27th Sept, 2017
Shri. Ram Nath Kovind
H.E. President of India,
Shri. Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Subject: Constitutional Violation of SC/ST/OBC Reservation at the IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) and Missing Provisions for SC/ST/OBC Reservation in the IIM Bill, 2017 pending in Rajya Sabha.
Greetings from the Global IIM Alumni Network!
We are pleased with the Government of India vision to build a modern and prosperous nation. However, we write this letter, with our deep concerns, to bring your urgent attention towards the recent developments with regards to the IIM Autonomy Bill, 2017 (The Bill, henceforth) and the published diversity data at IIMs. In this regard, we, a delegation representing IIM Alumni look forward to having an opportunity to meet and apprise you about our recommendations so that adequate and timely actions can be taken.
The diversity data, obtained using RTI from top 10 IIMs, shows severe under-representation of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes (SC/ST/OBC) groups at the teaching and research level positions at the IIMs. This lack of inclusivity over the years have made the IIMs into rare campuses across the globe with abysmal diversity.
The proposed Bill that would provide greater autonomy to the IIMs in its functioning of various programmes, recruitment and governance among others was recently discussed and passed in Lok Sabha during the monsoon session of the House. While the Bill awaits to be presented in Rajya Sabha, we wish to highlight the following grave concerns with regards to current conditions at IIMs under which the present of the Bill is proposed.
- As of now there are just 2 SC, Nil ST and 13 OBC members amongst 512 faculty members at top 10 IIMs.
- IIMA has 8 SC/ST/OBC out of total 93 FPM students. IIMC has 9 of 94, IIML has 7 of 67 and IIMB has nil SC/ST/OBC students among 134 FPM students.
- IIM don’t provide any reservation in its Executive MBA programs, for senior professionals.
- The track record of IIMs to consistently disregard Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) repeated mandate (attached herewith) to implement the right representation for SC/ST/OBC groups at the teaching and research levels is antagonizing. This act of impunity by IIMs is against their own mission statements of nation building.
- As per the pending IIM Bill, a Board of Governors will oversee the functioning of respective IIMs. While it has provisions for representation from various walks of life like women, industrialists, government representative etc., it doesn’t have any provision for people from SC/ST/OBC as per the provisions of Constitution of India.
- None of the IIM institutes in their most recent admission brochure even mention SC/ST/OBC reservation, stating that they encourage diverse social profile of the people despite MHRD’s repeated reminders.
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 honourable Parliament must be avoided. We have proposed several amendments that we believe should be incorporated in subsequent phases to overcome these blaring shortcomings and truly help in inclusive nation building.
The premier public teaching institutions such as the IIMs have constitutional and moral duties to set a precedence in implementing the constitutionally mandated reservation programmes for the people from the marginalized communities. This will help to create future industry and corporate leaders from these communities for the overall inclusive and sustainable nation building.
Even the top ranking foreign Universities, especially Harvard University and MIT that have contributed significantly to establish IIMA and IIMC respectively are inclusive in their intake policy (BBC 3 Aug, 2017). IIMs being the public institutes completely developed by the Government funding must take responsibility to contribute towards the nation’s inclusive growth and development by serving its population.
In conclusion, it is clear that IIMs are not ready to be an autonomous body as envisaged in the Bill, further detailed in the Annexure.
As the alumni of the various IIMs, currently working in the global workplaces under multicultural environment, we firmly believe that the diversity at campus and workplaces can prepare us to perform better in the corporate and social world. Further, IIMs must learn from the top Global Universities to create an inclusive campus atmosphere by providing reservation to SC/ST/OBC in Executive MBA, FPM program and faculty positions.
We sincerely appeal to the peoples’ representatives to make IIMs socially responsible and establish itself as an institute of national importance, not just by the statute, but by its key role in integrating the society and by fulfilling the aspirations of people, especially including the most marginalized. Until then, IIM autonomy will be detrimental its own cause of making a great place of learning and to the social fabric of India. IIMs must operate under Government of India, MHRD’s governance and nurture diversity and inclusion for India’s overall development and prosperity!
The attachment includes proposed amendments to The Bill for further consideration.
We hope under your stellar leadership this is possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon for a convenient time to meet.
Thank you in anticipation!