Saturday, March 12, 2011

Government rejects IIMB proposals on autonomy

I resume blogging after a fairly long lay-off occasioned by various preoccupations.

Let me start with the news about the government rejecting IIMB's proposals for amending its MOA. (I must thank an anonymous reader for the tip-off). The proposals rejected are:

  • Ending the government's power to take over the administration and assets of the Institute if it is not satisfied with their functioning.
  • Making it mandatory for govt to seek Board approval for probing irregularities
  • Not allowing the government a role in setting the mandate for IIMB
  • Ending govt's role in deciding the fate of assets bought from govt money
  • Ending IIMB's responsibility for management education in the south
  • Selecting the director without approval of government
On the selection of a director, the ministry has indicated that it would like this to be done by a national collegium of experts. This, I think, is a good idea. A sub-committee of the Board to select the director because it allows insiders, including the Chairman and the Director, a decisive say in the selection process. Distancing the selection of the director from the institution is more conducive to a transparent and competitive search.

The ministry has also said it does not favour proposals to delink IIMB salaries from the government framework and end to reservations for specified groups in the BoG.

What do we make of this news? Well, it's no surprise at all because similar proposals from autonomy, made by IIMA in the past, have not found favour with the ministry. The surprise, if any, is that IIMB even submitted these proposals because the ministry had earlier informed the IIMs exactly what amendments it was willing to entertain.

It is clear that IIMB, like IIMA, has arrived at an interpretation of autonomy that it can hardly expect the government to entertain, namely, independence from government. I have always found it strange that institutions that owe their success to the fact of their being public institutions should now want to shed their public character. Especially so when there is nothing to suggest that it is the public character of these institutions that is coming in the way of their advancement.

1 comment:

K.R.Srivarahan said...

It is a time-tested ploy to mix "outrageous" recommendations with reasonable proposals so that the government will accept the sensible suggestions. If all proposals are sensible, the governmental urge "not to accept in toto" will only result in rejection of some good suggestions.