Apart from enviable pay packets, future managers will pass out from the iconic Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) with degrees instead of diplomas, if a human resources development ministry-appointed panel has its way.
The six-member panel, headed by Professor N R Madhava Menon, has recommended bringing in an overarching legislation governing all 13 IIMs, allowing them to award degrees without “any erosion of their existing autonomy”. Unlike central universities and IITs, the top B-schools currently award only diplomas.
“IIMs have not been set up through an Act of Parliament, but through the charitable societies route. When you are talking of increasing global diversity, diploma creates a confusion. When you have a whole global environment that is attracted to India, I feel a little more explaining has to be done with regard to a diploma or degree. I feel that allowing IIMs to award degrees is more of a hygiene factor,” IIM-Bangalore director Pankaj Chandra, who is part of the Centre’s autonomy panel, told Sunday Times of India.
The recommendation comes months after the HRD ministry rejected IIM-B’s proposal to amend its Memorandum of Association — its primary rulebook — allowing it to confer degrees. The draft proposal was not acceptable to the ministry as it asked: “It is not understood how IIM-B can award a degree.” The proposal is yet to be vetted by the ministry.
The committee appointed to evolve a comprehensive policy of autonomy for higher education institutions, including IIMs and IITs, has also proposed a peer-based academic review of departments/areas once every five years and complete autonomy to boards to appoint IIM directors solely via a search and selection committee.
IIMs will now offer degrees
The Menon Committee has recommended flow of liberal grants to both new and old IIMs to enhance their level of academic activities to global standards, and funding of doctoral students.
The panel has proposed setting up three new wings in every central educational institution — an office of research and integrity that’ll fund advanced research and maintain standards; an office of ombudsman to intervene in crisis situations and an Equal Opportunities Cell to ensure inclusiveness.