Covid-19: IIMs consider online interviews to admit students
About half of the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are exploring the possibility of conducting some of the pending interviews online to complete their admission processes as the Centre has indicated that it is not inclined to lift the lockdown imposed to check the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic when it lapses on April 14.
The IIMs shortlist candidates based on a common admission test (CAT) and then hold face-to-face interviews and group discussions to choose a final list of candidates.
According to multiple officials HT spoke to, IIMs like the ones in Lucknow, Sambalpur, Indore, Ranchi, Shillong and Kozhikhode are yet to complete the interview processes either for their main MBA courses or for the specialised or niche courses. They added given the uncertainty over whether the lockdown would be lifted or not, at least eight to 10 of the 20 IIMs have decided to conduct online interviews to ensure the academic cycle in not disrupted.
Prof Debashis Chatterjee, the director of IIM Kozhikhode, said while 97% of the process for his institute was over, some interviews remained pending for the main two-year MBA course because of the lockdown. There was no way the institute could ask a candidate to travel, he added.
“There has been a discussion on this aspect and it is being considered that interviews can be conducted via digital mode,” Chatterjee said. He added the delay was not desirable as it could set the courses back by three to four weeks. “Moreover, we do not want to inconvenience the students also.”
IIM Sambalpur director Mahadeo Jaiswal said some interviews for admissions under the special gender diversity category remained pending. “The interviews can be done through Skype and Zoom etc. We are looking at various aspects and carrying out discussions,” he said. He added a decision in this regard would be taken in an appropriate manner after taking the institute’s board into confidence.
IIM Ranchi director Shailendra Singh said the interview process for one of the courses was still pending and online option was on the table. “We are examining the options,” he said.
IIM Udaipur conducted video interviews for admissions to its PhD programme after March 15. “We completed interviews for the two-year MBA course before the lockdown happened. However, the process for our PhD programme was on and we conducted interviews via video conferencing. This was the first time we did it,” said IIM Udaipur director Janat Shah.
The IIMs are also looking at work from home internships for their students. IIM Rohtak director Dheeraj Sharma said his institute has completed its interview process but was now looking at the internship process. “Because of the present circumstances, we are considering treating work from home internships at par with regular internships.Moreover, we are also looking at shortening the duration of the internship period by two to four weeks.”
Most of the directors said the issues would also be discussed collectively in the coming days.