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IIM-A opposes umbrella body
AHMEDABAD : Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has opposed the proposed law to bring IIMs under one umbrella body saying it would curtail its autonomy, reports PTI.

“The bill in parliament which proposes to have an umbrella type of body for IIMs...let us say facilitation which they (govt) say...we have as a society opposed it, the faculty has opposed and the Board of Governors have opposed,” Chairman IIM-A Board of Governor (BoG) A M Naik told newsmen on March 23.

The IIM-A Board of Governors, which met on March 23 ahead of the 48th convocation, opposed the government’s decision to bring IIMs under an overarching body on the lines of IIT

“We have given our representation in writing..I think it will meet with some consideration. because the institutes which have been doing exceedingly well must be left alone..,” Naik said on the sidelines of the convocation held here.

The proposed legislation seeks to confer IIMs the status of institutes of national importance empowering them to award degrees instead of diplomas.

New IIM faculty to follow 160-hour teaching rule
By Charu Sudan Kasturi

NEW DELHI : All new teachers at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) may have to teach 160 hours a year despite faculty protests against the move and a series of other reforms proposed by two government panels.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has asked the country's new seven IIMs to implement the new criterion while hiring faculty, top government officials have told HT.

The older IIMs too have the ministry's approval in-principle to use the controversial new rule in hiring new faculty, officials said, adding that the government was clear that it had no intention of forcing any IIM to accept any reform.

“We have instructed the new IIMs to adopt this condition while hiring faculty. The older IIMs too can adopt the mechanism while hiring the new faculty,“ a senior official said. The new IIMs are completely dependent on government funding while the IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta hardly depend on any government aid.

The new rule -the first attempt to put in place a minimum number of teaching hours for IIM faculty -will not automatically extend to the current faculty. Only if the Boards of Governors of individual IIMs approve the move, can it be applied to the older faculty, sources said.

Boards can also exempt faculty who want to focus on research and are therefore unable to teach for 160 hours a year.

Panels appointed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal under Maruti Chairman RC Bhargava and Rediff boss Ajit Balakrishnan proposed a series of changes including increasing the number of teaching hours for every faculty member at the IIMs from about 100 on average to about 160 and reducing the size of IIM Boards.

The reform proposals include dramatically changing the “ownership“ of the IIMs to make membership of the managing societies of the premier B-schools dependent on large donations, and increasing the power of Boards.

Faculty associations across the IIMs have been protesting against the proposed reforms, alleging that they would lead to backdoor privatization, erosion of autonomy, and change the fundamental governing structures that have made the B-schools the best in the country.
(Courtesy : Hindustan Times)

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 IIMs told to double their students' intake capacity

By Our News Desk
In an ambitious decision taken under the headship of Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on September 20 the Indian Institutes of Management have been told to double their intake capacity so that the combined intake of all the IIMs could expand from 10,000 to 20,000.

Speaking to reporters at IIM, Shillong -- the venue of the crucial meeting -- a beaming minister said : "We had a very good, successful and productive meeting of all IIMs directors and chairmen. We met after two years and will now be meeting frequently to discuss specific issues."

"More students will now get the opportunity to study in the best institutes. The IIM directors will submit their action plans on the expansion of student intake capacity," he added.

The parliamentary standing committee on MHRD had, in its 274th report had recommended expansion of seats at the IIMs and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), besides a periodical expansion of faculty. The Shillong decision is a sequel to that, the minister said.

The minister also announced expansion of doctoral (PhD) programme to address the shortage of faculty in IIMs. "We discussed expansion of PhD programme by offering more fellowships to students of IIMs. To students in IITs, we have decided to give Prime Minister's Research Fellowship. We will also take the government's approval to give PM scholarship to the best of PhD scholars in IIMs but the final decision will be taken by the cabinet."

The meeting also discussed the need for IIMs to participate in the government's new initiative to develop 20 world class universities/institutes. "We want to create 10 (world class institutes) from the government sector and 10 from the private sector. The IIMs should prepare themselves because world class institutes will be decided by a challenge mode," the HRD minister said.

The IIMs will also participate in the implementation of Swayam, a massive platform for open online courses proposed to be launched soon by the government, Javadekar said. The IIMs will be required to create the content for Swayam which will offer 2,000 courses from Class IX to the post-graduate level.

"The courses will be offered to students free of cost, online and through TV channels. They will comprise lecture materials, mid-exam, final exams and certificates," the minister said.

Replying to a question on reservation for scheduled tribe teachers in IIMs, he said reservation already exists. "I do not know who started all this. It's already in the Constitution and no one can bypass the Constitution," he said.

Earlier in the morning the Minister interacted with the students of IIMs. Remembering the great teacher Late A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the minister said that there is a need to inculcate the willingness for adopting teaching profession among students as the country requires 10 million good teachers to improve the quality of education from primary to higher education; and from higher education to research and innovation.

While reiterating the fact that India is the youngest nation with the youngest population, he said that unless there are good passionate teachers to educate these young minds they would not turn into be dividends. He ended his interaction with an appeal to the students to ponder upon the need for research and innovation for developing good quality education.

IIM Bill may be tabled in winter session

NEW DELHI : The government plans to introduce the Indian Institutes of
Management bill in the winter session of Parliament which began on November 26.

The bill, a drastically toned down version of the original bill, has been finally cleared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for approval by Parliament. The MHRD sources said that the Bill was okayed by the IIM directors last month at a meeting with the minister who promised to address all their concerns and apprehensions.

According to the proposed bill, IIMs would need to take government’s approval for fixing fee structure, faculty remunerations and department formation among others.

The bill had triggered a huge outcry after the HRD ministry sought public feedback on the bill with IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Lucknow writing to the ministry in protest.

Following the out cry, HRD ministry held several rounds of discussion with all stakeholders.

On October 9, the ministry held a meeting with all the IIM directors to address their concerns over contentious clauses.

IIM-A to cut engineering students' intake

AHMEDABAD : With CAT-2013, there may be fewer engineers among new students given admission at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), says a news report.

Quoting a significant change in its admissions policy of the IIM-A the news report published in the Times of India on August 7 said that the IIM has decided to increase the number of students from non-engineering background to 18 per cent from the current 4 per cent.

It said that under the new system, the number of students without work experience or a postgraduate degree is also set to increase in the personal interview round at IIM-A as the institute will not give any points for work experience or for a master’s degree.

Currently, fresh graduates constitute around 27 per cent of a new batch.

According to the institute, over 96 per cent of students in the 2012-14 and 2013-15 batches have an engineering background. To reduce this figure to the mid-80s, IIM-A has proposed two major changes in CAT-2013 that will have considerable impact on the composition of the batch: the formula for calculating the application rating has been changed, and a provision for
direct shortlist for the written analysis and personal interview (WA-PI) round for top performers in the five academic categories has been included.

The IIMs have been criticized for becoming bastions of graduate engineers, most of whom are from the Indian Institutes of Technology. The changes proposed in the admission criteria are in line with the IIM-A’s desire to admit new students from diverse academic backgrounds.

“There were several complaints since the past two years that, due to the multiplicative calculation of AR scores, there was too much focus on marks obtained in 10th and 12th standard examination. Under the old system, if the candidate had fared badly in any one of the exams but showed exceptional performance otherwise, it would have hampered his chances
in getting shortlisted.

By giving more weightage to performance in the undergraduate degree and shifting to a completely additive model, the proposed system makes sure that recent performances are given adequate weightage,” IIM-A posted on its blog with data compiled by the institute’s media cell.

IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta both have higher percentage of non-engineers as part of their current batches as compared to IIM-Ahmedabad.

IIMs trash MHRD tips on teaching hours, BoG

LUCKNOW : There is a palpable unease among the faculty members of the Indian Institutes of Management who have started condemning the R C Bhargava committee report describing it as a "nonsense" and far from ground realities.

The Bhargava committee report on new governance structure and teaching load has been openly trashed by IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta faculties and Lucknow IIM teachers too "plan to do something about it" soon. The IIM faculty members feel that the HRD ministry-appointed committee report was based on incorrect data.

The faculty bodies at IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Bangalore have passed unanimous resolutions to set aside the reports which suggests downsizing of the IIM boards and societies and asking each faculty to teach for 160 hours a year. Other IIMs are likely to follow suit seeking broader consultation on the proposed reforms.

"We believe that these recommendations are the outcome of several wrong assumptions and incorrect data and would not allow IIMs to become global leaders. These changes, if implemented, will have a negative impact on the morale of the faculty," IIM-B faculty said in a memorandum submitted to board of governors chairman Mukesh Ambani last week. They have now called for a fresh panel involving alumni and eminent academics to create a governance structure for long-term development of IIMs.

The five-member committee headed by IIM-Ranchi chairman R C Bhargava has recommended downsizing of the IIM boards and societies by almost half, allowing corporate bodies, individuals and alumni to become members of the IIM society by paying Rs 20 crore, Rs 5 crore and Rs 3 crore respectively.

The IIM-B faculty rejected the idea, saying "this will lead to a major structural change in the ownership of IIMs and would be completely against public interest. We believe that contribution for the society should be more in the nature of developing institutions rather than owning the institutions".

The dons at the elite B-schools have also taken exception to the HRD ministry's decision to fix a minimum teaching load for faculty which will be the same for all IIMs.

Meanwhile reports from Ahmedabad said that the IIM-A will downsize its governing board from 25 members to 15. The new board will also be empowered to appoint the institute’s director which was, so far, controlled by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. These changes have been approved by the MHRD but have still to be cleared by IIM-A society. The institute also plans to open campuses in Dubai and Singapore.

Director of IIM-A Samir Barua said in a press conference on February 16 : “Many board members may not be able to contribute effectively. A large number of members with less participation reduce the effectiveness of the board’s directing of the institute. So it is better to have a lesser number of members for the board to function effectively. Studies have shown that
9 to 13 members is the most effective size.” Barua said that the final picture would be clear by the end of March.

Now there are four government representatives, two each from state and centre in the 25-member governing board. Barua said, “While the ministry wants three government representatives in the council, we are proposing to make it two.” The institute has been demanding greater autonomy and control over its functioning. He said the ministry had approved many of its
demands including the governing council appointing the new director.