The recent reshuffle in the Union cabinet may further delay the appointment of a new director for the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
Sources in the institute said that MM Pallam Raju replaced Kapil Sibal as the Union human resource development (HRD) minister after the recent reshuffle. It is the Union HRD minister who chooses one name from out of the three recommended for the IIMA director’s post.
The sources said that as Pallam Raju is new to the job, he might take some time to understand the criteria and the selection process for the IIMA director’s post. For this reason, the appointment of a new IIMA director may take longer.
The five-year term of the current director, Prof Samir Barua, ends on November 7. The sources said that the search committee headed by L&T chief and chairman of IIMA board of governors AM Naik was still busy holding interviews.
“They are likely to finalise three names at a board meeting in November. After the names are approved by the board of governors, they will be sent to the Union HRD ministry for final approval. The Union HRD minister might take a month or two to announce the name of the new IIMA director,” a source said.
The buzz in the institute is that Prof Ajay Pandey, a dean at the IIMA, might take over as director in an officiating capacity once Barua relinquishes charge as director.
The IIMA alumni association had recently organized a farewell party for Barua. An alumnus who attended the party said that the outgoing director had mentioned that as the search panel had not finalised the three names, the board of governors had requested him to continue as officiating director. But Barua was reluctant to continue at the post in an officiating capacity once his term ends, the alumnus said.
In the past, too, a dean or a senior faculty member has taken charge in an officiating capacity after the incumbent director’s term had ended. “When Dr Bakul Dholakia’s term as director ended, the name of his successor had not been announced. Hence, a senior member of IIMA faculty had taken charge in an officiating capacity. Later, when Prof Barua was appointed director, he had taken charge from the officiating director,” Chand said.