Few takers for COME’s b-school admissions

Despite several delays in application deadlines, only 663 applications have been received by COME (Consortium of Management Education) so far. COME, which is a consortium of 52 business schools in Maharashtra has got together and initiated a Centralised Admission Process (CAP) for all MBA aspirants who had not admission into any b-school so far.

The initial decision was to open admission to applicants who had taken either of the qualifying exams, mainly CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA, JMET or MHCET. However that criteria was later altered to any person wanting to give a shot at doing an MBA, irrespective of whether he had taken a single entrance exam or not. The total number of MBA seats available under COME are 3,100.

While the move by COME seemed noble at the outset, the low number of applications so far gives way to the conclusion that there is little applicant interest in the movement. Besides, many of the schools in the consortium are not what one would term ‘top-notch’, further plummeting interest levels in candidates.

While the latest deadline for the applications is now July 8, officials of COME state various reasons for the lukewarm response received so far. Among them, one being that the applications reached COME late and quite a few were sent without the Rs 750 demand draft required to enlist. Post receiving all the applications, the plan is to conduct a common entrance test (CET), group discussions and interviews on the same day. In response to the necessity of conducting a CET for this purpose, COME’s Executive President Apoorva Palkar said that some students had not taken a single entrance exam and it was primarily for them. “There will be equal weightage given to each entrance procedure (entrance exam, GDPI, work experience, past academic records, etc). Any candidate who fails to perform well in any of these, will be weeded out of the system, she added.

Although it is obvious that while COME says this move is to enlist students who have not got admission in any b-school this year, it is also trying to fill seats of those institutes that have run empty last year and may face the same problem this year too. For instance, Dr VN Bedekar Institute of Management Studies, Thane was unable to fill up all the sixty seats last year and this year too has not made the mark. Kiran Kothari, a professor at the institute justifies, COME has a better reach nationwide. We expect to get our quota of sixty candidates this year through COME.”

International Institute of Management Science, Pune, a member of the consortium is another b-school that is yet to fill its seats. Besides COME, it is banking on ‘consultants’ and agents to get its numbers.We are a part of the consortium so that will help too. But, apart from it, we are relying on every channel to fill up the seats, said Amar Gupta, a professor at the institute.