The admission process for MBA programmes in most institutes considering CAT scores as a parameter for short – listing will be delayed, since the results have been postponed to third week of February. The Common Admission Test went online this year, and there have been many problems with the conduct of the test, ranging from server breakdowns to alleged cheating, to cancellations of the tests. Thousands of students are yet to take the CAT, and retests have been promised to them and to all the other students who faced problems in their tests.
But Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad has chosen to forgo the CAT this year. Admissions Co-ordinator (and faculty) Prof. Deval Kartik said, “We will not be considering CAT scores for our admissions this year. Usually after the results are announced for CAT, any institute which wishes to consider CAT as a parameter has to send the details to the IIMs and a week later, the IIMs send an official scorecard to the institute. But due to the delay in results, we invite all applicants to appear for the MICAT.”
The MICAT (MICA Admissions Test) tests candidates on Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability and also for creativity and General Awareness. It is scheduled to be held on March 7 in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Kolkata, with computer based tests (CBT) in Bhopal and Lucknow only.
Clarifying doubts about the CBT, Prof. Kartik said, “The plan to switch to computer based tests has been there for 2 years. So this year, we are conducting the CBT in these two cities. We chose these two because our records show that we’ve had the least number of applicants from Lucknow and Bhopal. So it’s a control experiment of sorts, and we wish to see how it works out.” Dismissing doubts of any disadvantage to the test – takers from the two cities, Prof. Kartik said, “We didn’t even have centres at the two cities before the announcement about the delay was made by the IIMs. So people would have had to travel to another city anyway. And test takers who feel they are at a disadvantage due to the CBT can choose any other city they wish.”
Prof. Kartik refused to comment on whether MICA would consider CAT scores next year or whether the MICAT would be going online, saying, “That is a long – term decision to be taken. Let us see how admissions go this year.” According to her, the shortlist for MICA would tentativel
Some management institutes, however, have chosen to wait for the CAT results. MDI Gurgaon admissions chairman Prof CP Gupta said, “We will wait for the CAT scores. We hope to begin our group discussions and personal interviews (GD – PI) process by mid March.” On being asked whether the quality of students would be affected due to all the problems in the conduct of the test, he said, “No, I don’t think there would be any effect, since it’s on a percentile basis, and is basically indicative of relative performance. We will still get the best of the students.”
Chairperson (Admissions) at IMT (Institute of Management Technology) Ghaziabad Subhajit Bhattacharya said, “We will require about a month’s time after the declaration of CAT results to begin our GD – PIs. But we will wrap up our admissions on time, and there will be no change in the scheduled start of the programme (June 2010). He refused to comment on the possible change in the quality of students, saying, “Quality of students can be judged through a post-facto analysis only, so I won’t like to comment on it.”
Prof Ghai, Director of KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai said, “We will have to wait for CAT results. It isn’t possible for us to conduct a separate test, and since we had announced that we would be taking CAT scores, we will stick to it. We hope to conduct the GD – PIs by March end, or latest by April.”
Apart from the delay, there is also a PIL that has been filed by a test taker in the Karnataka high court, and the hearing is likely to be held next week.
– Saurabh Datar