SS Mantha, AICTE Chairman (Photo Credit: Astha A)
A short interview with SS Mantha, Chairman of All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) after the first day of the Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) season.
Today's CMAT paper was easy, was that deliberate?
That is a good thing. AICTE is trying to facilitate a process where there is a standard exam pattern for every management aspirant. We do not want to set a benchmark of a management admission test that has a very low standard or even too difficult a standard. At the end of the day, our prime concern is to provide some relief to management aspirants.
Our aim is to make the experience a smooth one for all the candidates. In this respect, even if a candidate has come in without an attested admit card, we have not refused them entry but have allowed them to sit for their exams. Our aim to have a set methodology while dealing with CMAT.
Has AICTE mapped out a scoring system for CMAT aspirants and will it be applicable across all institutes accepting CMAT scores?
We have devised a scoring system wherein the final scorecard which will be handed out to the CMAT aspirants will include the merit number, which will be a figure calculated after taking into consideration the average scores achieved in all four sections of the question paper. In addition, the scorecard will also include individual marks achieved by the candidates in all the four sections of the paper. In a scenario where more than one aspirant gets the same merit rank, AICTE has devised a tie-breaking methodology that will be used by all institutes accepting CMAT scores. According to the methodology, if more than one candidate get the same merit rank, they will be given a position in the list based on their sectional scores. For example, if there are four people who get the same merit rank according to their average scores, the person with the highest score in the quantitative aptitude section will be given the highest rank. He will be followed by the candidate with the highest marks in logical reasoning, with language and comprehension coming in next and general knowledge placed at the end of the list.
If even after following this procedure there is more than one student with the same rank, the ranks will be retained. For example, if two students get rank 28, both their scorecards would read merit rank 28. However, the final list would then miss the rank 29 and would proceed directly to merit rank 30.
Many candidates got centres away from their location?
We faced this problem mainly due to the limited number of students who registered for the exam this time. We cannot have the exam in a centre that has less than ten candidates. Thus, we had to allocate the centres to aspirants accordingly. Only an increased number of aspirants registering for the exam will help solve this issue.
There is confusion over the attestation clause?
The only purpose behind adding this clause was that we wanted to confirm the authenticity of the candidates appearing for the exam. In addition, it is a common process to have an admit card attested by gazetted officers. In fact, even directors/principles of various colleges have the authority to attest the candidates admit cards. However, we have observed that many candidates faced issues with this clause. We will make sure that some solution is devised before the next CMAT exam takes place later on in the year.
How will AICTE deal if issues such as glitches crop up?
We are prepared for any technical glitches that might happen during the course of the CMAT examination. There are 68 AICTE observers spread across all the test centres and in the event of any adversity, the observer will take an immediate call on the course of action needed. For example, if a candidate is unable to complete his test due to some technical glitches, he/she will get a new time slot during CMAT exam period to take the exam again. It is for this particular reason that we have allocated five extra exam stations at each CMAT test centre.