Several statements made Prakash Javadekar, the Human Resource Development Minister, might imply that the government wants to grant autonomy to a greater number of institutions across the country in the near future. This move can be seen as clearly inspired by the Union Cabinet’s grant of full autonomy to the Indian Institutes of Management and is aimed at completely eliminating governmental interference at educational institutions that have been running as per regulations and standards consistently.
The milestone IIM Bill of 2017 should be seen as a positive move and a great wave of hope for other institutes across the country, said Javadekar. This should motivate them to perform better in the hopes of enjoying autonomy from the government as well as freedom from governmental interference.
How it is being Done
A system of granting autonomy to various institutions based on their rankings related to their performance has also been hinted at earlier by the HRD minister. During a talk at the FICCI Higher Education Summit at Delhi, Prakash Javadekar mentioned that institutes performing the best would be given full autonomy from the government, the ones who have been performing at an average level would only be granted half autonomy with 50% of control being retained by government and finally the least performing institutes would be 90% controlled by the government’s hand.
Javadekar went on to say that the purpose of granting autonomy to the IIMs recently was primarily to promote innovation and creativity among the younger stakeholders as well as to enhance the capabilities of the Institutions. He stressed on the fact that the government trusts the best performing institutions to work well when free from the control of the government and its micromanagement and their aim was to give them a chance to show that they’d thrive on their own.
The government would still continue to fund IIMs, as stated by Javadekar, despite their autonomy. The focus of funding would still be the newer IIMs, especially during their critical growth phase over the next six to seven years, to make sure that they are on track to establish themselves in the same way the older institutions have.
The Minister also wanted to change the age-old notion that if an institution was receiving funding from the government, it meant that they would have to give up a certain degree of control to them as well. However, Javadekar clearly stated that if an institutions’ performance was exemplary then the government would hold no qualms in handing over complete autonomy to them, so that they may make their own decisions and be free from governmental interference.
On Tuesday, the Union Cabinet of India passed the IIM Bill. This bill grants complete autonomy to the IIMs giving them the power to award full degrees in the place of diplomas, which were previously awarded to graduates of the institutions. This also meant that they would have a much greater voice in affairs regarding the functioning of these national institutions.