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Row over IIM-Calcutta draft code that calls for barring public airing of views by teachers – Times of India

A draft code of conduct for college members of IIM-Calcutta that calls for a bar on public expression of their views on authorities insurance policies and actions has stirred a row with teachers writing to the Board of Governors, voicing their dissent.

A senior college member of the premier B-faculty instructed PTI on Friday that round 60 teachers have written to the Board of Governors, stating that it “cannot encroach upon the liberal space” of the employees, which must be the hallmark of an academic establishment of IIM-C’s reputation.

“The draft code of conduct, which was prepared by the Board of Governors during the tenure of former director Anju Seth, was shared with us in February-end, seeking our feedback, which is customary. We have voiced our misgivings to the contents in the letter,” he stated.

The college will not be towards any code of conduct, however would oppose any gag order that would pressure them to not take part in any debate or voice their particular person opinion on totally different points, he stated, not eager to be named.

“While Central government employees are bound by the service conduct rules, there has to be flexibility for institutions like IIMs. Also, the stated objective of the draft code was to offer that flexibility. However, it rather turned out to be exactly the opposite,” he stated.

The draft code known as for a bar on colleges publicly airing their opinion of any “current or recent policy or action” of the institute, the state and central governments.

Besides, it gagged “any communication to the press, in any public utterance, any statement of fact or opinion:- which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the institute”.

In their letter to the Board of Governors in March, the IIM-C teachers famous the worldwide practices on the freedom of voicing public opinion by college members, citing examples of Cambridge University, MIT and the University of Birmingham.

“In complete contrast to this, again, the proposed Code of Conduct in 4.17.2 suggests that no member of the institute ‘shall criticise the policy…’ This is a departure from conduct policies at best 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!” they stated.

A high IIM-C official stated that the ultimate code of conduct shall be printed, holding in view the response of the teachers who’re vital stakeholders of the institute.

A retired college member stated, “I have been told about the contents of the draft. It will put a question mark on the right of expression of an individual.”

Former Director Anju Seth, who stepped down in March, couldn’t be reached for feedback.

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