Making a strong case for the autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, the new chairman of IIM Ahmedabad’s board of governors (BoG) and chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, said, “The autonomy of prestigious institutes like IIM should not get fettered.”
Birla said, “I think these institutes have their own DNA, they work in a certain way. They have been self-regulated and self-taught in a way over the years. I think that is a very important reason for their success and that should not be tampered with at any cost.”
Birla, however, refused to answer questions regarding the allegations raised by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on the Birla group having made paymenst worth crores of rupees to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as the Gujarat chief minister. Calling the matter “sub-judice”, Birla said, “I don’t know about it and don’t want to talk about it.” Birla also refused to address questions on the government’s demonetisation move.
On his role and action plan as the new IIM-A chairman, Birla said, “The linkages between the industry and academia have to be made stronger. My role will be to create an even stronger bond. The faculty here has an insight that we, in the industry, can learn from. The loop of contribution between the industry and academia must be made stronger.”
Birla was appointed as the IIM-A BoG chairman several months after former IIM-A and L&T chairman AM Naik stepped down in December last year from the post citing lack of time. Zydus Cadila CMD Pankaj Patel was appointed as the interim chairman.