CAT Convenor Prof Rohit Kapoor and his Common Admission Test (CAT) team from the Indian Institute of Management Indore have had their ears stuck to telephone instruments since a week. They have been on a calling spree, reminding everybody who has bought a CAT voucher to register. This seems like a concerted effort to up the CAT numbers this year. CAT voucher sales this year have yet not crossed the 2 lakh mark, way below expectations.
However, CAT Convenor Prof Kapoor says that move to call up is to avoid a server crash tomorrow (September 26) , the last date for CAT registrations. “Past experience has it that a big number try to register on the last day and often there are delays because of a server crash. So we are only reminding people to register earlier.”
Since 2008, CAT takers have steadily declined except for the momentary hike last year (2.14 lakhs). This year, CAT authorities expected the numbers to cross 2. 5 lakhs. An online voucher was one method they thought would jack up the numbers by a few thousands at least. This year 1, 13,444 bought vouchers online and 86,000 visited Axis Bank for a physical purchase which makes the total purchase less than 2 lakhs. Prof Kapoor says that he is not too worried with the drop in numbers “as the numbers of seats in the IIMs is in the region of 3500 only and the candidate pool is much bigger.”
There have been various reasons attributed to the fall in CAT numbers over the years. First, the MBA sheen is on a definite drop. Thanks to the economic slowdown and not the most-exciting of placement seasons, the big job and astounding salaries have been slow to come by.
The National Employability Report indicated that employability for MBAs, when it comes to jobs that involve interaction with people, the range was just 10–20%, while for HR, Finance and Marketing, and it was a dismal 10%.
The study went on to explain that about 32% of MBA students lost out due to lack of English and Cognitive skills, some 50% never found jobs because of dearth of knowledge and conceptual understanding of the domain.
The scene is not too rosy abroad. According to a report, ‘international applications to schools increased 1 % in 2013.
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