IIMs ponder about granting degrees to students

IIMs ponder about granting degrees to students

IIMs ponder about granting degrees to students

Even as the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Act comes into effect from January 31, 2018, it remains unclear as to whether the existing two batches of the students of the premier B-schools will be entitled to a degree under the law or only those who will be admitted this year.

As the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry begins framing of the rules for implementation of the IIM Act, 2017, a section of the IIM directors have sought a clarification from the ministry as to whether the Act provides for the grant of degrees to all existing students or not.

The issue has come up for a discussion within the premier B-Schools as they gear up to grant degrees to their students, instead of postgraduate diploma in management. The IIM Act, which vests degree-granting powers into the IIMs, does not provide for its implementation with retrospective effect.

The ministry will seek a legal opinion from the law ministry to ensure that grant of degrees to students remains free from any "technical deficiency and students do not face any problem in future," an IIM director told DH, on condition of anonymity.

The issue was discussed during a meeting of the ministry officials and the IIM directors over the framing of the rules on Thursday.

All 20 IIMs currently have two batches of students - those admitted in 2016 and are going to complete their course in April-May this year as well as those admitted in 2017 and will complete their programme in 2019.

"There should not be any problem in granting degrees to all existing students as one of the provisions made in the Act appears to have clearly provided for it," another IIM director said.

He cited a provision under Clause 5 (Chapter-II) of the IIM Act which stipulates that "every person pursuing, before commencement of the Act, any academic or research course "in every existing Institute, shall be deemed to have migrated and registered with the corresponding Institute, on such commencement at the same level of course in the Institute from which such person migrated."

But, a "proper legal interpretation" of this provision should come from the Government.

"We want to grant a degree to all of our existing students but still there is need to have a clarity on its implication from the legal point of view to remain on the safer side. The ministry will seek a legal opinion from the law ministry. We still have a few months in our hand to take a final decision," he added.