MBA admission without an entrance test would sound like music to the ears of many. However, the Maharashtra government’s decision to fill 15,000 vacant MBA seats in the state’s b-schools without the Common Entrance Test (CET) has met with moderate success. Two weeks after the circular was issued to effect the change, about 10,000 seats are still vacant, according to an official from the Department of Higher and Technical Education (DTE). The number of MBA seats in Maharashtra is about 35,000 and before the circular was issued, some 13,500-14,000 seats were vacant.
Ironically, this circular has a shelf life for only this year. According to Rajesh Tope, minister for Higher and Technical Education, the move to scrap CET for MBA admissions will not be carried over to the next year and was mooted this year only to fill in the vacant seats and give students a genuine chance to pursue MBA.
The decision to allow students entry into b-schools without CET was taken vide a circular issued on September 15 (circular titled TEM (2010 (237/10) by DTE). The circular stated that while CET scores would still be given a preference for MBA or MMS admissions, graduates from any faculty could apply purely on the basis of their degree marks, without having appeared for the mandatory CET. The admission process was extended till September 25, 2010 for students wanting to take advantage of the change.
Tope informs that the decision to debar CET was taken with students’ interest in mind. “I think MBA is a good course for students and I would like many more students to pursue an MBA. And if there are such students who want to do an MBA and for various reasons have not got admission to an MBA college, this can be the opportunity to do so. This decision has been taken to help the students.”
When asked whether the quality of the b-schools (and the students) would suffer if students sans CET are allowed admission, Tope said that CET is not being done away with altogether. “CET will always be there. First preference will be given to CET, but if there are students who have gone through 5-6 CAP (Centralised Allotment Process) rounds and have still not made it, this will give them a chance to pursue an MBA.”
Tope, however states that only about 100 students have taken advantage of this change in the last two weeks, as against the DTE’s figure of 3,500-4,000 students.
Colleges that accept CET have a mixed reaction to this move. Dr Suresh Ghai, Director of KJ Somaya Institute of Management Studies and Research said that the circular was issued to basically aid the smaller institutes and those b-schools in small towns.
When asked if the process will lower the quality and standards in the colleges which admit students without a proper merit-based exam, Dr Ghai added that the CET was basically a move to normalise graduation scores of students. “What CET does is check the aptitude of students. So even if the CET is not there, colleges will find a way of checking the aptitude of students before they take them. It’s not a difficult process.”
Dr Ghai said that he will not permit students into his college without a CET. “But even if this rule is made compulsory, we have our own way of checking a student’s credibility and making certain whether he or she fits in before we admit.”