The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has allowed business schools and institutions offering MBA and PGDM courses to admit students based on marks obtained in qualifying undergraduate exams as several entrance tests could not be conducted due to COVID-19, officials said.
The technical education regulator has also clarified that the relaxation is being made available only for the 2020-2021 academic session and should not be seen as a precedent for future academic years.
"All-India tests like CAT, XAT, CMAT, ATMA, MAT, GMAT and the Common Entrance Test of respective states are the qualifying tests for admission to MBA or the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) course. In many states, some of these entrance tests could not be conducted due to the fear of coronavirus spread, and there is no indication as to whether these tests are postponed or likely to be held or cancelled," AICTE member secretary Rajive Kumar said.
AICTE, being more a facilitator than a regulator, considered alternative proposition through which selection of students could be made for admission to the PGDM course which will benefit both the institutions as well as the students.
"Therefore, in the current scenario, the PGDM and MBA institutions are allowed to admit students on the basis of marks obtained in qualifying examinations by preparing a merit list in a transparent manner. However, first preference will be given to candidates who have appeared in any of the entrance tests and have qualified, irrespective of their marks secured at degree level as long as minimum marks are secured," Kumar added.
The council has directed institutions to select candidates based on merit in the qualifying UG exams if there are vacant seats available.
"The states may also use this relaxation while allotting seats through counselling. It may be noted that this relaxation to the PGDM and MBA institutions shall be applicable only for the academic year 2020-2021, this cannot be taken as a precedent for the future academic years," Kumar said.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of measures to contain COVID-19.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. While several restrictions have been eased, schools and colleges continue to be closed.
Many MBA entrance exams, including MAT and ATMA, have moved to the Internet Based Testing (IBT) platform. Global MBA entrance exam, GMAT, too is being conducted in IBT mode.