The ministry of HRD has allowed the IITs to raise the retirement age for faculty to 70, according to the Hindustan Times. The retirement age of IIT directors can also be raised to 70, which would allow several directors to stay on for a second term. This is a bad idea.
Letting IIT directors stay on for until 70 is bad not just for the reason mentioned in the report, namely , that it will render IIT directors vulnerable to outside pressures. We need younger people at the top, not older ones. And, believe me, there is plenty of talent in the IIT system and outside the country that can be tapped.
Ditto with faculty. Since extensions will, in effect, be at the discretion of the director, this will render faculty totally subservient to the director. It is also not good for faculty to hang around an IIT or IIM for too long- not good for them, not good for the institution. Even as it is, faculty stay on for 30-35 years. I shudder to think of having faculty around for, say, 45 years. Faculty must be extended beyond 65, if at all, provided they have not spent more than 25 years at the institution.
I sincerely hope this does not get extended to the IIMs. The IIMs, by and large, have followed the principle of a single term for the director although, regrettably, this healthy principle was not followed in the recent past in the case of the directors of IIM Calcutta and IIM Lucknow. There is very little accountability among IIT and IIM directors and allowing them to reign for 10 years risks causing serious damage.