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March 20, 2018

Historic decision, the “IIM Bill 2017” to give real autonomy and grant degrees instead of diploma : HRD Minister

New Delhi:  With the Union Cabinet approving a Bill that proposes to declare Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as Institutes of National Importance, these premier institutions are set to join an elite list. An Institute of National Importance, in India is defined as one which serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country or state, according to information on AICTE website.

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the bill, under which the IIMs would be provided with statutory powers and will be awarding degrees instead of diplomas.

Only a chosen few institutes make it to this coveted list and are usually supported by the Government of India or even any other international institutes to develop centers of excellence in research, academics, and other such elite schools of education. Being autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act, the IIMs so far were not authorized to award degrees and have been awarding Post-Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management.

While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, the equivalence is not universally accepted, especially for the Fellow Programme.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) defines an Institute of National Importance, as one which serves as a pivotal player in developing highly skilled personnel within the specified region of the country/state.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development currently recognizes 74 institutions as ‘Institute of National Importance’. The Bill also provides for adequate accountability by the IIMs. The bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same in public domain.

“The IIM Bill focuses on complete autonomy, effective administration, more alumni participation and many other areas,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on twitter.

“Historic decision to give IIMs real autonomy and grant degrees. We trust excellence and quality. This reflects vision of Modi government for higher education,” said Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Welcoming the move IIM Kolkata Director Saibal Chattopadhyay hoped the bill was passed by Parliament at the earliest.

“It is great news, we have been waiting for this. I sincerely hope the remaining formalities are completed and the bill is passed in Parliament soon,” Mr Chattopadhyay.

“It will be great if the new law is passed before March so that the students passing out this year get degrees and not diplomas,” he added. In India, all of the IITs, NITs, AIIMS, NIPERs, ISI and some other institutes are Institutes of National Importance. After the Parliament passes the IIM Bill 2017 and it becomes and Act, the IIMs too will join this coveted list.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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