Breaking away from the tradition, applicants after belling the Common Admission Test (CAT) for IIMs will not be required to appear in group discussions for seeking admission at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. This premier B-School has now joined ranks with many other IIMs that have already done away with the GD round, which played a key role during the selection process.
Starting from the 2016-2018 batch, assessment of candidates will now be done only on the basis of the written ability test (WAT) and personal interviews (PI) for PGP, PGP Agri Business Management and PGP Sustainable Management programme. Until last year, admissions were done based on the weightage of WAT, GD and personal interviews (PI).
The document released by the chairman of admissions at IIM-L suggests that 10% weightage of the marks for admission will be given to WAT and 40% to PI, what earlier used to be 10% of WAT, 10% for GD and 30% of personal interviews.
A professor who wished not to be named, said, "GD has been a part of the section procedure as it tests the communication ability, analytical skills and logical thinking of aspirants. But it has a negative point as aggressive candidates often dominate the discussion, and many times some aspirants with strong managerial aptitude never get a chance to speak."
He explained how the WAT has in comparison multifold benefits: "A candidate can express his/her thoughts clearly and in an organized manner. Through written test, aspirants can demonstrate their clarity of expression, analytical ability and structured thinking."
In GD, students who fared well in the Common Admission Test (CAT) — for entrance to the IIMs — are divided into groups of 8-10 and asked to deliberate on a topic from areas such as current affairs, moral and social issues for 10-20 minutes. Some IIMs, like IIM-Bangalore had done away with the group discussion format much earlier.
Incidentally, the government sparked a controversy when the candidates for the post of Director of the IIMs had to appear in group discussions, much like the prospective students to the prestigious management institutes. A selection panel constituted by the union HRD ministry to pick the director for IIM Lucknow recently introduced the step.