CAT fiasco to be probed

Chaos reigns supreme at test centres; Sibal blames it on IIMs

CAT fiasco to be probed

 
Hitting out at the IIMs, Sibal said the organisers should have been more careful with the manner in which the standardised test for admission to the elite business schools were conducted.

Reiterating the government’s concern, Sibal said the IIMs should have taken adequate precautions to avoid the repeated failures and disruptions across test centres over four days.

“A very large percentage of students could not take the test and we are concerned about this. Steps should have been taken much prior to the holding of the examination to ensure that such kind of problems did not happen,” Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

Technical snags

On the fourth day of the entrance examination, “the CAT and mouse game” continued as hundreds of students were left in the lurch and could not take their online test due to technical snags.

They accused the IIMs of laxity and mismanagement. Computers crashed in several test centres in cities like Lucknow, Delhi, Bhopal and Bangalore.

Sibal, however, promised not to interfere with the IIMs’ autonomy in conducting the CAT, though he did not minced words to suggest that he was not happy with the developments over the past four days which saw thousands of students being unable to take the test.

“This should not have happened. As government, we are very concerned,” Sibal said, adding “don’t ask me about the re-examination. It will be done by IIMs. They are autonomous and we will not interfere in their affairs. I will request them to conduct the exam themselves.”

But the minister felt that “steps should have been taken. Some dry run should have been carried out before. They have failed to deliver the exams.

“I had asked the IIMs to give me a report and as per Tuesday morning, 45,000 students had enrolled for giving the test but 8,000 could not. This is a huge percentage. I will ask the IIMs that next time it does not happen,” he said.

Report sought

Stating that his ministry had sought a factual report on the issue, the minister said the government would ask the organisers to ensure that students who could not appear for the tests because of the technical glitches and other instances of mismanagement got another opportunity.

With CAT going online this year, the IIMs decided to hold the exam over a 10-day period instead of conducting it on a single day. But for the last four days, thousands of IIM aspirants have failed to take the test as the server crashed in scores of centres across the country.

While the test conducting firm, Prometric, has blamed it on viruses, students and coaching centres have blamed the collapse on mismanagement and institutes’ failure to rectify the glitches.

Candidates outside SMS College at Lucknow said they faced a harrowing time, going to different re-allotted centres time and again with no guarantee that they would be able to take the test.

“I was to take CAT in the morning slot two days back. After waiting for over two hours, we were told that because of technical problems there would be no exam. Late in the evening, I received an SMS saying I should go to another institute. I went on Monday but again the CAT was suspended,” Neeraj Prasad, an IIM aspirant from Lucknow, said.   

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