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Delhi HC rejects plea against changes in IIM Director eligibility criteria

The Delhi High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the changes made by the Central government in the eligibility criteria for the appointment of Directors to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

New Delhi, Jan 23,2024: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the changes made by the Central government in the eligibility criteria for the appointment of Directors to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

The PIL was filed by Firoz Ahmad, arguing that the amendments restricted people from applying for the post and that terms like “PhD degree from a distinguished institution” were vague.

Previously, the criteria required candidates to be a “distinguished academic with a PhD or equivalent.”

The changes, brought to the Indian Institutes of Management Rules, 2018, specify that a prospective candidate for the position of IIM Director must have a first-class degree at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, along with a PhD or an equivalent qualification from a reputed institute.

The petitioner also claimed that the changes violated the Bhargava committee report on the governance of IIMs, which recommended broad-based criteria for director appointments to rule out political factors.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora rejected the PIL, saying that mediocrity cannot be supported in institutions like IIMs.

The court stated that the additional conditions of having a first-class degree at both levels would attract the best talent and reduce the possibility of political factors influencing appointments.

The order said that the petitioner failed to demonstrate how the changes were discriminatory to any class, creed, or caste.

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