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Discussing CAT paper can land you behind bars

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2011 00:45 IST
Shaswati Das
Shaswati Das
Hindustan Times
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Discussing your Common Admission Test (CAT) questions can land you behind bars. Students appearing for CAT this year will have to weigh very carefully what they talk outside the examination hall as any discussion on the day’s question paper will not only result in imprisonment, but a heavy fine of up to R2 lakh.

“If any candidate discloses, publishes, reproduces, transmits, stores, or facilitates transmission and storage of the contents of the CAT in any form or by any means, they shall be violating the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and/or the Copyright Act, 1957 and/or the Information Technology Act, 2000. Such actions may constitute a cognisable offence punishable with imprisonment for up to three years and fine up to R2 lakh,” said Janaki Raman Moorthy, Convenor of CAT 2011.

“There is secrecy only in terms of the test content which is important for protecting IIMs’ intellectual property. We will take the necessary measures to monitor these disclosures,” added Moorthy.

Those taking CAT will have to agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) at the time of the test, which prohibits them from disclosing or discussing any test content after the exam. While the NDA was brought into effect in 2009, it was found that several students violated it.

Nearly 2.05 lakh students will be appearing for the test this year. The question that arises is, how will the IIMs monitor these discussions across the country.

Also, following the Supreme Court's (SC) judgment, which states that examination answer sheets must be made public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, this move by the IIMs is likely to be challenged by the public.

“The IIMs’ decision may be seen as a conflict to that judgment. So enforcement of the NDA can be difficult here. If they attempt a mass prosecution of students, it will most likely be challenged,” said Sumathi Chandrsekharan, a lawyer.