The highly competitive Common Admission Test (CAT) for entry to the country's top B-schools will be held online again next year despite the technical glitches that marred the exam this time, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) admissions committee said on Wednesday.
Himanshu Rai, a professor at IIM-Lucknow and chairman of the admissions committee, said he was sorry that students had to face a harrowing time owing to technical problems since CAT's staggered 10-day schedule began on Saturday.
"We (the IIMs) can't absolve ourselves..the CAT is ours. I am extremely apologetic for what has happened so far," Rai said on a news channel.
He added that despite mock tests conducted, there were glitches which were not foreseen.
"We are learning (our) lessons and will take cognizance of what candidates are saying. The online CAT is here to stay...these are still the early days...I regret the inconvenience caused but we are learning from our mistakes and they won't be repeated," Rai said.
He also called on the rescheduled candidates facing communication problems to accommodate organisers.
"Please try to accommodate us...(for rescheduling problems) please write in once more on the online e-mail ID given or call on helpline...we will try to make the exam as fair as possible. I know students have gotten stressed but from now on things will improve," he added.
As of Dec 1 morning, 45,000 students were scheduled to have taken the computerised CAT but around 8,000 candidates could not do so at over 40 centres in various cities including Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
On the fifth day of the exam Wednesday, thousands of IIM aspirants were still uncertain when they would be allowed to take the test.
This year over 240,000 candidates have registered for the CAT.
The US-based firm administering the test on behalf of the IIMs, Prometric, has blamed the technical fault on viruses but the students and coaching centres have flayed poor management.