A bill to grant statutory powers to the IIMs and enable these prestigious institutes to give degrees is expected to be presented shortly to the Union Cabinet for approval.
Among the major provisions of the draft Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017, is one which grants powers to the IIM Board of Governors to get an inquiry conducted by a person not below the rank of a High Court judge against a director in case it is felt that an institute has not performed as per the provisions of the proposed Act.
Based on this inquiry, the Board may even remove the director of the institute or order any other action which would be appropriate. The director may be removed if he would not be convincing enough to prove his point, sources said.
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It is also understood that as per the proposed draft, the Boards of Governors of IIMs would evaluate the performance of the institutes after every few years. The Prakash Javadekar-led HRD Ministry, it is understood, has got the draft vetted by the Law Ministry and it is likely to come before the Cabinet soon for its approval to take it before the Parliament.
The HRD Ministry had last year wanted to bring the Indian Institutes of Management Bill to the Parliament, but it was felt that more discussions were needed. Following consultations, the HRD Ministry had earlier decided to remove a provision which related to the President being the Visitor of the IIMs. The government has been looking to grant more autonomy to these institutes and more powers have been granted to their Governing Boards.
The ministry has also decided to lay down a clear rule on the line of succession in case the post of Director falls vacant and a regular person is yet to be appointed. It is understood that the new Bill would lay down that the senior-most faculty would then take charge.
Earlier, the draft Bill contained a provision as per which a Coordination Forum which would have the HRD Minister as its chairperson but after consultations, it was decided that a selection panel would choose an eminent person as the chairperson.
The Coordination Forum is a body which is expected to take up matters common to all the IIMs. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are autonomous institutes of management education and research and are presently registered as societies under the Indian Societies Registration Act.
The IIM Bill seeks to give degree-granting powers to these institutes, more autonomy and statutory status to the 20 IIMs and declare them as Institutions of National Importance.