A global network of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) has sought “urgent intervention” of the President and the Prime Minister for making provision for reservation in appointment of faculties and admission of students to various doctoral programmes at the country’s premier B-schools in the IIM Bill.
The Bill, which seeks to provide complete autonomy and power to grant degrees to their students to the IIMs, is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha after being passed by the Lok Sabha.
Stating that the “missing” reservation provision in the Bill is a violation of the Constitution, the network pointed out that IIMs do not provide “any reservation” benefit to faculties, candidates applying for enrollment to executive and doctoral programmes.
“Due to these acute shortcomings, we believe that the IIMs are not ready for autonomy and rushing through the pending Bill in its current form by the parliament must be avoided,” the Global IIM Alumni Network that has members working across the world, said in the letter addressed to Ram Nath Kovind and Narendra Modi.
The open letter further drew the President and the Prime Minister’s attention to the diversity data, obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from top 10 IIMs and states. The data shows “severe under-representation” of the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) groups at the teaching and research level positions at these management colleges.
The Ambedkar International Foundation, Ambedkar Association of North America, International Commission of Dalit Rights are some of the organisations that signed the letter under the aegis of the Global IIM Alumni Network.
As per the pending IIM Bill, a board of governors will oversee the functioning of respective IIMs.
“It does not have any provision for representation of people from SC/ST/OBC (in the governing board),” the letter further stated.
The signatories further pointed out that the IIMs continue to deny reservation benefits despite several reminders from the human resource development (HRD) ministry for implementation of the reservation policy.
“This act of impunity by the IIMs is against their own mission statements of nation building,” the global network said.
Even the top ranking foreign universities, especially Harvard University and MIT which contributed “significantly” to establishment of IIM-Ahmadabad and IIM-Calcutta respectively, are “inclusive” in their intake policy. “The IIMs must learn from these universities,” it added.
In their petition, the signatories have pointed out that amongst 512 faculty members at top 10 IIMs, as of now there are just two SC and 13 OBC members while representation of ST in their panel of faculties is nil.
“IIM-Ahmadabad has 8 SC/ST/OBC out of total 93 FPM students. IIM-Calcutta has 9 of 94, IIM-Lucknow has 7 of 67 and IIM-Bangalore has nil SC/ST/OBC students among 134 FPM students,” the letter said.