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Festive mood at IIM-A as Joshi loses
Joydeep Ray in Ahmedabad | May 14, 2004 08:40 IST
The director of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Bakul Dholakia, was a relaxed man on Thursday.
He never looked as happy in the last six months since the controversy involving the Ministry of Human Resources Development and the Indian Institutes of Management kicked off.
Dholakia was being congratulated by his staff members who reached his office as soon as television channels announced the defeat of Murli Manohar Joshi, former HRD minister from the Allahabad constituency.
"In a democracy we should respect the people's verdict and the obvious thing is that we all expect the new Cabinet to continue the reform process in all the sectors while ensuring that the national institutes of excellence including the IIMs and the Indian Institutes of Technology are given greater autonomy. We expect that the new Cabinet to be formed by Congress who will try to listen to our issues and solve them accordingly which was not happening earlier," Dholakia said.
B H Jajoo, one of the members of the Committee, which has been negotiating with MHRD, said, "I do not think there will be any further need for such talk to sort out the issue."
Like Dholakia, Jajoo also sounded excited on Thursday evening when one of the staff members of Dholakia's secretariat, said, "My wife will be happy as from now on I will not need to prepare responses to queries of the Shunglu Committee. Tonight I will have a sound sleep."
While all this was going on in IIM-A, in IIM Calcutta, a senior faculty member was pacing the floor as he failed to confirm whether Joshi had lost the election battle to his rival from Samajwadi Party, Revati Suman Singh.
"I kept surfing all the news channels and till late afternoon there was a complete blackout on Joshi's status. I got to know only after a colleague called and confirmed Joshi's defeat.
"The days of anxiety are now expected to be over and the IIMs will be able to invest more time towards research and all its normal activities," said a member of the faculty council, while requesting anonymity.
It was celebration time at the Joka campus of IIM-C as well as the faculty members who are opposing the decision of the institute's board to implement the fee cut-order, expect that the Congress government backed by Left parties will revoke the earlier government's fee-cut order.
"Even the West Bengal state government protested against the attitude of the Vajpayee government and with a change of guard, it is time to celebrate," said a faculty member.
Praful Anubhai, spokesperson for IIM-A has been celebrating, miles away from Ahmedabad at Dehradun. When contacted, Anubhai told Business Standard, "We had few issues which we put in front of the earlier ministry which ultimately did not lead to a favourable situation. This time with the new government coming in, we expect that our issues related to autonomy and fee-cut will be taken care of as Congress leaders like Pranab Mukherjee have committed protection of IIMs' autonomy and criticised Joshi's fee-cut order publicly."
Anubhai added, "I am missing the celebrations in Ahmedabad but Dehradun is also a good place to celebrate."
Scenes in IIM-B, which expressed solidarity with IIM-A were also upbeat with some of the members of the faculty council busy speculating who could be the next HRD minister."With the change of guard in the ministry, we are expecting change in the ministry's secretariat as well," said a source close to IIM-B, indicating a possible transfer of joint secretary of MHRD, V S Pandey.