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Javadekar accepts PMO’s suggestion for no govt role in IIM chief appointment, Irani had rejected move

India TV Politics Desk New Delhi 12 Aug 2016, 11:30:14 AM IST
India TV Politics Desk

The HRD Ministry has agreed to relinquish the government’s role in appointing the chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG) at all IIMs. The decision comes a month after Prakash Javadekar took charge from Smriti Irani, who had rejected a panel of corporate stalwarts recommended by IIM-Ahmedabad for the chairman’s post.

According to reports, a three-member search committee, headed by former IIM-A Chairman and L&T CMD AM Naik, had shortlisted three names for the top post -- Chairman of the Board of Directors of Infosys R Seshasayee, Chairman of HDFC Deepak Parekh and Hero MotoCorp CMD Pawan Munjal. But the recommendations were rejected by Irani without giving any specific reason.

Irani had at that time invited severe criticism of corporate stalwarts who said that it was as a threat to the autonomy of India’s premier business school.

The latest decision by Javadekar-headed Ministry falls in the line of the PMO’s suggestion to empower the IIMs, under the IIM Bill, to appoint their own chairmen.

The previous version of the IIM Bill finalised during Irani’s tenure had not diluted the clause that the chairman had to be appointed by the President in consultation with the BoG. She had also voiced her opposition to dilute the clause that empowers the President to review the work of any IIM in his capacity as the ‘Visitor’ of the premier B-Schools. This, Irani had argued, was needed for accountability. In other words, the government will have had the last word on the final selection for the post.

But according to a report in a leading daily, the new IIM Bill, which was recently dispatched for Cabinet approval, the government’s role has now been deleted from this clause.

It is believed that the PMO had recommended more than five changes to the draft law prepared by Irani. But she did not relent on all the suggested changes.

At a meeting held with the PMO last month, the report said, Javadekar agreed on relinquishing the Ministry’s role in the appointment of the BoG chairman.

The position of IIM-A Chairman has been vacant since January this year, when AM Naik stepped down -- two years before his term was to end.