CMAT not the sole entrance test to PGDM institutes this year, says Supreme Court

Clearing confusion about the acceptance of the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) for admissions at autonomous business schools, the Supreme Court today ordered that CMAT shall not be the singular management entrance test and PGDM institutes could admit anyone with CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and JMET (now replaced by the GMAT) scores.

The Educational Promotional Society of India (EPSI) had dragged the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to court in December 2011 claiming that the CMAT form notification published in major newspapers on December 3, 2011 was causing confusion in the minds of MBA aspirants. The AICTE-CMAT advertisement had said that Scores awarded will be used for allotment of seats in the AICTE-approved institutes/university departments. According to EPSI, this was leading MBA aspirants to believe that AICTE-approved PGDM institutions could only admit students using the CMAT.

According to Dr H Chaturvedi, president of EPSI and director of Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Noida, this implication also violated the Supreme Court order issued on March 17, 2011 which had permitted PGDM colleges to accept any of the five national tests CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and JMET (now replaced by the GMAT).

In a subsequent order July 26, 2011, the court had extended that order for admissions in the 2012-13 season too.

Today’s Supreme Court order stated that As per the interim order passed by this court on 26-7-2011, PGDM institutions may continue to admit students for 2012-13 who have taken CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and JMET. Or in other words, it disagreed with EPSI that there was any confusion in the CMAT newspaper notification and continued to allow b-schools to accept any of the earlier mentioned five entrance tests.

This simply implies that AICTE-approved b-schools are not obliged to accept the CMAT for admissions for the academic year 2012-13.

Many state universities, including Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have already announced their intention of doing away with their state level management entrance tests from this year onwards in favour of CMAT. However, many top private b-schools are not enthusiastic about the idea of CMAT becoming the singular management entrance test.

This however does not end the dispute over a single entrance test yet. In an interview to PaGaLGuY earlier, AICTE chairman SS Mantha had toed the line that the CMAT would be the singular entrance test for PGDM institutes only from the next year onwards, which does not contradict what the court has said today. Since the Supreme Court order says nothing about admissions for the next year (2013-14 admissions), the jury on whether tests such as the XAT, MAT or ATMA would eventually shut down is still out and pending a final decision by the Supreme Court in due course of time.

Despite repeated attempts, AICTE chairman SS Mantha was not available for comment.