With talent shortage looming IIM says no to faculty loan

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With talent shortage looming IIM says no to faculty loan

The recent decision of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), banning faculty members from going on lien to other IIMS – including as directors – is giving sleepless nights to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

For the Ministry, the job of an IIM director falls under the category of ‘assignments of national importance’.

But on March 27, the institute informed one of its faculty members, Professor Shekhar Chaudhury, who sought permission to go on a five – year deputation to IIM – Calcutta as director for the second consecutive term, that he would not be given a lien on his current job.

Professor Chaudhury – who was chosen for the Calcutta post through a proper selection process – has been given the option of quitting the parent institute to take up the new assignment.

The decision has taken the Ministry by surprise because it was not informed about it and it comes at a time when there is an acute shortage of faculty, including directors, following the addition of six new IIMs.

What is more worrying for the government is the fact that if a similar decision is taken by the other IIMs, there would be a crisis of sorts for the new institutes which will start functioning in the coming academic session.

The concept behind allowing experienced professors to take up assignments at other IIMs as a national obligation was to give senior faculty members a chance to manage institutions as it would also result in cross – fertilisation of ideas.

More so, handholding and collaboration are necessary to ensure maintenance of quality in the upcoming IIMs.

IIM – Ahmedabad had allowed faculty members to go on lien to other IIMs earlier.

The present director of IIM – Bangalore, Pankaj Chandra, is from IIM – Ahmedabad, the oldest and the most reputed management institute in the country.

If IIM – Ahmedabad’s reluctance to loan faculty to fraternal institutes is symptomatic of the shortage of professors, the problem is likely to get worse with the Centre pushing for the Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010.

For once foreign education providers set up institutions in India, there is every possibility that senior faculty members would move over to foreign institutions, lured by the better financial prospects the latter are likely to provide.

The IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta are among the three first such institutes set up in the country, while the ones at Kozhikode, Lucknow and Indore are defined as the younger IIMs.

The IIM at Shillong has already completed one academic session and those at Tiruchi, Ranchi, Raipur and Rohtak will start their academic session this year.

Two more IIMs are to come up in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.