XIMB stops accepting IRMA scores for rural management program, will now only accept CAT, XAT or CMAT


Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB)

MBA aspirants who applied to the Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDM-RM) offered by Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) using their Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) test scores were in for a shock email on Wednesday. In this email, XIMB told the applicants that it will not accept IRMA test scores for the PGDM-RM program anymore, following a recent instruction by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Now, the applicants can take a shot at the program only using Common Management Aptitude Test (February 2013) scores, in addition to the Common Admissions Test (CAT) and Xavier Admission Test (XAT).

The development comes after the recent standoff between AICTE and IRMA where the latter had got a favourable ruling and was allowed to retain its entrance exam for the academic year 2013-15. When asked about this, SS Mantha, chairman, AICTE said, “IRMA has been allowed to retain its exam for this year by the Supreme Court but that does not extend to other institutes offering PGDM programs. They will have to consider one of the five MBA entrance tests for the admission process.”

A screengrab of the XIMB 2013 bulletin stating that it will accept IRMA scores

PaGaLGuY spoke to an official from XIMB on the latest development. The official informed, “The recent change is based on a directive by AICTE. It has been communicated to the students that they can now apply using CMAT February 2013 scores as well.”

Applicants should reply to the same email from XIMB to send in their registration numbers for these exams latest by the first week of January 2013, added the official.

Prashant Kumar, an applicant who works in Delhi, is shell shocked after the recent development. He told PaGaLGuY, “I had applied using IRMA scores because I was confident that I will do well. Such news just a few days before the IRMA results is very unfair.” Prashant has taken the CAT but he was more confident about his chances with IRMA scores. On whether he will now take the CMAT, he replied, “I have already taken a lot of leaves from work to prepare for CAT and IRMA. I don’t think I will get more leaves. My year will go to waste.”

MBA aspirants are clearly at a loss in this tussle between AICTE and b-schools. When asked about the recourse applicants have, the XIMB official said, “Candidates can apply to PGDM-RM through other exams. If they want to withdraw their application, we will refund the amount.”

Mantha added, “We have been telling everyone since last year that they should take one of the five tests considered for admission to the PGDM programs.”

A screenshot of the email sent to the candidates posted on one of our PG forums

Accepting the IRMA test scores allowed XIMB to conduct admissions over a pool of applicants who had specific interest in rural management. Forced to accept generic management tests, the institute will now find its PGDM-RM applicant pool diluted. Also, exams such as CAT, XAT and CMAT do not look for aptitude for a rural management program.

When asked about this, Mr Mantha refuted it, “All the five exams test the management aptitude of a student. If an institute is looking for something specific it can always be tested in the group discussion and interview process. In fact, there shouldn’t even be so many exams, there should be only one exam.”

What is surprising is that XIMB will only accept CMAT scores of February 2013 and not of the one conducted in September 2012. Mr. Mantha, however, said that it was wrong and students could apply using both the scores. The XIMB official denied having knowledge of any such rule from the AICTE.

In another new development at the institute, Fr Paul Fernandes has taken over as the new director, succeeding Fr PT Joseph, who recently stepped down from this position. PaGaLGuY had reported earlier that Fr Joseph had threatened to resign if there were administrative delays in setting up the new Xavier University. However, when we contacted Fr Joseph, he said that he had only completed his term and had not resigned from his post.