Tuesday, April 24, 2007

IIMs likely to lose autonomy

IIMs likely to lose autonomy
NEW DELHI: Indian Institutes of Management may no longer function as autonomous societies for the government is seriously considering Institutes of Management Bill so that the six premier B-schools are made answerable to Parliament.
Coming within days of IIMs first refusing to toe the government advice of keeping admission list on hold till the OBC reservation issue was settled in the Supreme Court, the move will definitely ruffle IIMs and India Inc. Institutes of Management Bill would be modelled on the lines of the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, under which the IITs function.
A top government source said consultation on the proposed bill was on with the law ministry. He also sought to allay the apprehension that the proposed law could result in the erosion of the autonomy of IIMs.
‘‘IITs have made a mark for themselves without undermining their autonomy. Government feels functioning of IIMs and IITs need to be brought on par,’’ the source said. HRD ministry officials, however, refused to comment on the development.
If the proposed bill is modelled on the Institutes of Technology Act, there would be definite changes in the administrative and financial powers of IIMs. The B-schools would have a board of governors and a senate as administrative units.
But it is the financial autonomy of IIMs, which gives it the current teeth, which would undergo major change. IIMs, especially Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata, are not dependent on government funds but once they are brought under an act of Parliament, every IIM would have to maintain a fund in which money provided by the Central government, all fees and other charges received by the institute, money received by way of grants, gifts, donations, benefactions, bequests or transfers and money received by the institute in any other manner or from any other source would be kept.
Even investments would have to be made with the approval of the Central government. Accounts of IIMs would be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.