The Ministry of Human Resource Development should seriously consider transforming the Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), a School of Excellence of Bharathidasan University, into Indian Institute of Management – Tiruchi (IIM-T), according to the first Vice-Chancellor of University P.S. Manisundaram who was instrumental in creating the BIM in partnership with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Expenditure of hundreds of crores of rupees for establishment of the new IIM in Tiruchi was unwarranted. The university’s experimentation with BIM was the first of its kind in the country and did not entail any expenditure. The MHRD must come forward to up-grade the BIM into IIM and retain it in the fold of BHEL.

The unique model of institution-industry interface should not be disturbed. As things stand, no body owns the BIM and the transformation can be made a smooth process, Prof. Manisundaram opined.

The enormous money meant for IIM could instead be utilised for strengthening the school education system, said Prof. Manisundaram, wondering why so much should be spent for IIM where the facilities of a handful of hi-tech classrooms and a full-fledged library will suffice. There have been precedents of higher educational institutions getting upgraded into central institutions in the country.

Also, in the event of converting the BIM into IIM, the new institution can have the requisite paraphernalia for a head start, he said.

Meanwhile, the outcome of last week’s visit of a central team for the purpose of identifying a temporary campus for the new IIM is yet to be known. The team visited the campuses of National Institute of Technology – Tiruchi, BHEL, Bharathidasan University and Anna University – Tiruchi. The NIT-T is prepared to provide hostel accommodation for the students from the coming academic year, and the BHEL is ready to set aside rooms for academic and administrative purposes.

Shortage of infrastructure

As for the two universities, they had reportedly expressed their inability to provide buildings citing shortage of infrastructure for their own requirements.The possibility for MHRD to utilise the facilities provided by the NIT-T and BHEL for the new IIM-T is higher, reliable sources said, citing the instance of the IIM-Kozhikode that functioned from the campus of NIT-Calicut at the time of its start in 1996 before moving into its own campus in 2003.

In the case of IIM-T, the permanent campus could be created within a couple of years since the location has already been identified: A 192.35 acre site sandwiched between Bharathidasan University and Anna University – Tiruchi.