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CAT out of IIM hands
Joydeep Ray | December 03, 2003 09:17 IST
The government has decided that for the academic year 2005-06, there will be one common entrance test for admission to all management institutes across the country.
Moreover, according to the ministry of human resources development, all six Indian Institutes of Management will be brought under the centralised examination system, proposed to be launched in the last quarter of 2004.
The details of the new examination system will, however, be worked out by a 15-member National Co-ordination Committee, set up by the ministry recently. The committee includes the director of XLRI-Jamshedpur, the dean of the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, and the director of IIM-Lucknow, among others.
Much before the question paper for the 2003 common admission test was leaked, the future of the examination was decided by the department of secondary education and higher education in the human resources development ministry.
All the six IIMs have been faxed a copy of an office memorandum signed by V S Pandey, joint secretary in the department, conveying the decision. The memorandum was prepared on October 10 following a meeting of senior ministry officials.
The IIMs are yet to decide their response to the circular, but some of them reacted sharply. A senior member of the IIM-Bangalore board said the circular was meant to clip the wings of the country's premier management institutes. An IIM-Ahmedabad board member agreed.
IIM-Ahmedabad director Bakul Dholakia admitted to having received a copy of the memorandum and said, "This is an issue that needs detailed consultations, and the IIMs will have to play an important role in it. There should be thorough discussions between the ministry and the IIMs. I do not have any reason to vote for a single examination for all the institutes because there is a huge gap between all other institutes and the IIMs."
Dholakia also said the IIMs were yet to discuss the steps to be taken. A member of the IIM-Bangalore board, requesting anonymity, told Business Standard, "This process was started much before this year's CAT, and the decision was taken without consulting all the IIMs. The IIMs should be given an opportunity to speak on the issue."
Devi Singh, the lone representative of the IIMs in the National Co-ordination Committee, however, feels that the common entrance test is not an attempt to clip the wings of the IIMs. "I am there to speak for all the IIMs, and this is not a move to clip the wings of the IIMs," he said.But his nomination to the committee, which does not include the directors of the top three IIMs, has raised the eyebrows of his counterparts in other institutes. "This institute was established in 1984, much after the three big IIMs started operating, and Singh was inducted as the director of IIM-Lucknow in August. The IIMs should be better represented in the committee," said a member of IIM-Kozhikode.