July 28, 2017
Saugata Roy speaks on The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017
Madam, I am very happy and support the The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017, and would like to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill.
On this occasion, without going into contention, I would like to mention the name of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first PM, who set up the first two IIMs in Calcutta and Ahmedabad in 1961. The newly-elected President did not mention him in his initial speech. I would also like to thank Indira Gandhi, our former PM, who set up IIM, Bangalore in 1973. These management institutes are the harbingers of management education in this country.
Madam, we have heard of the Sloan School of Management in MIT, the Harvard Business School, the Booth School of Management in Chicago University (where Raghuram Rajan teaches now), the Wharton School of Management, The Kellogg’s School of Management. The top management institutes are all in America. London Business School is also there. There are good management institutes in Singapore, Japan, South Korea. But, I am proud to say that our top three management institutes – IIM, Ahmedabad, IIM, Bangalore, IIM, Calcutta – do compare favourably with the best institutes of the world and these three come within the top 200 management institutes in the world.
So, IIMs have made a great stride as far as education is concerned. Madam, these institutes are declared as ‘Institutes of National Importance’ according to 7Th Schedule of the Union List (entry 64) under which we can declare any institute as ‘Institutes of National Importance’. And the Minister has clearly stated that this is done so that they can award degrees. Earlier they used to give Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM); now they will give MBA degrees. Earlier they used to give Fellow of the IIM, which is not recognised in many places as a PhD degree. Now they will directly grant PhD degrees. This is a very welcome step.
Also, Madam, the big thing about this Bill is that the IIMs have been given complete autonomy. Apron strings of the Government are being cut by the Minister himself. Since the IITs are also under you, and the top five IITs are also world-class, I would urge you to also give autonomy to the IITs. The top people always go to the IITs and then to IIMs. Raghuram Rajan is both an IIT and IIM, Ahmedabad graduate. Give freedom to IITs also.
Even AIIMS, which is not under this Ministry, does not have any autonomy. There is always a clash with the Government. The National Law Schools are also world class institutions, but maybe they are not under your Ministry. I would request the Minister to please follow this policy of giving autonomy to the national institutions under his Ministry autonomy.
Madam, many people speak of private sector in education. But you would be surprised to know that when different magazines bring out the list of top institutions in the country, IITs will be among the top 10 engineering colleges. Despite having so many private institutes of management, the IIMs occupy top 10 positions. This means that the institutions set up by the Government are still the best in the country. The private sector has tried; they take a lot of fees but they have not come up to the level of Government institutions. I want the Government to really maintain this pristine superiority.
One of the objects mentioned (in this Bill) is that management education and research must reach top levels. Our IIMs have done very well as far as placement of students is concerned. But the research in management has not developed so much. I hope that this step will give a thrust to research in management education, which is changing everyday.
Madam, you will be glad to know that in IIM, Calcutta, apart from management they are also teaching a course called the IT-enabled management, because management and IT have become closely interlinked and it has become necessary for management experts to know IT enabling.
I will point out to the Hon Minister, you have given the academic council the freedom to form their own syllabus; this is very good. The Board of Governors has been given the power to choose the Directors and also their own Chairman; this is a welcome step.
But the question is that you have not put any control on the fees. Madam, when we were students, some of our friends went to IIM, Calcutta, when fees were very low. But now the fees of IIMs are very high and unless they get scholarship or education loans, it is not possible for a bright student to really pay their way through the IIMs. I would like more scholarships to be distributed by the IIMs so that no bright student is denied management education just because they do not have the money to pursue management education.
The young boys and girls really want to do good. Indian management experts do have the capacity to go to the top. I thank the Minister again for having brought such a progressive Bill. I hope that management in our country will improve. Previously we had management by the rule of thumb, but management has become a model size and we should follow that route to modernise the economy and the country so that we become a big economic power in another ten years.
With that I thank the Minister for having brought the Bill.