The Union Human Resource Development Ministry recently told the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) that they may be having more autonomy under the new IIM Act, but they are not exempt from following the law on awarding academic degrees.
It is interesting to know that IIMs are split over the HRD’s nomenclature of the degree meant for their graduate students.
The IIMs in Ahmedabad and Lucknow are said to be in favour of calling the academic degrees Master in Management (MIM), while others prefer the more common nomenclature Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The IIMs say that MIM does not appear in the list of approved degrees under Section 22 of University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956.
According to the UGC list, MBA and Masters in Management Studies (MMS) are the only two names approved for the two-year management programmes being offered by higher education institutions in the country. So if the IIMs wish to award an MIM, they would have to first approach the HRD ministry for permission and also have the UGC notify the new nomenclature in the official gazette.
The IIM Act, passed by Parliament on December 20, 2017, makes each of the 20 IIMs an ‘Institution of National Importance’, like the IITs, NITs, and AIIMS. In other words, it empowers them to grant degrees to students.
Earlier, all IIMs were separate bodies registered under the Societies Act. Since societies are not authorised to award degrees, students admitted to their Master’s programme are given a PGDM. Similarly, those pursuing doctoral studies are awarded the title of a ‘Fellow’ at the end of their research.