Thursday, September 16, 2010

Allow young people to harness their talents

Mr.T T Ram Mohan writes very rightly:

  • “Raising the retirement age to 70, it is said, will give greater scope for a second term and even a third term for directors. Some in the IIT system have argued that this is necessary as there is a scarcity of directorial talent. Nonsense. There is enough talent within the country and among overseas Indian faculty willing to return to India — enough to fill the post of director in the 15 IITs we have.

  • The deans of these institutions are, therefore, subject to a high degree of accountability. A failure to improve the faculty profile, the departure of faculty of stature, a fall in programme rankings, a decline in the quality of research —these and other failures could easily cost the dean his job. In India, it is possible for the director of an elite institution to sleep through his tenure without evoking any response from the system.

  • IIMA has adhered to this convention for the past four decades. (Those seeking to have it overturned have run into the argument to end all arguments: if the great Matthai could step down after one term, why should anybody else continue?). But not all the IIMs have remained true to it. The government would do well to codify this convention for the IIMs and extend it to the IITs as well. Not only must the IIT director retire at 65, he must stay only for one term. Where accountability is ill-defined, limiting the director to one term is eminently desirable.”

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