The Union Cabinet led by PM Modi made two important announcements today. The first brings cheer to the IIM fraternity, as the IIM Bill 2017 has been approved by the government. As per this Bill, IIMs will now be declared as Institutions of National Importance, enabling them to issue degrees to their students. The Bill also provides complete autonomy to these institutions, coupled with adequate accountability. These institutes will be managed by a Board that will be responsible for choosing the chairperson and director of an institution. The Bill also makes it possible for greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board. Women and people from SC/ST will also be given adequate opportunities in the Board.
In the second major announcement, the Union Cabinet has given its nod to waive off interest on short term loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks. The farmers had taken these loans for sowing of Rabi crops. The interest has been waived on loans taken in November and December 2016. The government pointed out that farmers had run out of cash due to demonetization and combined with the expenses related to the sowing season, they were not able to pay their interests on loans. Hence, the move to waive off the interest on short-term farmer loans, the government said. “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for interest waiver for the two months of November and December 2016 for farmers accessing short term crop loans from cooperative banks,” an official statement said.