The monsoon session of Parliament started on July 17, 2017, and will be held until August 11, 2017. The central government has listed 16 new Bills to be introduced during the 19 sittings in the monsoon session of the Parliament this time. One of the anticipated Education Bill listed to be introduced in the Lok Sabha is the Indian Institute of Management Bill 2017. The erstwhile Manmohan Singh government had proposed the IIM Bill five years ago but no fruitful outcome could be achieved.
After the controversy surrounding issues related to the autonomy of the IIMs, in the first IIM Bill draft in June 2015, the Prime Minister’s office intervened and asked the HRD ministry to make necessary changes to address the concerns on autonomy. On 24th January 2017, the union cabinet cleared a modified Bill to grant IIMs complete autonomy to look after their internal affairs and form policies around it.
According to the Bill, the Board headed by a chairperson will be responsible for managing each IIM. It will also be compulsory for the Board to have a representative of the HRD ministry and the state government, four eminent persons, four alumni, one member of the IIM society, two faculty members and a director who will be the ex-officio member. Also, one member of the board should be either from SC or ST category and at least three members should be women. The power to select the director will rest with the board.
The Indian Institute of Management Bill 2017 will grant complete financial autonomy to all the IIMs upon completion of seven years. Of the 20 IIMs, 10 are over seven years old. Three others will complete seven years this year. This Bill also seeks to provide uniform statutory status and governance structure along with the policy framework. If the IIM Bill becomes an Act, IIMs will be declared as Institutes of National Importance. Presently, IIMs are registered under the Societies Act and can only award diplomas. However, once the Bill is passed by the Parliament, IIMs would be able to grant degrees to the students instead of diplomas.