Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday introduced the IIM Bill 2017 in the Lok Sabha to grant “statutory status” and autonomy to the business schools, PTI reported. The legislation seeks to allow the institutions to set up campuses abroad as per the guidelines specified by the central government and that particular country, reported The Times of India.

The Bill also looks to declare 20 existing IIMs “Institutes of National Importance” and to provide them with independent status. The accounts and records of the IIMs will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, according to the Bill. Reservations in admissions will be according to the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, The Times of India added.

Until now, the IIMs were registered as societies and hence were unable to grant degrees to its students. The Bill stated the Fellow Programme in Management, which is equivalent to a PhD, has been unable to attract students because it does not have the formal degree nomenclature. “IIMs having grown into institutions of global repute, it was felt that they may be enabled to award degrees to their students through an act of Parliament,” the Bill said.

The Bill proposed that the director of each IIM shall be appointed by the Board of Governors. This board will have one chairperson, one member from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes sections, one nominee each of the Centre and the state government, and two faculty members. The board will also have four people distinguished in the field of education, commerce, social service or public administration, reported NDTV. At least one of these four will be a woman.