“The seats at IIM Shillong will be available through the common pool of CAT 2007 admissions,” he informed about the seventh IIM, which shall be called Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management (RGIIM), Shillong.

“The special name was chosen on the collective wish of the governments of all north-eastern states,” he added. The institute will still be at par with the rest of the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Indore and Lucknow in terms of its status and ownership, said Prof Tandon, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU).

The plan to lay the seventh IIM in north-east India was laid three years ago in order to provide an institute with national stature in that region. The Union HRD Ministry has in the past week issued recruitment advertisements in the media for a Director to head RGIIM, Shillong and more advertisements looking for faculty are expected to be issued in the coming months. A non-recurring expenditure fund of Rs 120 crores has been granted to the IIM, a large part of which will be used to build a campus in Shillong. Until then, the institute will function from the old premises of NEHU in Mayurbhanj complex.

Asked if RGIIM, Shillong’s accessibility will be an obstacle in arranging resources and jobs for its students, Prof Tandon said, “These issues will be worked out in due time once a proper administrative team is in place. But on the whole I think that having an IIM in the region will help boost north east India’s potential in natural resources, forestry, horticulture and related sectors by a huge margin,” Prof Tandon said.

Sources in NEHU said that although RGIIM, Shillong will not have reservation for north east Indian students, having an IIM in the vicinity would get more students from that area to consider higher education in specialized institutes.

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