Govt indicates ‘reviewing’ and ‘correcting inconsistencies’ in IIM bill

By: | Published: August 7, 2015 9:16 PM

Faced with criticism over the draft IIM Bill, government today indicated "reviewing" and "correcting any inconsistencies" as it sought...

Faced with criticism over the draft IIM Bill, government today indicated “reviewing” and “correcting any inconsistencies” as it sought to reach out to the prestigious B-schools, making its first reaction to the controversy surrounding the legislation.

The HRD Ministry’s apparent softening of stand came on a day when HRD Minister Smriti Irani held an hour long discussion with chairperson of IIM Bangalore’s board of governors Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Accused of diluting IIMs autonomy through the draft legislation, Irani said the “fallacy” surrounding the bill needed to be “dispelled” and that they have put it in public domain for views.

The government has also been accused of having some kind of control in almost every decision that the institutes take.

“We will review the bill. If there is any inconsistency, typographical error, we will correct it,” Higher Education secretary V S Oberoi told reporters here, in an apparent indication that autonomy of the IIMs will not be compromised, flanked by both Irani and Shaw.

Holding that a lot of concerns concerning the bill was “clarified” and that she was “satisfied” following her hour long meeting with the Minister, Shaw said she would be talking to other IIM directors and “explaining” the provisions.  She said some of the concerns were “baseless” which needs to be “dispelled”.

“We certainly want autonomy and hand in hand accountability. I think the bill has that considered. Government is trying to ensure we have an accountable structure without affecting autonomy,” she said, adding “some kind of rephrasing” could address their concerns.

The bill seeks to give the IIMs the degree granting powers and convert them into institute of national importance.

In a written reply in Parliament last week, Irani had said the bill “intends to ensure greater synergy and financial autonomy along with commensurate accountability in academic and financial matters of the IIMs”.

Oberoi said the aim is to follow the other institutes of national importance like the IITs which are “tried and tested” models.

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