IIM-Calcutta faculty face new code of conduct: no criticism, no protests, no petitions

NO criticising the institute or the federal government, no becoming a member of protest demonstrations that harm “public order” or “decency,” curbs on going to the court docket or the press, no politics, no signing joint petitions for redressal — these are among the many key provisions of a brand new code of conduct for college on the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

The draft code, circulated late February by former director Anju Seth on behalf of the Board, has met sturdy resistance from the school. In a response signed by over 60 academics, they’ve argued that the code, borrowing closely from the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, goes towards the understanding of an educational establishment that’s anticipated to advertise vital considering and educational freedom.

It additionally infringes on their Constitutionally protected rights and goes towards the concept of contemplating educational establishments completely different from authorities departments.

Aside from prohibiting criticism of the federal government and the institute and its insurance policies, the code expects academics to hunt prior approval of “the competent authority” to pursue any educational pursuits exterior the institute.

It forbids them from being “a signatory to any joint representation addressed to the authorities for redress of any grievance” and forwarding their plea for grievance redressal to a better authority “unless the lower authority has rejected the claim or refused relief, or the disposal of the matter is delayed by more than three months.”

“No employee shall, except with the previous sanction of the competent authority, have recourse to any Court of Law or to the Press for the vindication of any official act which has been the subject matter of adverse criticism or an attack of defamatory character,” the draft states.

Then there’s the expectation of sustaining political neutrality and never participating in politics or being related to any get together or group that participates in political exercise.

Participation in demonstrations that may be thought-about “prejudicial to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or which involves contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence” is a no-go space.

Ironically, this code comes shortly after the school approached the federal government immediately towards their Director and the Board, which ultimately led to the previous’s resignation. Board Chairman Shri Krishna Kulkarni didn’t reply to an electronic mail.

“By reposing its immense faith in the efficacy of Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules as the foundational governing policy for an academic institution, the document appears to have turned its back on the juridical and politico-administrative wisdom embedded in the extant Indian institutional framework that has always stood for the autonomy of academic institutions,” the suggestions shared with the sub-committee of the Board of Governors reads.

Teachers have cited the instance of the MIT college lately writing an open letter to US Congress for a strong coronavirus stimulus bundle serving to the economically weak to endorse their level.

On proscribing criticism of the federal government and the institute, the school have mentioned this can be a “departure” from insurance policies at finest institutes worldwide that stress that “stakeholders in an organisation have the right to speak out against any wrong policies, because otherwise the organisation will never get rid of wrong policies.”

The academics have referred to court docket judgments to argue that CCS Rules mustn’t apply to educational establishments since academics aren’t authorities servants. They cite a 2013 order of the Supreme Court that dominated staff of schools affiliated to state-recognised universities can’t be labelled as authorities servants, and the principles for state staff mustn’t govern them.

The service guidelines of IIM-Bangalore carry the supply on criticism of the institute, authorities and their insurance policies. However, the final conduct guidelines of IIM-Ahmedabad make no point out of the identical however academics at IIM-Ahmedabad are anticipated to keep up “political neutrality.”

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