The upper house of Parliament on Tuesday unanimously passed the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Autonomy Bill, that seeks to give power to grant degrees instead of diplomas to these institutions.The Bill that gives more autonomy to IIMs, declares the 20 IIMs as institutes of national importance. Under this Bill the autonomy envisaged to IIMs is greater than that of other higher education institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).The Bill says, the Board of Governors will be the executive body of each IIM, comprising up to 19 members. It will also nominate 17 board members including eminent persons, faculty members and alumni. The remaining two members will be nominees from the central and state governments, respectively. The Board will also appoint its own Chairperson.During the discussion on the bill in Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal supported the bill but questioned the lack of similar reforms in IITs and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Congress leader Jairam Ramesh questioned how board of Directors will be appointed and asked the government to describe how they plan the transition between the current boards at IIMs and the Board of Governors as proposed in the new bill. He also asked what would be the criteria for appointment of these governors.As per the Bill, the Board of Governors will appoint the Director of each IIM. A search committee will recommend names for the post of the Director. The Director is eligible for variable pay, to be determined by the Board.The Academic Council of each IIM will determine the — academic content, criteria and process for admission to courses; and guidelines for the conduct of examinations.A coordination forum will be set up, which will include representation from the 20 IIMs. It will discuss matters of common interest to all IIMs.Currently, the central government has a role in the functioning of IIMs which includes the appointment of the Chairperson of their Boards, their Directors and pay to the Director.
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