Published: 13th November 2018
These 3 MHRD officials are on the boards of almost every IIM. What's going to change after Dec 15?
According to the MHRD's statement, the process of withdrawal of excess central government nominees on each board and reconstitution will be completed before December 15, 2018
A communique issued by the HRD Ministry on Monday approved the process for the reconstitution of the Board of Governors (BoG) for each Indian Institute of Management (IIM) as required by the IIM Act passed last year by December 15. "In the spirit of the Act, the government has decided to immediately withdraw the government nominees who are in excess of the provisions of the Act. This will pave the way for complete control of the institutions by reputed academicians and alumni," said a statement issued by the Human Resource Development Ministry.
In light of the HRD Ministry's statement, we rigorously went through the list of the board of governors for the 20 prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and here's what we found.
Three MHRD officials are on the board of governors of almost all the IIMs in the country. The 1990 batch Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officer, Darshana Momaya Dabral was appointed in September 2015 as Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser in the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, and is currently present on the boards of 17 IIMs.
The Centre had appointed R Subramanyam as the Secretary, Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development in March this year. The 1985-batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre had been serving as Special Secretary in the department. He replaced K K Sharma who retired in the same month. Subramanyam is present on nine of the IIMs boards.
And lastly, Sanjay Kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary, MHRD is present on seven of the boards.
According to the MHRD's statement, the process of withdrawal and reconstitution will be completed before December 15, 2018. "On completion of the constitution of the Boards, the rules under the IIM Act would be issued, which would bring out the operational details more clearly," the statement said.
The IIM Act 2017 stated that the Board of each institute shall consist of the following members:
1. A chairperson
2. One nominee of the Central Government
3. One nominee of the respective State Government
4. Four eminent persons of which at least one should be a woman
5. Two members from the faculty of respective institutes
6. One person from the Scheduled Castes or Schedule Tribes
But, what we saw among the list of the board of governors is that they have had more than one nominee from the Central Government for several years now. It seems to be pretty clear from the government's statement that these officials will have to be withdrawn or replaced. "The process of constitution of Boards for the IIMs, which have been given full powers of running the institutions, is a major development which signals complete autonomy of quality institutions in higher education and will ensure quality expansion of higher education," read the statement.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar was responsible for bringing a bill which seeks to usher in functional autonomy in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) by restricting the government role in July last year. He was praised for this move by the opposition too. He had said that the aim of the bill was to remove the government's interference in the institutes. He had assured that the proposed legislation "will usher in a new era of freedom in the IIMs and these institutes will not require to come to the government for various permissions and clearances."