The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) objected the public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Gujarat High Court, seeking reservations for PhD programmes arguing that operational freedom was ingrained in the institute’s DNA. The nation’s top business school said in a recent affidavit submitted in response to the PIL that the IIMA continues to be an autonomous and independent institute without any funding from the government despite being a statutory organisation under the IIM Act, 2017.
“IIMA was set up as an institution that would be managed by a society, the IIMA Society, created under the Societies Registration Act …IIMA was therefore conceived as a board-managed institution, free from the exclusive control of any one constituency. Thus, operational freedom is an integral part of the DNA of IIMA,” institute stated.
The PIL, filed by one Global IIM Alumni Network, has challenged the absence of reservation in the PhD programme, which was earlier known as Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) course in IIMA. The matter came up for hearing before the division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri on Monday. The institute opposed reservation for its PhD programme stating that it is a “super-specialised programme”, and neither the Constitution of India nor any other law envisages reservation for courses/programmes at high levels of specialisation.
The IIM Act of 2017, notified on January 11, 2018, declared IIMA and other IIMs as the Institutes of National Importance, and each IIM is separate, independent and autonomous body corporates, institute further said. Though IIMA is now a statutory body after the enactment of the IIM Act, “it continues to be an autonomous and independent institute with no funding from the government”, it added.
Even the candidates from reserved category, by the time they reach the stage of applying for the PhD programmes, would have had the benefit of reservation policy at graduation and post graduation level courses, it said. “Therefore, the law does not mandate any further reservation for such high-level specialisation programmes,” instituted stated.
Reservation of seats is also not possible due to the smaller number of seats that may be available for programmes like PhD/FPM coupled with the fact that there was no fixed number of seats, it said. Such a reservation could be counterproductive and might lead to injustice to other eligible meritorious students, it said, adding that there is no feasibility of providing for reservation of seats, as the selection was completely merit based.
Courtesy : The Indian Express