Never good to micro-manage institutions: IIMA director

Never good to micro-manage institutions: IIMA director

Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA) Director Prof Ashok Nanda has cautioned against attempts by the government to micro-manage the premier b-schools and centralise power.

“Autonomy is at the core of flourishing of the academic institutions,” Prof Nanda told a press conference in reference to the NDA government’s IIM Bill and the proposal of an overarching body to manage the institutions.  “Government can definitely oversee functioning of educational institutions from a distance, but micro-management is never good. It makes people in academic institutions disempowered,” he added.

The Modi government is giving finishing touches to the Indian Institutes of Management Bill-2015 which proposes to create an umbrella body headed by Union HRD Minister, Chairpersons and Directors of all IIMs.  “I feel the proof of this pudding is in eating and not making,” the IIMA Director said. “We do not know whether this body would be the highest decision-making body or have limited powers to serve the purpose of coordination among various IIMs... that is not clear to us.”

The Bill aims to empower the 13 premier institutions to award degrees instead of diplomas to students signing up in their two-year MBA programme.

It is also likely to make the President of India a visitor to all the IIMs and a common four-year term for their Chairpersons.  Currently, Chairpersons of the six old IIMs have three-year terms, while those in the seven new IIMs have five-year tenures.

Prof Nanda welcomed the government’s decision to consult academicians before finalising the Bill. “I hope they have given us some more time to study the draft Bill in detail and give our views. We are, however, planning to present our views in the next couple of days,” he said.

Prof Nanda was speaking to the media on the occasion of IIFL and former Planning Commission member and IIMA alumni (1974 batch) P P Pandey donating Rs 8 crores to the institute to build a swimmingpool and modern auditorium, the first time the institute has received donation from an individual to build infrastructure.  The institute is looking to raise funds from a variety of sources, including its alumni, to renovate its heritage campus built by Louis Kahn.

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