and regulations framed thereunder.
They are societies registered under the Societies Registration Act and are not dependent on government funding for their operational expenses and the ministry has been examining the issue of bringing the IIMs in the country under an umbrella legislation for quite some time.
The ministry had earlier said that bringing the IIMs under the ambit of a Central law will in no way alter their accountability to the Parliament or their status of being public institutions. However, the IIMs are still apprehensive about the impact of the Act on their autonomy.
Earlier, the IIMs were not keen to get the Act as they thought it would dilute the image of the PGDM programmes but in the last two years, many have agreed and are seriously considering the international recognitions... though our decision making may get impacted in one way or the other, said the director of a new IIM.
As per Devi Singh, director, IIM Lucknow: Technically, we don't have the authority to grant degrees though globally we have achieved a lot. In fact, many people don't know that we award diplomas. We need this degree granting status for better collaboration with foreign universities and this move will empower us.