Last week’s Delhi High Court ruling and reports on the fate of the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) have left students confused. The court in its ruling dated October 7, 2013, held that the ‘impugned regulation’ of the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) regarding admission to MBA programmes was ‘quashed’. The AICTE, however, announced that the next edition of the test would be held in February 2014.
CMAT ‘not scrapped’
Some reports suggested that the CMAT had been cancelled with the High Court undermining the authority of the AICTE to conduct the test. However, as per the seven-page October 7 order of the court, a copy of which is with HT Education, “it is not obligatory for the institutes granting an MBA degree to make admissions to MBA and similar courses only on the basis of the CMAT conducted by the AICTE.”
The court, however, directed that if any state or university wishes to adopt CMAT for the purpose of regulating admissions to the MBA degree course, that would not be illegal.
The Supreme Court in its judgment earlier this year had stated that MBA was not a technical course within the definition of the AICTE Act and the AICTE had no jurisdiction to regulate or control MBA courses conducted by the members of the Federation of Associations of Unaided Professional Colleges in India (FAMPEI).
The apex court had allowed management institutions to use scores of any of the six national entrance tests – CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA, GMAT and CMAT. Dr GPC Nayar, president of the Federation of Associations of Managements of Professional Educational Institutions of India (FAMUPEII), who had filed the petition in the Delhi High Court, clarified that the CMAT was “not scrapped and management institutions in the country are free to admit students from any national entrance test. We have nothing against CMAT. We did not want CMAT to be the only national-level entrance test.”
The regulator for technical education in the country has been conducting the test for the past two years. It is used for admissions to over 3,500 B-schools and is conducted twice a year.
The CMAT story
From the day of its introduction in 2011, the AICTE made CMAT compulsory for admission to management courses, both MBA and PGDM
At that time most of the universities did not take CMAT seriously and allowed institutions to take any national test
The AICTE took up the matter with the universities resulting in their insisting on CMAT
The Supreme Court has extended its stay order in 2012 on the AICTE notification that had sought to do away with major MBA entrance exams