The curious case of IIM Ranchi PGDHRM shortlists

On 17th February (Monday), at around 5 pm, the IIM Ranchi PGDHRM thread was suddenly abuzz with activity. Posts started pouring in from candidates who had just checked their status on the admissions portal. Those who were being shown as shortlisted could even see their centers and dates. Strangely there was no official announcement of this sort on the site till 19th February. The official representative of IIM Ranchi on PG tried to calm the expectants stating the absence of any official announcement.

It is quite natural at such times for those who aren’t shortlisted to be curious about the profile of the apparently more fortunate ones. As the profiles started pouring in an interesting trend was observed. There were hardly any general category freshers who reported getting shortlisted. This made the people to look more closely at the shortlisting criteria and realize that though work-experience had only a 10% weightage it countered the mathematical significance of CAT scores (75% weightage). After the aspirants started calculating and posting their profile ratings (IIM Ranchi has not disclosed profile ratings) it was established that the profile rating cutoff must have been somewhere around 57.5. After some reverse mathematics the approximate percentiles were calculated. The following observations were made-

While a general category engineering graduate with a work-experience of at least 12 months (as on 31st August 2013) could qualify at 90.5 percentile (approximate), an engineering graduate with less than 12 months of experience had no chance below 99 percentile. A commerce graduate without the above mentioned experience needed to have a percentile of at least 99.90 to fetch a call.

Meanwhile on 18th February the plain ‘You are not shortlisted’ message disappeared from the login page of some (maybe all) of the candidates. This gave some hope to many. That hope evaporated gradually as this status was restored later. On 19th Feb (Wednesday) things started to settle down for most, but for some the confusion was still not over. Some claimed to have been shortlisted earlier but their status was apparently changed to ‘not been shortlisted’ later. Few others claimed not getting shortlisted even with profile scores higher than those of some who got shortlisted. Despite repeated calls to the admissions department they still have no satisfactory answers.

This article is not intended to malign the institute or criticize its admission process. I respect the notion of Institutes having the autonomy to decide who is fit enough to learn at their campus. Most of the hullabaloo surrounding the shortlists might be because the aspirants did not expect work-experience to play this big a role. It is still expected from institutes of such repute to be a bit transparent about their admission process. They are expected to be proactive in sorting out any confusions that may occur after major announcements. It, then, seems very unfortunate when such reputed institutes under the influence of some kind of hubris seem plain rude towards the concerns of aspirants.