HRD clips IIMB's wings

The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) delivered a mortal blow to IIM Bangalore's (IIMB) dreams of more autonomy, when it rejected several amendments to the institute's memorandum of association (MoA).

The rejections come after the Mukesh Ambani-led Board of Governors approved the amendments and forwarded it to the Union government in January.

Some proposals that have been rejected include giving powers to the board to appoint a director, removal of the government's suo moto powers to launch an inquiry and allowing IIMB to award degrees.

IIMB's proposal regarding appointment of a director is strange, considering that the directors of all IIMs including that of Bangalore, agreed only late last year to a collegium-based appointment system. Similarly, the proposal to allow IIMB to award degrees is also odd. In India, only universities created by an act of law or declared a deemed university can present degrees, and IIMB is neither.

One area where the government has not disappointed IIMB is in approving the amendment to open campuses abroad. IIMB has been waiting since 2006 to open a campus in Singapore. However, the approval comes with a caveat: the institute will not be allowed to divert its internal resources or government funds for any such ventures. Moreover, IIMB must fully satisfy internal demand before embarking on a foreign venture.

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