Over a year after the government announced the setting up of seven new Indian Institutes of Management in December 2016, the institutes — counted among the premier management institutes in the country — continue to battle with a staff crunch that is hampering their smooth functioning. In a development that highlights the gravity of this crisis, IIM Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh has written to the Centre demanding that it step in after IIM Lucknow decided to withdraw academic support to it from the next academic session. The old campuses of the IIMs were tasked with the responsibility to guide the new ones. While other campuses were asked to guide one new campus each, IIM-Lucknow was given the responsibility of IIM Jammu and IIM Sirmaur (Himachal Pradesh).
IIM Lucknow has decided to withdraw academic support to IIM Sirmaur from the next academic session citing lack of faculty. Realising that the move might result in less than required faculty in IIM Sirmaur, the institute director Neelu Rohmetra shot off a letter to the HRD Ministry urging the Centre to intervene and convince IIM-Lucknow to reverse its decision. Rohmetra told The Indian Express that IIM Lucknow conveyed its decision of withdrawing academic support to the Sirmaur campus in January this year. She further added that the mentor institute’s support can extend up to the year 2021 as per the IIM-Sirmaur’s detailed project report. As of now, 60 per cent of the faculty at IIM Sirmaur is drawn from IIM Lucknow.
On the other hand, explaining the reason behind IIM Lucknow’s move, IIM-Lucknow director Ajit Prasad told The Indian Express that he has a limited number of faculty members, about 71 or 72 teachers and it is difficult for them to teach in Lucknow, Noida (off-campus centre), Sirmaur as well as the Jammu campuses.
Notably, the heads of both the IIMs pointed out that the HRD Ministry is yet to reach out to them to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, IIM Sirmaur has already started contacting other old campuses asking for support.