Published On: Tue, Mar 15th, 2011

HRD panel to Sibal: Allow IIMs to grant degrees

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A HRD panel headed by NR Madhava Menon has suggested to the Human Resource Development Ministry to allow Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to grant degrees. The panel constituted by Kapil Sibal  is evolving a “Comprehensive Policy for Autonomy of Central Educational Institutions”.

“IIMs should be authorised to award degrees like central universities without any erosion of their existing autonomy,” the committee said.

According to the panelists a degree will open up research opportunities for IIM passouts. The IIMs at present award diplomas for their post graduate management programmes. Their PG diploma is equivalent to an MBA and fellow management programme is equal to a Phd.

The panel also recommended major reforms in the higher education system and advocated a single uniform act to govern the IIMs, IITs and central universities.

On autonomy in academic matters, the committee suggested that all Central Educational Institutions (CEI) like IITs, IIMs and central universities should shift towards adoption of a choice-based credit course along with a semester system, and should have internal evaluation of students instead of external examinations.

This would bring in flexibility in the academic structure besides promoting students mobility both within the country and abroad.

On the much debated issue of recruitment of foreign faculty, the panel suggested freedom for CEIs to hire faculty irrespective of their citizenship. At present, the Citizenship Act prevents hiring of foreign nationals as permanent faculty in IIMs and IITs.

Other recommendations include doing away with the office of the visitor in central universities and transferring his/her powers to the chancellor; avoiding the practice of posting civil service officials to university positions and subjecting all faculty members to a review once every five years by a committee appointed by the executive council.

[Source: DNA]