If you are an aspirant studying hard to gain entry to a top-ranking b-school through the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) forget it, at least for this year. Most of the good schools are not considering CMAT this year again. While most schools said an outright NO to us when we asked, some said they are yet to take a decision and will do so only after a month. This scenario seems ironic considering that students are already studying for the exam which is less than a month away.
SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, had initially said it would take CMAT for the next academic year, but Abbasali S Gabula, deputy director, external relations and administration told us a couple of hours ago that at a just concluded meeting, the decision has been reversed. Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad, has strangely, decided to consider CMAT only for its Nagpur and Hyderabad campuses and not for the parent institute at Ghaziabad. This was confirmed to us by an official from the institute. C R Saseendran, assistant registrar, academic section, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai told PaGaLGuY that a decision on whether the institute will take CMAT scores or not will be taken only next month. Others like Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon are also still pondering over the matter.
AICTE was ambitious for its second CMAT exam planning to take it abroad. The approach from the b-schools will surely be a party pooper. An AICTE official from Delhi said that the AICTE-affiliated institutes 'will be' taking CMAT this year and those which don't will have to seek an exemption to do so. Of course, none of the affected b-schools knew anything about this exemption. When we asked AICTE again, the same official said that the exemption is required for the MBA programme. When asked further about PGDM, the official said: " Vo kuch management programmes hote hain, unke liye hai. Aap dekh lo ."
H Chaturvedi, director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, took light note of the exemption aspect mentioned by the AICTE official. He said: "When the Supreme Court has passed a judgement saying that CMAT is one of the exams to be considered for admission to PG programmes, the question of seeking exemption from AICTE does not arise at all."
The students, though, are caught in a quandary. If you take a look at the list of AICTE approved institutions using CMAT scores, barring a few good b-schools, the bulk of it comprises of tier-II and tier-III institutions. One of them said, "I am looking at only the top 3-4 institutes under CMAT. For tier-II and tier-III institutes, we already have other exams." Another aspirant said that CMAT works as a CET replacement for him and so he is taking the exam.
However, institutes like Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai, which admitted students through MH-CET earlier, will take CMAT scores for admission for the next academic year.