IIMs to offer MBA degree in place of PG Diploma and PhD in place of Fellow programme in management

By Rudra Narayan Sahoo, New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) will be allowed to offer Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree and Doctoral degree (PhD) to students. As per the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on 24 Jan 2017, IIMs would be declared as Institutions of National Importance (INI). Hence, IIMs will be able to grant degrees to their students.

As per the current structure, all 20 IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act. Being societies, IIMs are not authorized to award degrees. Hence, these premier management schools have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management. These awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and PhD, respectively; however, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme. Hence, IIM Bill 2017 is a good news for student community.

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Autonomy of IIMs and revamping the board of the institute has been a long standing demand from academicians, students and alumni. The Bill provides for complete autonomy to the Institutions, combined with adequate accountability. Once the IIM Bill 2017 becomes Act, IIMs will enjoy greater autonomy in its functioning.

The Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi said in a Twitter Message that IIM Bill, which was approved by the Cabinet, has been prepared with the aim of furthering excellence in these premier institutions. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar termed this step as historic decision that will give IIMs real autonomy and grant degrees.

The Bill proposes that the management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution which will be selected by the Board. A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is amongst other key features of the Bill. Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the Board.

 The Bill also provides framework for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same on public domain.

 To enhance accountability in the institutes, the Bill proposes that the Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts.  There is also a provision of Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.

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