Supreme Court extends stay on AICTE circular, allows b-schools to conduct admissions based on CAT, XAT, MAT, ATMA and CMAT for 2012-13

The Supreme Court has extended its last year’s stay order on the AICTE notification that had sought to do away with major MBA entrance exams in favour of only the CAT and MAT.

For the coming admission season of 2012-13 too, PGDM institutes can continue their admission processes on the basis of scores attained by aspirants in the five national management entrance tests CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and CMAT, the Supreme Court said on July 10.

The Court has also granted all PGDM b-schools a months time to communicate their admission processes and fees structure for the past two years to the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice RM Lodha and Justice Anil R Dave extended the stay order in response to a petition filed by the Educational Promotional Society of India (EPSI), Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) and Jaipuria Group of Institutions in February 2011. The petition had been filed against an AICTE circular dated December 28, 2010. In the circular, the regulatory body had instructed doing away with MBA exams such as the XAT, ATMA or MICAT. In addition, it had also said that state governments should take control of the fees structure and curriculum of all AICTE approved PGDM institutes.

In its previous orders dated March 17, 2011 and July 26, 2011, the Supreme Court had granted a stay order against this AICTE notification. In addition, clearing the confusion over the acceptance of CMAT for admissions at autonomous business schools, in March 2012 the Supreme Court had issued an order stating that CMAT could not be the sole management entrance test for admission to b-schools. It had said that PGDM institutes could admit anyone based on the scores in any of the five national tests CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and JMET (now replaced by GMAT as per the AICTE 2012-13 approval guidelines).

Yesterday’s order, however, does not mention GMAT in the list. Since AICTE had stipulated that GMAT will be one of the six acceptable entrance tests for admission to the PGDM offered at all AICTE-approved institutions in its approval guidelines for the academic year 2012-13, this omission has not gone unnoticed.

We had raised the matter of AICTE including GMAT as an additional test without consulting the Supreme Court in the petition we had submitted in February 2012. However, the Court ruling dated March 2, 2012 did not address the subject at all, Dr H Chaturvedi, President of EPSI and director of Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) told PaGaLGuY. He added that currently there were no directions from the Supreme Court with regard to the acceptance of GMAT as one of the national tests for admissions to PGDM institutes.

Ashish Bhardwaj, Graduate Management Admission Councils (GMAC) Regional Director of South Asia said that since AICTE had issued the guidelines that accepted GMAT as a national test, GMAC would not be in a position to comment until the regulatory body threw some light on the matter.

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