Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another IIM- MHRD confrontation?

Outlook magazine has several pieces on what appears to be another looming confrontation between the IIMs and the ministry of HRD. The main story focuses on a couple of items that figured in the last meeting between the ministry and the IIM directors: selling seats in IIM societies to corporates and individuals and raising the teaching hours at IIM from the current 100 hours or so to 160 hours. The first remains a proposal; the second is minuted as a decision.

The story presents these and other proposals as an imposition on IIMs.This ignores the fact, pointed out by the minister in an interview, that both the proposals emanated from committees that comprised IIM directors (three in the case of the Bhargava committee that recommended sale of seats) and one IIM director ( in the case of the Balakrishnan committee that recommended an increase in teaching hours). The IIM directors do not seem to have seen anything wrong in taking decisions on these matters without consulting their own faculty first.

Mohanty of IIM Calcutta has a telling commentary in the same issue:

The committee does not contend with research that has established that bicameral governance has served the long-term interests of both academic institutions and society. It also disregards evidence that results of unicameral academic governance have been less than satisfactory. In short, the report is bad in theory and bad in practice. That is not to say that IIM governance should not be revisited. But any restructuring must retain its bicameral character and the public nature of the IIMs. The less said about boards that perpetuate themselves in perpetuity the better
The current proposals give rise to several questions. The IIM Societies have been moribund all these years. How is it supposed that they will become effective when seats are sold at high prices to corporates or individuals? Are these people expected to invest large amounts without expectation of return? If the intention is to raise funds, why not seek straight endowments (on which corporate India's record has been miserable) instead of selling seats? Should the workload for IIMs be decided at the Institute level or at the level of the ministry? What is the appropriate form of governance for an academic institution- does it make sense to replicate the corporate command- and-control system in an academic context?

1 comment:

Gas Cleaning said...

I also want to consider the IIM for my higher studies.