IIM faculty slams HRD panel report on reforms

The findings of the RC Bhargava Committee’s report on the ‘Governance Structure for IIMs’ has been attracting criticism from the faculties of the IIMs. Recently, two IIM – Bangalore professors have launched a scathing attack on Bhargava Committee’s report terming it as a move to centralise power, and destroy the decentralised governance structure of the elite B-schools.

An article titled “Governance of IIMs- A critique of the Bhargava Committee Report”, authored by Amit Gupta and Ganesh N Prabhu says the RC Bhargava Committee report on new governance structure of the IIMs, co-authored by three current directors, “is a blatantly self-serving report by directors who seek to centralise power and destroy the decentralised governance structure that has made the IIMs institutions of excellence”.

The article accuses that the committee while preparing its proposal had failed to recognise the faculty as stakeholders and sought to minimise their role in governance. The committee set up by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in April 2010 on a new ‘Governance Structure for IIMs’ has advocated reducing the size of IIM Boards and Society, reconstituting the society to allow alumni, corporates and suitable individuals to become members on payment of a donation ranging from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore, 160 teaching hours per year for faculty, besides annual reviews, redesignating IIM Directors as CEO and President among other proposals.

The article has noted that  “the statements in the report relating to faculty are largely negative and show contempt for the faculty.”

The article has also objected to proposals to hike the IIM Director’s salary and re-designate them as CEO, the IIM faculty members have argued that while the committee intends to reduce the legitimate role of faculty, it aims to increase the illegitimate role of directors and the board to control the faculty.

It is also argued that the new empowered Board and Director as proposed by the committee will only centralise power.

Terming the proposal of allowing donation-based membership to the IIM boards as “most absurd”, the critique argues that this will only facilitate a backdoor entry to privatisation where money minded people will take over the prestigious IIMs and might seek a return on their investment by serving their own interests.

Earlier this month, Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Calcutta had openly expressed their displeasure over the governance and restructuring reforms in suggested by the HRD panel.

[Source: Indian Express]
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