The government has decided to appoint the Director and Board members of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) through an independent collegium.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal mooted this proposal during his first meeting with the IIM Directors here on Friday. This proposed system of appointment will make the system broad-based and ensure autonomy of these institutions, Mr. Sibal told journalists after the meeting.

The Ministry had recently announced that the Vice-Chancellors of the Central universities would also be appointed through a collegium. “None of the IIMs was enthusiastic about the pan-IIM Board mooted by the R.C. Bhargava committee but readily accepted the concept of a collegium,” the Minister said.

The collegium, comprising academicians, industry and heads of institutions, will suggest five names of which the government will select one. The number of members on the Board will also be restricted to 13.

The Directors will decide on the nature of the collegium and also agreed to come up with a five-year vision by January 2010 when they meet the Minister next. “We are hopeful of implementing this system by the 2010-2011 academic session when all IIM Boards will be re-constituted,” Mr. Sibal said.

Claiming that there was no demand or discussion on enhancement of salary structure at the IIMs, the Minister said the Directors had agreed to a performance-based scheme which would be presented in the next meeting. Apart from meeting every six months, it was also decided at the meeting that the IIMs will form an informal committee that would discuss the issues to be taken up with the government.

The Directors were told that the government was “in principle” open to the idea of IIMs opening campuses abroad, provided the B-schools fulfil the domestic demand. “I have asked them to prepare a module for setting up campuses abroad without affecting their presence in the country. The IIMs are global brands and they need to have global presence,” Mr. Sibal said.

Mr. Sibal even suggested to the Directors that they could either open campuses outside individually or collectively. This can happen before the foreign universities start coming into India. “The Indian institutions should get a level-playing field and the government will ensure this,” he said.

The IIM-Bangalore has already submitted a proposal to the HRD Ministry in 2007 to set up a campus in Singapore. However, the IIMs are unable to open them as their Memorandum of Association with the government does not allow them to go abroad. “The government is ready to amend the MoAs. But let them come with module which is workable,” Mr. Sibal said.

Mr. Sibal said the IIMs need to have a flexible system under which a student can pursue certain credits from any IIM other than the institute he has taken admission.

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