Well, it is heartening to see I am still remembered by some people here!
As for the answers, here goes!
1- What made you to be a journalist ?
The only thing I was good at in school was English. The only career option that stuck was journalism. (Teaching never appealed). So here I am!
2-Why you took retirement from PG ?
It was time to move on!
3- Meerut me Garmi kaisi h ?
Bahut kharab! Evaporating!
4- Sabse Jyada Barf kaha Padti h ?
Jahan sabse kam garmi hoti hai... :P
5- Are you single ?
6-Condition of journalism in India ?
Journalism is difficult anywhere. We have to leave our sentiments behind and think like a reporter all the time.
7- Message to the puys ?
Keep rocking! All the best! Restart the IDK3 thread and enjoy!
8- When you're coming back to PG ?
Well, Wont be coming back as a team member. But PG is like my family. So Im always around if Im needed!
(Photo: Bilal Kamoon)
Business schools in India continue to want to shut down. This year, the number of technical college closure applications received by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has gone up by 23.9% since last year. Consequently, the number of b-schools being allowed by the regulator to shut down has also gone up by 14.6%.
Out of a total of 171 technical institute closure applications received by the council this year, 124 have been given the go ahead to discontinue. This includes 94 management and 30 engineering institutes. Like last year, the state with the highest b-school closures is Andhra Pradesh (37). It is followed by Uttar Pradesh (13) and Gujarat (9). Together, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh make for more than half of the total b-schools shutting down.
State-wise business schools closed in 2012-13 and 2013-14
|State||2012-13 (closures)||2013-14 (closures)|
Speculating on the continuous rise in the number of closure application from Andhra Pradesh, SK Jena, AICTE's regional officer in Hyderabad said that the lack of job opportunities seems to be the major reason driving students away from joining MBA institutes. The resultant vacant seats makes b-schools want to shut down.
Also, many students are having to work and support their families while pursuing their higher education. Among these students, distance learning MBAs offered by a growing number of universities in the country were gaining popularity over a regular MBA, he said.
The closures in Andhra Pradesh are despite the government's efforts to promote higher education by providing funding to students with family incomes of less than Rs 100,000 per year. The state is also running schemes to teach students soft skills that will help during job interviews, said an official from the Andhra Pradesh State Council for Higher Education.
In another b-school boomer state Maharashtra, which has had a nearly 50% fall in applicants to MBA or PGDM programs this year, seven b-schools have been granted closure. Dr Apoorva Palkar, president of Consortium of Management Education (COME) insisted that one should not judge the future of business education in the state on the basis of this year's poor applicant numbers. “Introducing the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) in place of the state exam may have reduced applicants to the state's colleges a bit. Maybe once students get used to the change, the situation will become better,” she said.
At the same time, the closure numbers do not seem to have discouraged newer technical institutes from applying or and getting AICTE approval. This year, 395 degree and diploma institutes have been granted approvals, according to SS Mantha, AICTE chairman.
There are critics of this continued expansion of capacity. “AICTE is giving an approval to open a technical institute to anybody who can raise sufficient funds and has minimal land space. Following such low standards for approval is leading to dismal quality of education and bad infrastructure, which results in vacant seats at b-schools across the country,” said Dr H Chaturvedi who heads the b-school lobby group Educational Promotional Society of India (EPSI) and is director, Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) in Noida.
B-schools have nothing to gain by applying for closure, he added. "In addition to upgrading the minimal requirements for approvals to technical institutes, AICTE also needs to regulate the existing institutes so that they are able to maintain their standards. This will help the b-schools attract students and start becoming profitable," Dr Chaturvedi recommended.
In partial agreement with his opinion, Mantha said that b-schools needed to improve their quality if they had to survive. However, according to him, new institutes being added every year should be seen in positive light. “Access and equity are equally important. With a higher number of institutes, the chances of higher quality improve because of competition,” he said.
(Photo courtesy: jonfeinstein)
The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2012 authorities have sent letters with the 'correct' scores to the institutes that have admitted the 80 candidates allegedly involved in the infamous CAT scam. It is now up to the institutes whether the retain the students/candidates (waiting list) or not.
This is what the institutes have to say.
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi, has four students in the final admission list. The institute has not yet decided its future course of action. An official from there told PaGaLGuY that the admission process has come to a halt over this issue. The institute did receive a request for withdrawal from the concerned students but it is yet to take a call. "While terminal action is quite likely, the final decision will be taken after consultation with the Dean, who is not in office," the official added.
Department of Management Studies (DMS), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has a few students and will now take into account the new scores sent by CAT authorities. "There is one student in the final list who has not taken admission. Those on the waiting list have a chance only if they have cleared the required cut-off," Dr Kanika T Bhal, Head of Department (HOD), DMS said. She added that the final decision will be taken after a couple of days.
Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Noida has one student. Although the institute's Director Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi said that the final decision is pending, in all probability, the admission will stand cancelled.
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi had four students in the wait list. According to Prof RK Pandey, Dean, none made it to the final list.
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad is yet to take a call on the matter.
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai has not decided its future course of action.
Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon, will revise its merit list, an official spokesperson said.
Engineers dominate list of candidates with inflated CAT scores, one regrets quitting job for MBA (June 27, 2013) by Shashank Venkat
The fate of the 80 students whose names figure in the inflated Common Admission Test (CAT) scores list, hang in balance. With some of them beginning to receive personal emails from the CAT 2012 Convenor stating that their earlier CAT scores were incorrect, they are unsure about what lies ahead. Adding to their dilemma is the fact that institutes which have admitted them or placed them on the waiting list, are as blank on what needs to be done.
Many of these 80 candidates are engineers with about a quarter of them belonging to the general category.
The institutes which have either admitted these candidates or called them for GD/ PI include Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, Shailesh J Mehta Institute of Management IIT Bombay, Department of Management Studies (DMS) IIT Delhi, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH), Noida, Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad, Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal and IIT Roorkee, among others.
Some of these institutes have yet to start the academic year and so it is not clear whether the concerned students will eventually join the new batch or not. PaGaLGuY managed to gather information about one candidate and speak to friends of a few others.
One of the students, who has already joined a b-school, received the email from the CAT Convenor only yesterday. He regrets leaving his job to pursue an MBA. “It is disturbing that I am getting dragged into all this. I came to know about it only when I saw the email from the CAT authorities. I was shocked to read that my CAT score was considered invalid and that I am to receive the true score card by registered post soon,” he said.
This student states that he secured close to 90% in class X, 85% in class XII and 80% in his engineering degree. He also has work experience of 3 years with a major IT company. This topped with the fact that he secured above 99 percentile in CAT made him think that he deserved the admission.
This student however admitted that his CAT exam did not go too well this year. "I did as badly as last year when I got around 70 percentile. So I was not expecting good marks which is why I did not fill up forms of those institutes which stress on CAT scores. My CAT score this year did surprise me," he said.
Coincidentally, two other students from the list of 80 have not yet joined the institutes even though the academic year has started. Friends say that both are busy with personal commitments.
(With inputs from Astha A)
FMS, BIMTECH among b-schools affected by inflated CAT 2012 scores, IIM-K computers seized (June 26, 2013) by Shashank Venkat
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi University and Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Noida are two b-schools that have been hit by the 'inflation' of 80 Common Admission Test (CAT) 2012 scores.
According to our estimates, five students among the 80 have been part of the final or waitlisted admission lists at FMS. The institute however has not yet decided on the action that will be taken against the candidates. A source from there revealed however that terminal action was quite likely.
BIMTECH director Dr Harivansh Chaturvedi confirmed to PaGaLGuY that nine candidates among the 80 had been offered admission and one of them had even joined the institute. This student could face cancellation of his seat. Chaturvedi said, “We were not informed about the inflation of the results from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode (the IIM that conducted CAT 2012). Only the private b-schools seem to be affected and not the IIMs. IIM-K has to take responsibility for the error.” However, SSS Kumar, CAT 2012 Convenor denied the charge and said that all b-schools had been sent an email.
Both FMS and BIMTECH have asked for authentic documents from IIM-K to carry out their own investigations.
G Sparjan Kumar, district police chief, Kozhikode city told PaGaLGuY that the case has been registered under section 420 of the IPC and Section 65 of the Information Technology Act. The local police have also seized computers at IIM Kozhikode and are taking the help of the Cyber Cell at Thiruvananthapuram to investigate the case. They are also trying to locate the representative from Web Weavers who was present at IIM Kozhikode during the result publishing process.
We spoke to former IIM professors to understand how the CAT score publishing is implemented. This is what they said: After Prometric provides the master database of the scores to the IIMs, they pass it on to the third party web-hosting agency (in this case Web Weavers) who then uploads it on the catiim.in website database. It is content from this database that is shown to candidates on the result day. If anybody had to tamper with the results that appear on the site, they would have to get past the website security and change this website database before the results are made live.
IIMs have to also send the score data to third-party b-schools that have a formal arrangement for using the CAT scores in their admissions. One IIM professor explained further that Web Weavers is required to create a separate webpage containing the score data of all the registrants that had applied to these third-party b-schools. Since the data had allegedly been already fudged, the separate webpage created for these b-schools also contained incorrect scores for the 80 candidates and it was these scores that they had for their admissions use.
Scores of 80 CAT 2012 candidates found 'inflated', police investigating (June 24, 2013) by Shashank Venkat
The CAT 2012 convenor SSS Kumar has filed a police complaint on June 15, 2013 at the Kunnamangalam police station at Kozhikode, Kerala against M/s Web Weavers, the company which managed and hosted the CAT website.
While Prometric, the testing services provider that executes the CAT holds the master database of all the CAT scores, Web Weavers publishes the test results on the CAT website. Web Weavers published the CAT 2012 results earlier this year in January. However, an anonymous complaint received earlier this month, revealed that the scores of 80 candidates as seen on the website were not in sync with the scores in the master database. There was no deviation in the scores of rest of the candidates, according to the IIMs.
As the case stands today, it is not clear whether the affected 80 candidates have secured admissions at b-schools yet. However, Prof Kumar confirmed to PaGaLGuY that the vast majority of these 80 scores were poor and had been inflated to a higher number.
However, the notification adds that since the IIMs use the master database scores, the admissions at their institutes will not be affected. With regards to whether admissions at the non-IIMs that historically admit high percentilers would be affected, Gajendra Adil, head, Shailesh J Mehta Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay said, "All IITs verify the CAT scores provided by the candidates with the master database."
Furthermore, Prof Kumar added that non-IIMs that have a formal relationship for the use of CAT scores had been individually informed about the matter on June 19, 2013 and the master database scores had been sent to them.
Shajaul Hasan, founder of the Lucknow-based Web Weavers which is seemingly in the dock, has a different reading on this issue. “The complaint has come in six months after we published the scores on the CAT website. Our contract with the IIMs ended on June 14, 2013, the day the so-called discrepancy came to light." Hasan adds that this incident could be a technical error and he has asked for server log recirds from HostGator, the American hosting provider company on which the CAT website is hosted.
Prometric has steered clear from the case. In an official statement given to this website, the company said, “As mentioned by the IIMs, the incident happened with IIM's web partner and the required action as per the law of the land has been taken by the IIMs. The matter is being investigated upon. Prometric has no association with this vendor. ”
Additionally, according to Prof Kumar, IIMs are also looking to overhaul their website management systems. “The external data management and the associated systems are under thorough review and once the IIMs are through with the review process a fool-proof system will ensure that such events will not repeat,” he says.