Three months after amending the IIM Act to increase its authority over the twenty top business schools, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has formally released revised rules that outline three grounds for dissolving the Governing Board of an institute at the Indian Institute of Management.
The President will now act as the "Visitor" at all Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in accordance with the new regulations.
Under these new powers, the President will be able to choose the chairperson of the board of governors, choose who gets appointed to replace a director, and dissolve the board in one of three ways: either because it is unable to carry out its responsibilities, because it routinely disobeys orders from the "Visitor," or because it serves the public interest.
On November 11, the Ministry of Education published a gazetted notification outlining the terms and conditions of the revised regulations.
The President of India has the full power to propose the chairperson of the board of governors, which is the main executive body of each IIM. The President of India is now known as the "Visitor" of each IIM. The President also has the authority to establish search committees for director appointments, decide on policies, approve yearly budgets, and set fees.
“The Visitor shall nominate one of the names recommended by the Board and send the same to the Board for appointment of the person as Director: Provided that where the Visitor is not satisfied with the names recommended by the Board, he or she may ask the Board to make fresh recommendations,” read the notification.
The Board had previously established a search-cum-selection committee for these purposes, which was composed of five well-known persons selected from among administrators, industrialists, educationists, scientists, technocrats, and management specialists.
Clarified IIM Director's Qualifications
Furthermore, the educational requirements for an IIM director are now clearly defined in the Rules under the IIM Act. The requirement is that candidates must hold a PhD or a comparable degree in addition to a first-class bachelor's and master's degree. Before, the qualifications simply stated that the applicant needed to be a "distinguished academic with a PhD or equivalent," without specifying which division the degrees were needed in.
This development becomes more significant in the context of the IIM Rohtak case, where it was discovered that Dheeraj Sharma, the director in office at the time, had a second-class bachelor's degree, despite the government's advertisement of the position requiring a first-class bachelor's degree. Last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was notified by the Ministry of Education that Sharma had provided false information regarding his educational background.
Moreover, the Visitor will now have the authority to fire the Director from their position.
“Notwithstanding anything contained in any of the clauses of this sub-rule, if the Visitor decides that the services of the Director may be terminated or the Director may be relieved from the services of the Institute, the Board shall be bound to follow the decision of the Visitor,” the notification stated.