IIM Bill: Other B-schools see red

The Indian Institutes of Management Bill (IIM Bill) which has been placed before the cabinet, and proposed to be introduced this month during the Budget session of 2015-16 by Ministry of Human Resource Development is giving sleepless nights to the other B-schools which offer the post graduate diploma in management (PGDM).

Nearly 50 B-schools in the country offer PGDM programmes well accepted by the student community. These B-schools say with IIMs being empowered to award MBA degree instead of Diploma in Management through the IIM Bill, it may jeopardize the creditability of their PGDM programmes. Thus they would want to have a better legal status for their programmes too.

“We are planning to approach the MHRD and seek recommendation for our programmes. If IIMs begin degree granting, our programmes may suffer,” said the director of a Noida-based management institution.

IIM directors said the idea behind an IIM bill was to turn the institutes into statutory bodies to offer masters’ degrees and doctorates, instead of diplomas and fellowships. Currently, the IIMs cannot award degrees, as they have been set up as societies, under the Societies Registration Act. Degrees can only be awarded by universities and institutes such as IITs, set up by Parliament or legislatures, and those declared deemed-to-be-universities under the UGC Act. Currently, the 13 IIMs issue a certificate that their PGDM programme is equivalent to an MBA degree.

The IITs have an IIT Council, which is the governing body responsible for all of the IITs. The minister-in-charge of technical education is the council’s chairman. Other members include three Members of Parliament, the chairmen and the directors of all the IITs, the chairman of the University Grants Commission, the director-general of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), the chairman and the director of IISc, the joint secretary in the HRD ministry, and three appointees each of the Union government and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

IIM Ahmedabad had opposed the idea of IIM Bill saying it would threaten its autonomy. “The IIM council draft Bill’s high points are the degree-granting status, as well as autonomy to IIMs,” said an IIM-director who was part of the committee drafting the Bill.

Four years ago, the Union ministry of human resource development had granted greater autonomy to IIMs.  These institutes, however, remain under the Right to Information Act, and have to get their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The changes were based on the recommendations of three committees (on governance, faculty and funding), constituted by then HRD minister Kapil Sibal. 

The PGDM institutes would be meeting the MHRD minister this month seeking an equivalent recognition for their diplomas as that of the IIMs.