An online petition started two days ago to alter the current process of admissions to IIMs by a CAT 2016 candidate, Ajay Agarwal, has gained over 250 supporters overnight. As per admission criteria in IIMs, currently, 20-30% weightage is given to a candidate’s board exam scores and work experience. Through the petition, Ajay has insisted that IIMs correct their faulty selection criteria and only consider CAT results followed by PI/WAT/GD for admissions.
While students, both for and against the petition, have been debating over the issue all day long, academicians have come out in support of the IIM admission procedure.
“CAT is just one of the many criteria in place to judge and admit a student into a prestigious institute such as the IIM. The admissions process that is being criticized so vehemently today, is an age-old procedure and replacing it out of the blue would just be too vague,” said, Himanshu Rai, faculty member at IIM Lucknow. Describing the current admission procedure, as an elimination process more than a selection one, Rai said, “A student’s educational and work background, helps us gauge his/her consistent academic record. It enables us to make the final decision whether or no a student is cut out for the challenging course in IIM.”
Quite a few faculty members did not want to be seen as part of this story but the consensus was that a student’s overall growth is important. “Some candidates cram up CAT study. Lots of coaching and the rush to score a good percentile is not everything, we are looking for all round growth,” said a faculty member from an IIM. Another said that a sound 11th and 12th means a good foundation. “If a candidate has done well in his earlier years, we know that he is serious about doing well in life and his or her CAT percentile is not a one-off thing.”
When asked about the disparity in different Education Boards which create unequal opportunities, professors across the institutes said that issues like those are borne in mind when an admission is being processed. “A lot of thought goes into a student’s selection. Do not think that just the scores are scanned. We look into various other factors, so the issue of different Education Boards is a non-argument,” said a professor from an institute in Mumbai.