An alumni group of the prestigious IIMs has called for thorough implementation of the reservation policy given the stark under-representation of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in these institutions.
In their petition to President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Global IIM Alumni Network has claimed that the non-implementation of reservation violates constitutional provisions. They also opposed the IIM Autonomy Bill, 2017 as it would give further autonomy to the institutes.
“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 petition reads.
In their petition, along with seeking intervention from the President and the PM to take corrective steps, the group has also sent their proposed amendments to the current bill.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the monsoon session and is yet to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha.
To prove their point, the group showcased data obtained through Right to Information replies from the top 10 IIMs across the country.
They found that out of 512 faculty members, there are only two SC and 13 OBC members across the top 10 IIMs.
They also mentioned that presently, the IIMs follow reservation policy in flagship PGP program (equivalent to MBA), but don’t follow it in Executive MBA, FPM (Fellow Program in Management) and faculty positions.
IIM-Bangalore has no SC/ST/OBC students among 134 FPM students.
IIM-Ahmedabad has only eight SC/ST/OBC out of 93 FPM students while IIM-Calcutta has only nine SC/ ST/ OBC students out of 94.
“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,” the group said.
The petition by Global IIM Alumni Network enjoys the support of more than 10 pro-Dalit groups across the globe like the Ambedkar International Mission, Ambedkar Association of North America, International Commission of Dalit Rights and Hindustan Petroleum Union.
The group has also demanded a list of procedures to improve the “abysmal diversity”.
List of demands
· Publish data on SC/ST/OBC applicants for FPM (Fellowship Programme in Management, equivalent to PhD) and faculty recruitment annually and effort to fill the shortfall.
· Call for diversity in FPM programme by including candidates from SC/ST/OBC applicants - Encourage recent PGP alumni to apply for FPM programme and senior alumni for lateral recruitment at the faculty level.
· Develop special programmes to fill faculty positions from SC/ST/OBC applicants.
· Have special recruitment for SC/ST/OBC applicants at least once a year.
· Have a rolling advertisement on websites on selection of SC/ST/OBC candidates for FPM and faculty (IIMs are in dire need of faculty members).
· Inclusion of SC/ST/OBC persons of respective domain area in selection panel for FPM participant selection and faculty member recruitment.
· Video recording of selection process for SC/ST/OBC applicants for FPM and faculty positions. Faculty and FPM Interview panel should include one to two SC/ST/OBC representatives.
· Create SC/ST/OBC cell in various IIMs.