After creating confusion over admissions in Business schools, the Indian technical education regulator, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in a major goof-up had to withdraw a wrong sample paper on Thursday for its first Central Management Admission Test (CMAT) to be held in February 2012.
The AICTE last week had announced CMAT to replace state level entrance examination for management schools to reduce stress on students, thereby increasing the number of all India entrance examinations for management schools to five. Combined Admission Test (CAT), Management Aptitude Test (MAT) and Xavier Admission Test are among popular admission tests for B-schools.
Many 1,500 B-schools have already opted for the more credible admission tests saying the AICTE announcement came very late and the test was similar to CAT. The online computer based test will be held from 20-28 February in 61 cities, too late as most B-schools close their admission by March end.
But, the AICTE has made it clear that only CMAT score will be used for allotment of seats in the institutes approved by the council. "It will create confusion for students and admission problems private institutes," protested H Chaturvedi, alternate president of Educational Promotional Society of India, an apex body of private education providers. "We want CMAT to be optional, not mandatory".
The All India Management Association (AIMA), which conducts MAT, said conducting a common test of this nature across the country in an only online format will only widen the digital divide. Over 90% of MAT students opt for paper based test, AIMA said in an email reply to HT.
AICTE, which has partnered with private organisation to conduct CMAT, had to face embarrassing situation as it placed a sample paper for the test on its website.
The paper placed on the council's CMAT website on December 14 was related to corporate finance not related to four set of questions for the AICTE's first national test. The 100 questions for CMAT are on Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation, Local Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness.
Receiving rebuke from the management institutes, the council on Thursday removed the trial paper and asked the students to wait till December 18 to try the CMAT format.
AICTE chairperson S S Mantha did not reply to text messages or calls. Rajender Kumar, director in-charge of CMAT, was also not available for comments.
Jamshedpur based XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai based Institute of Management and Technology have already decided that they will not admit students on basis of CMAT score. "We have already started our admission process. We will not be altering the admission process or timelines to accommodate AICTE CMAT," said an official of XLRI.