Indecisive govt keeps CMAT aspirants waiting

Indecisive govt keeps  CMAT aspirants waiting

Thousands of students who wrote the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) in May are in virtual limbo as the State government is yet to clarify the procedure for admission, even a month after the results were declared.

Harshitha M bagged a national rank of just under 8,000 but says she is “completely blank” about the future. “I have many doubts about the admission procedure, cut-off rank, etc but there is no information,” she said in despair.

She approached the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) and some colleges for clarifications but no one appears to be in the loop. “The CMAT helpline also didn’t respond to my repeated calls,” she rued. CMAT is a national-level computer-based test conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for admission to MBA courses.

Students eyeing seats under the government quota are desperately waiting for a State merit list as they fear any further delay will reduce their chances. They worry that some seats might have already been lapped up unscrupulously. Until last year, the KEA conducted the Post Graduate Common Entrance Test (PGCET) for admission to MBA and other course. This year, PGCET was replaced with CMAT which was declared the only gateway to MBA courses.

Pooja B C, with a rank of 21,000, is relying only on government quota as she cannot afford to pay the huge fee (running into a few lakhs) charged by colleges for a management quota seat. “I’ll avail of an education loan but it won’t be sanctioned anytime soon. Some of my friends have already taken seats in management quota in various colleges and I’m really worried,” she said.

Students like Monica Seles couldn’t keep waiting for the notification on the State merit list and hence paid Rs 6.5 lakh for a management seat in a City college. But not before visiting around 25 colleges in 15 days to find out if any of them was offering government quota seats. To her dismay, each college offered different explanations.

Some said she was eligible only for management quota with the CMAT score. Others asked her to wait as they too didn’t have enough information about the matter. “I spent Rs 20,000 on coaching for CMAT,” she rued. “It was such a waste.”

Losing patience

Besides the wait for State merit list, students hope the PGCET might be brought back. But the hope is giving way for despair. With no official word on PGCET, students say they are losing patience.

“What is the use of PGCET if there are no seats. Going by the time the authorities are taking to decide on the matter, I’m afraid all seats would be exhausted,” Pooja said.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court ruled in May that the AICTE was only an advisory body without any authority in affairs related to MBA courses of universities and their institutions.

Then the Karnataka Private Post Graduate Colleges’ Association (KPPGCA) announced that it would conduct its own Karnataka Management Aptitude Test (KMAT) in July.

“We have sent two letters and asked for appointments with the government to decide on seat matrix and a possible PGCET. But we have not been able to meet anyone till now,” said M Prakash, KPPGCA Secretary.

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