NEW DELHI: The IIM Bill has been reworked by the Human Resource Development Ministry under Prakash Javadekar, dropping key provisions such as the office of the Visitor for IIMs.
This Bill will be vetted by the Law Ministry before being sent to the Cabinet again. Taking a changed position from Smriti Irani̢s time, the HRD ministry under Prakash Javadekar consented to doing away with the office of the Visitor to the IIM s̢ending the rift with the PMO on government control over IIMs.
While the government control over the IIM Coordination Panel will be reduced, special provisions will be made to make sure that IIMs follow government policies like that on faculty quota.
The President of India serves as the Visitor in all major centrally̢ funded institutes, including IITs and Central Universities.
It is argued that the Visitor serves as an indirect way of exercising government control and influence over IIMs as the Visitor usually follows the advice of the Ministry in his decisions related to educational institutes. He is usually responsible for making top appointments at these places and also has the power to order an inquiry into an institute or its head̢s functioning.
While the HRD ministry under Smriti Irani had agreed on some of the suggestions of the PMO for allowing greater autonomy to IIMs, it persisted on retaining the Visitor̢s position.
But Javadekar changed this stance. The idea of an IIM Coordination panel following the lines of IIT council was also propagated. The IIT Council is chaired by the HRD Minister who exercises considerable influence over it.
However, the idea was vehemently opposed by the IIMs and the PMO also favoured the argument. Giving in to these demands, the HRD ministry has also consented that the panel will be headed by an eminent personality and the minister would not be a part of it.
While these two changes have been made to ensure greater autonomy of IIMs, the new version of the IIM Bill also has a provision, asking IIMs to follow government policies.