Saturday, March 06, 2010

IIMs differ on scrapping online admission test

With the first online common admission test results out, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are debating whether to drop the online test and revert to the paper-and-pencil method. IIM-Ahmedabad favours scrapping the five-year contract with US-based company Prometric, which conducted the on- line test for 220,000 applicants across the country from November 28 to December 7 last year. IIM-A is considering going back to the pen-and-paper method if a better alternative to the online test carried out by Prometric cannot be found. Thousands of students at more than 70 of the 361 labs at 104 centres could not take the test due to glitches in the online system but were allotted another date. "We cannot conduct the online test ourselves as it involves sector-specific knowledge, expertise and special software, all of which is beyond us. Those who were considered capable of doing it perfectly, faltered. If there is no other option, we might have to go back to the paper-pencil mode," Samir Barua, Director of IIM-Ahmedabad, told HT.

IIM-Calcutta, however, is in no mood to go back to the old method. "When the online CAT (Common Admission Test) was having problems, IIM-Calcutta proposed to scrap it and go for a paper-pencil test just for this (academic) year. But the other IIMs did not agree. As far as the faculty council of IIM-C is concerned, it feels that the online test is the future of CAT exams as it would otherwise be a problem handling such a huge volume of examinees," said Subrata Mitra, Chairman of Admissions at IIM-Calcutta and a member of the CAT committee. "For something like that (paper-pencil method) to happen, all the IIMs will have to agree. The decision will have to be taken at a directors' meeting to be held soon after the online CAT review committee submits its report," Mitra said. The Director of IIM-Bangalore was not available for comment.

Source: Hindustan Times, March 4, 2010

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