KOLKATA: A bill tabled in Parliament to give autonomy to India's premier B-schools, the Indian Institutes of Management, has sparked a controversy because of its political overtones. The proposals in the bill include one to drop the prefix 'Rajiv Gandhi' from the name of IIM-Shillong, leading the opposition to question why.
The proposal comes on the heels of the Union Budget dropping the former Prime Minister's name from four central government schemes — Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste Students and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan. All the schemes were introduced under the Congress-led UPA.
Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury said the moves as a "de-Congressisation" bid of the Modi government. "This is a typical expression of the fascist forces. The first step is to demolish tradition, and erase history and diversity. The next step is to build a personality cult, all in the name of Narendra Modi," he added.
The IIM bill, 2017, also proposes to change the name of IIM-Calcutta to IIM-Kolkata. Experts fear the move would not only erode the IIM-C brand value, but also lead to confusion since IIM-Kozhikode is also known as IIM-K.